Adym Evans speaks in beats, his words packing the percussive thrush of a man with a marching band trapped in his throat.
He approximates the loud report of a soundly hit snare drum with a click of his tongue — crack-crack-crack — before sucking in his cheeks and meting out the steady pulse of a drum and bass rhythm — oomph-oomph-oomph.
He hopscotches among different voices like a caricature of schizophrenia — he’s the Cookie Monster in one breath, an overexcited Japanese teen the next — occasionally sounding like a short-circuiting video game, an Xbox tossed into a bathtub.
“Am I talking too much?” he asks with a rare pause, and then it’s back to firing off random thoughts like he was allergic to silence.
Better known by his stage name, Verbal ASE, Evans is the most theatrical of beatboxers, a vocal percussionist fond of performing with libidinous props and lewd cartoon landscapes of his own design.
At a gig at the Brass Lounge during this year’s Amplify music conference in August, Evans wowed — and disarmed — the crowd with his tongue-in-cheek, occasionally off-color rhythmic gymnastics.
He lumbered onstage in a white lab coat, looking like a zombified coroner, and proceeded to drop beats with a hand puppet, like a hip-hop ventriloquist, and spin raunchy tales about Mickey and Minnie Mouse’s exploits, complete with paintings that illustrated the story.
“I would call myself a musical Carrot Top,” he says proudly, sporting short dreadlocks and a collared shirt from Kay-Bee Toys, where he works.
“The toys help me come up with sounds sometimes,” explains Evans, who started mimicking various noises when he was a kid. “Then I saw ‘Police Academy,’ and I saw the guy doing the same thing I did, Michael Winslow, but he was just making music with it. I was like, ‘I can do that.’ ”
Since then, Evans has become one of the Vegas music scene’s most distinct entities, a guy who creates minimusical epics in his throat, crafting hip-hop, R&B and rock tunes with just his voice.
“My key thing is not to be repetitive,” says the animated twentysomething, who’s shared the stage with everyone from nerdcore rapper MC Chris to industrial metallers Static-X. “If you go on Youtube or Humanbeatbox.com, everybody’s doing the same thing, everybody’s up there beatboxing, pretending to scratch invisible turntables. But there’s not really anybody doing visual stuff. Like, I want to incorporate more magic into my act.”
Evans’ eyes widens as he speaks, and he gesticulates like a cop directing traffic as he holds court on the patio of a Henderson Starbucks on a recent Wednesday afternoon.
It’s his day off, but he’s been called into work, and soon he’s en route to his job.
“If you need any toys, you know where I work,” he says with a grin while exiting his ride to the store, a one-man band off to his next gig.
Jason Bracelin’s “Sounding Off” column appears on Tuesdays. Contact him at 383-0476 or e-mail him at jbracelin@ reviewjournal.com.JASON BRACELINMORE COLUMNS