Written by: PP on 28/02/2010 17:34:27

Fuckface, and their self titled record, are easily in the top5 strangest musical experiences I've been given during my seven year span as a music critic. It's difficult to find any information on the band, as they broke up in 1996, before they had a chance to release their debut full length, "Fuckface", a screechy, noisy, grunge meets scrap metal tinged record that re-defines "experimental" in every possible way. Consider the following: the band has no Myspace, they never released a full length album, and the band has previously defined itself as a "percussive art experiment". They have three drummers, but none of them are allowed to use the cymbals or snare drums. As one drummer puts it: "I had to learn to express rhythm without a snare drum, hi hat, or cymbals. Those things make drumming easy. Fuckface made drumming hard - and rewarding.” Contract disagreements and personality differences left in 1996 resulted in the album never being released, but now Latest Flame has managed to finally put the record out, and it's safe to say you'll never have heard anything as strange as these guys before.

So with three drummers bashing the shit out of their equipment in a manner that can only be described as rhythmic pulsation, you can expect the band's sound to be VERY heavy on the percussion side. The two guitarists seem to be playing whatever suits them the best, be it rock'n'roll, grunge, or just feedback oriented noise. You've got a bassist filling in here and there, and an utterly strange vocalist wailing, shouting, and, yes, speaking on top. Sounds... interesting? Then in the middle of the record you have a 14 minute mammoth, "Wave Of Mutilation", which sounds like any other Fuckface song--full of feedback oriented dissonance and odd melody--before finishing just beyond the two minute mark for almost 12 minutes of live recording where the band are pretending to be Black Sabbath on stage in front of a thousands-strong crowd - or that's the way I interpret it at least - and the crowd is NOT happy having bought tickets to that show. In the beginning, everyone is cheering and clapping, waiting for something to happen, but there's just silence on stage. Then chants of "we want Black Sabbath" start appearing on a regular basis, until someone comes on stage saying "Good evening! I am Black Sabbath's (inaudible) management of this crew, and I'd like to tell you all, that Black Sabbath really wants to play here in Milwaukee tonight. Black Sabbath wanted to Rock n Roll. Black Sabbath, do NOT appreciate being hit by flying objects. Please, 1776 was a long while ago, lets cool out and just have a good time okay?" Anyway, Black Sabbath does not come on, and the crowd starts shouting "fuck you" and "We want sabbath", and a riot begins to form, until shit starts breaking and people start getting hurt. The purpose of this track is a complete mystery to me, just like the rest of the band.

The actual 'tracks' aren't any less weird. "Snitch" sounds disgustingly freaky because of the vocals, "Buffalo Bill" is monstrously heavy on the drums, and "Black House" is just a good example of the indescribable musical unit that is Fuckface. I honestly can't explain the record any more than that to you, it falls too far outside of any musical project I've ever laid my hands on. So that begs the question to be asked: is it good? I don't really know. I think it's interesting, because it's so fucked up, and curious, because I don't really understand it, but for the love of God calling it good is stretching the envelope so much that it tears into pieces. Did "Fuckface" need to be released in 2010, 15 years after it was originally recorded? There are arguments both for an against, as it's certainly an artistic expression more than a manufactured mass product, but nonetheless I can't find it in me to recommend it to anyone except those who spend their time exploring the furthest and most forbidden corners of the musical spectrum.


Download: Snitch, Black House, Buffalo Bill, Thorn
For the fans of: Experimental music and percussion
Listen: No Myspace available

Release date 25.03.2010
Latest Flame Records

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