Eli Litwin’s (John Frum) Top 5 avant-garde bands

Eli Litwin is mostly known for his role as the drummer for the experimental/progressive death metal project John Frum (featuring former members of The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Faceless) as well as the New Jersey instrumental progressive metal outfit Knife the Glitter. Litwin has now expanded his experimental journey with the release of his solo effort, The World Now (order here). The album features a number of avant-garde styles ranging from industrial, metal, and hardcore elements. We spoke to the Philadelphia-based drummer and asked him to share his top 5 favorite avant-garde bands.

05) Kayo Dot

This band has changed so much with each release that it’s impossible to understand their full scope in just one song, let alone a whole album. Toby Driver, the main composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, visionary, only constant member, has drastically altered the band’s instrumentation from album to album to explore much further than is possible with a static lineup. This track is from Humbardo, which was an album that returned to a much heavier sound after a number of releases that went in other directions. I enjoy just about everything they’ve ever done, but this album may be my favorite.

04) Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

SGM was a really important band for me. They opened the door to a lot of boundary-pushing music at an important time in my musical growth. Of Natural History is the album that prompted a lot more discovery, largely because the members of SGM had lots of other projects. Then, In Glorious Times, their final album, blew me away once again, exceeding my expectations, years after I had immersed myself in the scene they helped introduce to me.