Get ready for a does of moderate to heavy petting

Matthew Carroll


Who?: Petting Zeus with Dolly Trauma

When? 9 p.m., Saturday

Where? Lime Spider

How much? $5, 21 and over; $10 18 to 20


The local two-piece act Petting Zeus (Splat – vocals/guitar and Bob – drums) will be performing at the Lime Spider in Akron as part of the Dolly Trauma CD release party Saturday.

The band formed in the Akron area in 2000 as a four-member outfit. It underwent numerous line-up changes before settling into its current two-member look a little more than a year and a half ago.

“We were kind of trying this whole minimal approach to writing and being in a band,” said vocalist Patrick “Splat” Bell. “The biggest pro is just strictly practical. When it comes to scheduling for practice and scheduling for a show, there’s only two schedules you need to worry about.”

Chemistry also factored into the band’s choice to move forward as a duo.

“Certain musicians just can or can’t play together regardless of their talents,” Bell said. “Rob and I always clicked the best, so songwriting is much faster.”

Although he admits that there are certain limits placed on a band with only two members, both creatively and sound-wise, Bell insists that he is happy with the current lineup.

“For each new member you add,” he said, “I don’t think it quite balances out with (having) a whole extra person.”

Bell’s vocals have drawn comparisons to Tool/A Perfect Circle front man and Ravenna native Maynard James Keenan. It is a comparison Bell has accepted, despite reservations.

“I think I understand why people hear that influence, but I’ve had to fight my whole life to not constantly get compared,” Bell said. “There’s plenty of other vocalists that have been an influence that people don’t seem to hear for whatever reason.”

Beyond similarities in vocals between Bell and more well-known acts, Petting Zeus takes pride in creating a unique sound and style.

“I try to stay away from the A B A B song format, and just play basically little mini 30-second songs right on top of each other,” Bell said.

The experimental element of the band is most evident during their live shows. Words, instrumentation and even vocals of their songs change from night to night.

“I think, in general, I leave either certain songs or definitely certain parts of songs just open to play however it seems to come out live,” Bell said. “Sometimes the best songs you only seem to play once – I like to leave a little room to see what happens during a live show. If you can pull off a good improv, it’s always better, I think, than having a preset song.”

Bell is a Kent State alumnus and is enrolled in law school at the University of Akron.

“It’s funny because I went to Kent State for five years, and this is the year after I graduated. And now I’m in the paper there,” he said.

Contact ALL correspondent Matthew Carroll at [email protected].