Various Artists

Buddyhead Suicide

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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus

Buddyhead's been releasing records for a few years now, mostly from noisy wackos like Icarus Line and Shat. In between the rigorous 7" folding and stuffing sessions described in Buddyhead Suicide's entertaining liners, the Buddyhead dudes -- Travis Keller and Aaron North -- found time to post scads of pointed, mean-spirited, and totally hilarious gossip on their website. The load of rare material on this two-disc comp nicely encapsulates the outfit's first few years of music. But fans of Keller and North's acerbic humor will likely get a bigger kick out of the set's numerous "Torture Device" tracks. Essentially crank calls, the cuts find the Buddyheaders impersonating everyone from Matt Pinfield to the publicist for Ben & Jerry's as they antagonize -- read: f*ck with -- music industry types. Karen O gets the treatment, Hoobastank is violated, and the manager of an up-and-coming punk band is ensnared in an elaborate ruse concerning the Sex Pistols that's as painfully funny as anything on Curb Your Enthusiasm. (The liners include a notice of legal action stemming from this particular gag.) Buddyhead Suicide doesn't pull any punches musically, either. Disc one includes a single version of the classic Text avant-garde statement "Sound Is Compressed; Words Rebel and Hiss," a bizarre horror-hop remix of Murder City Devils' "Press Gang," and a surprisingly straight reading of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" from Dillinger Escape Plan. The second disc lurches out of the gate with Your Enemies Friends' gutsy and buzzing punk/new wave revisionism, slices through Burning Brides' sludgy "Plank of Fire," and lands on its good ankle with another crazy inventive remix, this time of At the Drive-In's "Rascuache." Buddyhead demands diligence in both humor and rock, which makes Suicide difficult for the uninitiated. Conversely, the willing will find it a satisfying and side-splittingly funny experience.

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