Portuguese duo Lotus Porcus (Latin for "Pork Lottery," perhaps?) make fairly standard melodic black metal with some deathy bits, but the five-song Camarão Bastardo turns out to be a lot more fun than the average album by your average Satyricon clone. Any metal band silly enough to name its demo "Bastard Shrimp" has something besides BM grandiloquence on its mind. Who knows what the hell bassist/programmer Runus Bacus and guitarist/programmer Almis Produs are growling about? The flagon-swinging chorus of "Bacalhau Personalizado," bloopy electronics that purposefully (I hope) don't mix with "Carne Para As Minhas Lebres" and ridiculous mewling behind "A Marca do Porco" say plenty -- Lotus Porcus love metal too much to take it completely seriously. That goes for the song titles, which translate variously as "Personalized Cod," "Meat For My Rabbits" and "Mark of the Pig."
The sound quality on Camarão Bastardo is decent for a demo, with the exception of the horrid mixing on "Gato Preto," an expendable alt-rock ballad that serves as a good excuse for a tongue-in-cheek video and that's about it. Programmed drums sound terrific. Here we have another reminder of how technology is flattening the world. I haven't encountered Lotus Porcus's hometown of Lisbon, Portugal since the last time I played Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego? (well, there was that Moonspell review), and yet here comes an unknown, unsigned metal project nearly as offbeat and enjoyable as Strapping Young Lad or DHG. Bring on the full-length, gents, and don't forget the feijoada.
Also: the title "Bastard Shrimp" reminds me of one of my all-time favorite bad jokes. Thanks to Matt Gasteier for this one:
Q: What do you call the illegitimate offspring of a lobster and a clam?
A: A shellfish bastard.