PATTON PENDING

Dark-horse boy-pop group Fantomas give teenybopper fans more than they're bargaining for

Diabolik and the Mexican Fantomas are supercriminals who steal and murder for their own gain. Diabolik, especially, was excoriated by critics for its violence. Fantomas (the Man Pop SUPERGROUP)'s use of nonsequential art from the comics and their cryptic song titles raise the question of the album's origin: Is it a soundtrack for an issue of Diabolik? If Buzz knows the truth, he's not telling. "That's as good an answer as any. Lots of people have told me that. I've never seen the comic. Sure, put that down." He's equally vague on the topic of more albums from the band. Amenaza al Mundo is subtitled "Book 1," so is it unreasonable to assume that it is only the first of a series of albums? "Well, we've been working on it (Amenaza al Mundo) for two years. There's just not enough time to do everything we want." Time constraints would seem to be an issue for Fantomas, because each member has other projects. Buzz and the Melvins put out two albums this year and will be releasing a third in January. Trevor Dunn has the Secret Chiefs 3's lodge meetings to attend, and he toured with Mr. Bungle all summer, as did Patton.

Patton is also busy running Fantomas' record label, Ipecac, with Greg Werckman. The arrangements suit Buzz just fine. "Ipecac is great. We're very happy with them, and they're doing well. There's no hassles from industry meatheads." With their combined output this year, it's not impossible that the members of Fantomas could reconvene and create a sequel. Buzz concurs, "Yeah, we're not methadone addicts sitting around wondering why things aren't getting finished." The question remains, will their audience stick around if it takes another two years to release another album? Buzz isn't so sure. "I don't think the fan base will stick around for too long. They come to the show for "Lombarrrrrr-dooo!' but they get something more vicious."

It's that "something more vicious" that's going to prove Buzz wrong. Sure, the metalheads expecting Slayer are going to be disappointed, but there is a much nastier audience brewing in the not-so-distant future. Millions of little girls are coming to realize that they are being taken for a ride. Their Pop Idols are just puppets wielded by smarmy businessmen looking to make a quick buck. Someday, those little girls are going to grow weary of factory- built pop products breaking their hearts. They're going to tire of rehashed melodies and cliché lyrics. From Fabian to New Edition, every Pop Idol is eventually abandoned by his followers. Today's crop is perhaps the worst ever. The impending backlash against them is growing, gaining strength and power as the year grinds to a close, and as those girls approach puberty, and their first boyfriend, and the horrifying truth that not all boys will sing to them before they grope them in the backseat of Daddy's Lexus. Those girls are going to be pissed, and some of them are going to reject every lie they've been fed.

And for those girls, Fantomas Awaits. More vicious. Less melody. VIVA FANTOMAS!

Fantomas performs at Mississippi Nights on Saturday, Dec. 18. Also on the bill is Kid 606 (see "Sound Checks").

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