The masked mayhem from Cleveland is back. The eight-man outfit known as Mushroomhead has released their sixth full-length album (five were independent, including 1997’s Remix release), titled XIII.
For longtime fans of Mushroomhead, or even those that were introduced to the group by their last release XX, the new record will hold few surprises. Formed in 1993, these guys are hitting their stride polishing their sound rather than evolving it.
As per usual, the album is the sum of the controlled chaos of eight people going off. Where XX included tracks that the band had recorded on their earlier indy releases, XIII is all new songs.
The single “Sun Doesn’t Rise“, which was also included on the popular Freddy Vs. Jason soundtrack, is easily one of the premier songs on the album. While the band finds a solid groovy, singers J Mann and Jeffrey Nothing feed off each other rotating abrasive and clean vocal lines.
The dichotomy of the back-to-back tracks “One More Day” and “The Dream Is Over” provide the best examples of the split personality of the band. The beautiful piano line and backing female vocals in “One More Day” are the flowery side to the gravelly, abrasive “The Dream Is Over“.
Mushroomhead‘s Faith No More influence is highly evident on numerous songs on XIII but especially throughout “Nowhere To Go“. The band also pays homage to their influences by covering them. XX featured “Empty Spaces,” a cover of the Pink Floyd song found on The Wall. XIII will have a cover of Seal’s “Crazy” (much to the dismay of Slaves on Dope, who have claimed that they were going to cover it first) [Editors note: we have Slaves recording of Seal‘s ‘Crazy‘ and I would like to see what Mushroomhead can do to it].
As XIII is just the second full-length release on a major label, Mushroomhead has avoided a sophomore slump. They created a solid album filled with their trademark sound that will appeal to the many fans of the Cleveland band.