MadLove: White With Foam

Add Trevor Dunn’s latest project, MadLove, to the ledger of bands that sound like they’d be on Interscope in 1992. Of course, Dunn was in Mr. Bungle, who certainly left their mark on an undercurrent of bizarre rock in the ‘90s, but since then, White With Foam (a rabid, not patriotic, reference) is his most concerted effort at taking a stab at pop forms again. So it’s not like he missed out.

While MadLove might seem all Dunn—he did write the music and lyrics—special mention must be given to Korean singer Sunny Kim who adds a menacing character to these tunes evoking Bjork at her most nebulous. Ches Smith joins Dunn from his Trio Convulsant project and Icelandic jazz guitarist Hilmar Jensson rounds out the quartet.

The material is hooky in an oddly sensuous way, taking those elements aforementioned ‘90s rock experimentalism and merging it with clever pop and jazz passages with supreme elegance, as exemplified in the swaggering “Absence & Noise” and the slow burning “In Love (In Theory)” It grows quickly too; warming up to Sunny takes a listen or two, but after that, White With Foam is more of a bubble bath than a rabies shot.

In A Word: Mature