In the wake of shock rock's introduction to the mainstream via Marilyn Manson, it is easy to forget that several bands toiled in the underground making much better noise with similar theatrics. One such artist is Nik Wade, known to fans as "Nik Fiend," the creative mind behind Alien Sex Fiend. On this retrospective, 23 examples of the Fiend sound are packaged together, and the various strengths and weaknesses of Wade's vision poke their way through. The biggest problem is simply song length; both "E.S.T." and "Inferno (Oscar Madness Mix)" are way too long and the album drags in both spots. In a few other instances, most notably "Bun Ho," there is very little going on even if the track is not that long. These add to the overlong, dragging feel of the album. But then absolute classics like "New Christian Music," "Smells Like...," and the horror rock anthem "Now I'm Feeling Zombiefied" rear their ugly heads and the legend of Alien Sex Fiend is redeemed. The centerpiece of the collection is "I Walk the Line," an underground classic that defines the attitude that Wade was trying to express. Devoid of the band's wonderfully campy visual theatrics, this is only half of what Alien Sex Fiend is really about. Those wishing to get an idea of how ahead of its time the band was should try to find a live video first. But much of the music here is really good, and this is a perfect example of what any Alien Sex Fiend album would be like: a few classics mixed in with a few overlong borefests.
AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2