In an age of quadruple-tracked crushing riffs and an almost Borgesian multiplicity of obscure time signatures, it can be pretty hard to stand out as a metal band.
You need a USP, and Phoenix band Okilly Dokilly have a very specific one – their name, songs, and outfits are themed around friendly Springfield neighbour Ned Flanders.
My spell check is intent on correcting ‘Dokilly’ to ‘docilely’, but docile they are not, with their music revolving around crunchy, lo-fi guitar and shrill, lurching synth.“Sacrifice unto the gods of metal” – Ned Flanders
But how did the band – consisting of members Head Ned, Bled Ned, Red Ned, Thread Ned and Stead Ned – come up with the Simpsons-based idea?
“Myself and our drummer were in line at a grocery store [Kwik-E Mart?], entertaining ourselves by coming up with really cutesy names for really hardcore, brutal bands,” lead singer Head Ned told Rip It Up.
“The name Okilly Dokilly came up and was very funny to us – we ran with it. I contacted a few friends, and here we are.
“Most of us have played in other bands around our hometown. This is definitely the heaviest sounding project any of us Neds have done.”
Okilly Dokilly went on to explain where they see themselves sitting amongst the burgeoning, if mildly esoteric, Simpsons music scene.
“Not as fast as Bartcore, and a little cleaner than Krusty Punk,” Head Ned said of the band’s sound. “Not as heavy as Homer J.ent- Nedal is a happy medium in the Simpscene.”
Their screams are a lot more guttural than those of the real Flanders, but you can’t doubt their commitment to the cartoon character.
“All That Is Left [one of their tracks] is pretty fun,” Head Ned said. “It’s our homage to the Leftorium, and the bridge is entirely left handed puns.”
They play their first hometown show in Arizona on 5 September. They’re on Facebook.