weird worship of the groove

One Step Ahead of the Spider (American Recordings)
MC 900 Foot Jesus

By Kory Wilcoxson

I always have this instinctive fear upon hearing a creative name for a band that the members are merely trying to hide their musical shortcomings behind a catchy moniker.

Not so with MC 900 Foot Jesus. They back up the name with some innovative, unique music that is not necessarily describable but almost always enjoyable. The name would lead you to conjure up some revival-type religious rap group, but the only deity this group worships is the groove.

MC's songs all have a simple, jazzy foundation. The horn section is accomplished but not overdone, laying a smooth but unobtrusive backdrop.

A first listen to the MC immediately brings comparisons to King Missile, an off-the-wall band that relics on John S. Hall's warped poetry for lyrics.

MC also has several spoken-word songs but Mark Griffin is more flowing and poetic than Hall. That does not mean, however, that MC is not without its weirder moments.

"New Moon" is an eleven-minute epic about a girl getting into a car wreck and "Rhubarb" is a conversation about a movie over a sparse beat.