Extra Fancy


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Sinnerman isn't a lost classic of rock per se, just a really good album that found itself caught up in the usual type of idiocy when societal expectations aren't met. Set that aside and just enjoy it for what it is, though, and it's clear Extra Fancy knew how to rock the house. It's little surprise that Brian Grillo makes for a strong, commanding frontman -- this is a guy who used to be in a band with Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, after all, and probably knows a thing or two about matching loud guitar with his own work. Rather than shredding his voice at louder points, he maintains a deeper heft without growling like Cookie Monster -- not the easiest balance to pull off, but he does it well. He's also credited with "oil can," which may seem like an affectation until it's clear that, in fact, he is indeed adding a lot of metallic percussion on just about every cut. The end result suggests what might have happened if Babyland was a rock band with industrial leanings instead of the other way around. The band collectively turn in some solid performances, a reasonable blend of garage roughness, precise punk, and general aggro/art rock of the early '90s in the vein of Tool and Helmet. Guitarist Mike Hateley can sneak in some quietly complex frills here and there, while Derek O'Brien in particular is a great drummer, able to balance out tension and release excellently (check out "Dinosaurs" for a good example). Just about the whole album is an enjoyable listen, but there are solid tracks everyone should check out. "C'Mon Louie" sounds more than a little like a Rocket from the Crypt song, with an interesting mid-song breakdown and a great, shouted chorus, while "You Look Like a Movie Star, Honey" makes for a vicious, memorable kiss-off. Kudos as well to the guest vocal cameos -- via phone machine -- from L7's Donita Sparks and Perry Farrell.

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