May 23, 2014

Music Review: Jeffrey Nothing - The New Psychodalia

I have no idea when it was that I first started listening to Mushroomhead. The best I can figure is that it had to have been around the release of their major label debut, XX, back in 2001. Whenever it was, it did not take me long to become a big fan of their sound, which struck me as a cross esteem Slipknot and Faith No More, an intriguing alternative take on nu-metal. Since those early days, I have seen them live a few times, and always loved their stage show. That brings us to now, the band has just released their fifth album and I am just not feeling it.

So, with the release of The Righteous and the Butterfly and my lackluster response to it has inspired me to revisit founding member and frontman Jeffrey Nothing's solo release, The New Psychodalia. Granted, it may take some time for he new Mushroomhead to grow on me, but I am really not so sure. On the other hand, Nothing's solo release is a solid album that is worth a few spins on its own.

Jeffrey Nothing has a very distinctive vocal style and is one of the reasons I fell in love with Mushroomhead in the first place. With a solo album, it had to be a challenge for hi to craft songs that were different enough from his main band to warrant the artistic excursion, but not go to far as to turn away the built in fan base. The end result is an album that definitely fits the bill.

The New Psychodalia is a solid album, one that puts Nothing's voice at he forefront. Where he splits vocal duties with either J-Mann or Waylon on the Mushroomhead albums, here the weight rests fully on his shoulders. His odd style steps up and takes control from the opening tracks "Dear Departed" and "Sin 'O Cism" through odd excursions like "Mnemerator" on through slower tunes such as "Psychodalia" and "Time."

It really is a good album that covers a lot of different ground. It showcases the considerable skills of Nothing, allowing him to stretch and show off some more of his personality and unique style. It is a good alternative to The Righteous and the Butterfly. This solo album is not quite the letting loose of the darkness inside of Mushroomhead that it could have been, but it remains a solid experimental journey into the more bizarre and incoherent elements that make Mushroomhead so enjoyable. There is no one more suited to embark on such am exercise than this esteemed member of the band's vocal tandem.


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