Polkadot Cadaver vocalist Todd Smith -- no, not LL Cool J, whose legal moniker is also Todd Smith -- was wearing shades inside a dark bar when Noisecreep unexpectedly ran into him at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas back in March. "These hide the haggard mess underneath," Smith told Noisecreep about his sunglasses with a self-deprecating laugh.

The band was in town during a two-week tour and ended up playing a few shows here and there in the Lone Star State. "We came to play SXSW and we did an extra show, because a local promoter contacted me, to say she felt cheated, since she had been MySpace messaging us to play her club for years. Not to sound dickish, but we got lots of messages ... so it never happened. But she got us a show ..."

Smith, who was the singer for the defunct, Maryland-based, avant-and-weird-metal band Dog Fashion Disco, acknowledged that there are no similarities between him and his rap namesake. "He licks his lip too much. He should just be a billboard, where every time he licks, a new ad pops up," Smith said. He also deemed Polkadot Cadaver as "alive and kicking, and sounds like Dog Fashion's retarded baby." DFD were already so far out in left field they were practically out of the stadium, so Polkadot Cadaver really teeter on the edge.

Smith is also in Knives Out, with Hellyeah (and former Nothingface) guitarist Tom Maxwell. "We're free agents," he said, admitting optimism about the future. "It's got the heaviest elements of DFD and the groove of Nothingface. Tom had a year off from the Hellyeah world takeover, so we worked on recording an album and wrote nine songs." We listened to four tracks of the 'Rough Cuts' EP, and it is melodic and groove-laden -- and a little left of center. Thumbs up.

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