Okilly Dokilly, a metalcore band out of Phoenix Arizona, are the originators of “Nedal” music, a subgenre of metal themed around the Simpsons character Ned Flanders. Yes, you read that correctly. For those who don’t know, Ned Flanders is the Simpsons goody-two-shoes neighbor who is a God-fearing, religious, no-swearing, everything-is-great person. So, what’s the exact opposite of that? A cookie-monster lead singer leading a loud, raucous metal band.
Consisting of Head Ned on lead vocals and guitar, Shred Ned on lead guitar, Zed Ned on synthesizer, Dread Ned on drums, and Bed Ned on bass, all the guys perform dressed as Flanders with most of their lyrics are based around quotes from Ned. Released on March 29, 2019, Howdilly Twodilly is their sophomore effort.
With such an odd premise, you’d wonder what a band like this would sound like, and I certainly did. With, what sounds like, influences from Spinal Tap, Foo Fighters, Slipknot, punk and folk, Okilly Dokilly covers a lot of ground.
The album leads off with “Reneducation”, maybe the best song on the disc, which starts off with an acoustic folk twist but then leads into a heavy, thumping chorus. From there it’s a mish-mosh of influences. “When the Comet Gets Here” has a very heavy synthesizer bias to it, while “Murder House” is all deep bass riffs. There are two very short punk songs, “I Can’t, It’s a Geo” which builds speed until it slows way down, then ends at breakneck speed, and “Purple Drapes”. Both are quick and to the point and almost instrumentals. “Bulletproof Glass” has a very Metallica vibe to it (think “One” on acid). “Claw My Eyes Out” has the best name but probably my least favorite song on the album. “Here’s the Noose” leads out of Purple Drapes and sounds a lot like it. “Murdiddlyurdeler” starts with a cool funk bass riff, but then goes through two tempo changes from super fast to ultra slow. “Wrong God” has a wonderful melodic riff somewhat reminiscent of any 80s hair metal band with teeth and has the most catchy chorus of any of the songs on the album. Finally, we end with “Folkilly Dokilly”, which can only be described as Mumford and Sons turned to 11.
Overall, I am not a fan of the cookie-monster vocals, nor the vast drastic tempo changes. However, Okilly Dokilly is an interesting, strange premise and an eclectic sound. Head Ned seems to know what he wants and the band owns what they do. Some of the songs are ok. Some are not. Thankfully the two punkish songs are short. The standouts to me are “Reneducation”, “Wrong God”, and, ironically, “Folkilly Dokilly”. I grew up in an area of the country where “old-timey” music was prevalent and that may have influenced me there. If you like punk rock or the types of music that are a little off kilter, give this album a shot. If nothing else, Okilly Dokilly is uniquely different and original.