One of the few musical styles that seems to have had no influence on Dog Fashion Disco is disco. This local quintet plays a sort of punky jazz-metal with robo-funk underpinnings, circus-sideshow keyboards and rock-operetta vocals that recalls Frank Zappa more often than Queen (usually). Add horror-movie lyrics, and the band's "The Embryo's in Bloom" has something to disconcert everyone.
Whoever writes the lyrics for this band apparently has access to a medical dictionary. Such songs as "Leper Friend," "A Corpse Is a Corpse" and "9 to 5 at the Morgue" make references to hypochondria, schizophrenia, anemia, and hirudinoids (a fancy name for leeches), words rendered with bloodcurdling enthusiasm by singer Todd Smith. The rest of the musicians execute impressive shifts of tempo and direction as Smith issues such commands as, "Die and die/ Die and draw flies." This death trip may be of limited appeal to those who've outgrown such morbid interests, but at least the band's vigorous playing doesn't have one foot in the grave.
Appearing Friday at Phantasmagoria with Suisonic. To hear a free Sound Bite from Dog Fashion Disco, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8121. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)