Faxed Head


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The only decipherable lyrics in Faxed Head's album opener, "Rest Stop Cleaning," come at the last two lines, which read: "Let them work fast food jobs/Let them prove their worth." You know, it's too bad, because the tongue-in-cheek words to the rest of this thrash/speed metal song are pretty good. But you'll never know this unless you read the liner notes that come with the CD, Chiropractic (this applies to most of the disc, actually). For the record, "Rest Stop Cleaning" is about wayward youth who have to, as punishment, clean out dirty and disgusting rest stops, which, according to Faxed Head's lyrics, contain such goodies as used condoms and syringes. The band's message here is that kids need role models, not such chastising, which creates "monsters," an allegation documented elsewhere in the song. Faxed Head's lyrics throughout Chiropractic are truly impressive. They offer interesting, oftentimes funny, perspectives on such things as a California roach rest (roadside food court, infamous for serving bad food) on "Demon Chills," to the title track, which coyly pokes fun at chiropractors, who endure ubiquitous charges they are not "real" doctors. Elsewhere, "Mr. Bus Driver" starkly and wittingly describes an average-Joe, minimum-wage worker who, on this track, packages thongs in boxes for a living. This song takes down the blistering tempo a notch and, hark -- are those lyrics you hear? The answer is yes. The intentional feedback, drumstick-dropping noises, and other bleeps featured on "Bring the Dead Boy Peace" are a nice touch and indicate just how cheeky these guys are. The big question here, however, is: How do engineers do it? How do they transform the human voice into something that sounds like a hybrid of cupped-phone speaking, Phantom of the Opera theatrics, and vein-popping screaming? And to the singers of such music: how do you prevent your vocal chords from physically picking up and leaving your throat? It sounds painful to sing in that style (although Ricola Cough Drops isn't complaining). These mysteries notwithstanding, Chiropractic is a good album. As far as this genre of music goes, the disc is as crunchy as Grape Nuts, bizarre as a Twilight Zone episode, fast and relentless as a car crash, and, refreshingly, smart stuff. Bonus points for the great bandmember names: McPatrick Head, Neck Head, Jigsaw Puzzle Head, LaBrea Tar Pits Head, and Fifth Head. You can't beat that.

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