To My Surprise

My musically talented friend Stevan Robinson has finally been rewarded with the opportunity to put his talents to work on a major record release, lending slide guitar and vocals to the debut album from To My Surprise.

The record will get pigeonholed as a Slipknot side project, because the band is the creative brainchild of Shawn Crahan, the alter ego of the pentagram-faced percussionist "Clown" from the spooky-metal band. Calling this band a side project isn't really fair. To My Surprise is a distinct departure from Slipknot, sounding more like a cross between the Beatles and bands like The Vines and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, with a dose of Crahan hero Mike Patton thrown in to really put an off-kilter spin on the sound.

Unlike Stone Sour and the Murderdolls, the other Slipknot "side projects," To My Surprise packs a Pop punch, which should find them sneaking their way onto the charts across several musical genres.

The band's site features four over-compressed selections from the album, which is set for release on October 7. Pre-orders on Amazon would be a great way to help this band prove Iowa music is more than just nine pissed-off guys in red jumpsuits.