Mushroomhead |Filthy Hands Co., 1995|
1. Slowthing, 2. Elevation, 3. Too Much Nothing, 4. Intermission, 5. Ego Tripp, 6. Mommy, 7. 2nd Thoughts, 8. Casualties in B Minor, 9. Indifferent, 10. Simpleton, 11. 43, 12. Episode 29, 13. Snap
Mushroomhead is a band formed in 1993 within Cleveland, Ohio. Consisting of 8 members to create the style of their debut album, Mushroomhead delivers many samples, heavy guitar riffs, dual vocals, and other new musical elements.
All 8 members (and their respective roles) are prominent to create the band's sound. Starting off is Dinner's and J.J. Righteous' guitar riffs. Most of the songs on the album have an almost groove metal-like influence in the guitars. Normally, when someone would think of industrial metal and groove metal combined, they'd get White Zombie. In order to differ themselves, Mushroomhead blends in other elements. One of them is the dual vocals of J Mann and Jeffrey Nothing.
Jeffrey Nothing's voice is harsh and filled with screams. J Mann's voice, on the other hand, is a bit smoother and — at most points — more understandable than Jeffrey Nothing's. Both of their styles create a pattern that works extremely well.
As for the lyrics, they're not standard by any means. Most of the songs (the ones that aren't instrumental intermissions at least) are about hate, suicide, or other depressing topics. But the lyrics aren't blunt, which makes them seem fresh and not repetitive.
Other musical elements that are worth mentioning are the keyboard leads and samples, thanks to Shmotz and DJ Virus, respectively. "43" has a creepy keyboard lead after the "I don't need God" movie sample is played. Another example is a straight-forward piano in "Simpleton" which fits in perfectly. Each song also features movie samples from flicks such as Wayne's World and Reservoir Dogs. Some samples are simply for comedic effect (which isn't pulled off well due to the other songs being the exact opposite of comedic) while others are to progress an actual song.
To continue the trend of this review, the final 2 members are Skinny on the drums and Mr. Murdernickel on the bass guitar. The drums on each song is done live, and no drum machines are used at all. Skinny can obviously hold his own. As for Mr. Murdernickel, the bass guitar isn't featured enough to make an actual decision. It's pretty much blended in with the other guitar lines to make a heavier tone.
All in all, Mushroomhead and the 8 musical contributions are essential to the sound for their debut album. The sound is definitely new to the industrial music scene, and as such, Mushroomhead has a bright future ahead of them. (Xenerki)