Album review: David Hasselhoff on Acid - Eudaimonia

The name David Hasselhoff on Acid grabs you. Unless you are from Germany, where he’s considered a rock god, David Hasselhoff is the dude that ran down the beach to judge “talented” people while sitting in his talking car drunkenly eating a cheeseburger off the floor mats. Wait, I got some shows mixed up there. Oh well.
The latest from the KC band David Hasselhoff on Acid Eudaimonia is a trip—a rapid-fire jazz-rock fire fight, blasting out of the blocks with “Breakfast,” a jam that must be of supernatural origin. It comes on like something The Sword would do if they spent quality hang time with Frank Zappa and Yes while expanding their imaginations to impressive heights.
Therein lies the rub. I sit listening, eating a burnt English muffin, lounging in flannel pants, needing desperately to shave. I love this record. What has happened to me? Historically, I am not a fan of long, self-important, drawn-out, seemingly improvised jams. I hate Phish, The Dead was overrated, I detest Widespread Panic, and Dave Matthews is the Antichrist.
I grew up listening to punk rock where if you could not get it done in three minutes or less, do not play it. On occasion, if the mood struck me, I would indulge a bit in progressive rock, but those times were as rare as seeing Bigfoot at a keg party.
However, DHOA has struck me differently; there is method to the madness, melody in the chaos—not just “look-what-I-can-do!” wankery. There is beauty lying in the eye of the storm.
“Tiny Bubbles” is an 8 minute, 8 second extravaganza that plays like a threesome between Primus, Metallica, and Carlos Santana. It just should not work in this or any other universe, but it does. However, it does push the limits of my ADD, so if you have similar issues, double up on the Adderall before pushing play.
“Someone Just Caught a Unicorn” is just plain cool. An interstellar trip on par with ‘70s tripout artists Captain Beyond, this is one of the most spaced-out tracks on Eudaimonia—Adrian Belew and Syd Barrett would be so very proud. Although, at over thirteen minutes, even the most dedicated Dungeons & Dragons player would reach their limit. Immediately following is “Noodly Appendages,” the 3:36 jam with Zach Legler doing his best Gene Krupa/Buddy Rich drum fill attack, bassist Erich Thomas blowing the funk out and guitarists Phil Wolf and Brandon Bamesberger alternating between subtlety and rocket blasts. This is a real gem among gems.
The closer “Sheep Led By Wolves Owned by Pigs” is straight-up weird; at times, creepy. DHOA is clearly the Mothership for some of the best musicians I’ve ever heard. Ever. Period. The players make their instruments do things that a precious few could or can do. KC, you should be glowing with city pride to have these prog champions in your borders. That said, my friends, be in the right headspace for Eudaimonia; wait until you are sufficiently lubricated to get sucked in, to get lost. Do not get in a hurry, enjoy it, and let it get under your skin, to take you away, as any good acid trip should.
Eudaimonia was recorded at Level Select Productions in Lee's Summit, and produced, mixed, and mastered by guitarist Brandon Bamesberger. It was engineered by the band: Phil Wolf, Zach Legler, Erich Thomas, and Brandon Bamesberger.

Physical copies of Eudaimonia will be released on Friday, September 6, at The Riot Room. The inside stage show kicks off at 9 with Opossum Trot, then Instant Empire (Denver), Janet the Planet, and DHOA. The patio starts at 8 with See the Elephant, Conflicts, and then TroglodyteFacebook event page. Also, check out their Kickstarter page and help them print off CDs at the link here. Only four days left!

--Danny R. Phillips

Danny R. Phillips has been reporting on music of all types and covering the St. Joseph, MO music scene for well over a decade. He is a regular contributor to the nationally circulated BLURT Magazine and his work has appeared in The Pitch, The Omaha Reader, Missouri Life, The Regular Joe, Skyscraper Magazine, Popshifter, Hybrid Magazine, the websites Vocals on Top and Tuning Fork TV, Perfect Sound Forever, The Fader, and many others

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