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Reviewed by Dave.
Today I am reviewing the debut self titled full length release from Facepilot. This is a group of solid musicians who don't put any limits on the musical genres they are interested in exploring. If I had to really try to tie it together in a word or phrase I'd say for the most part it's a really hard driving record. In my opinion, the overall vibe reminds me of early Helmet or Tad. It's like seeing crazy ol' Bob come roaring down a back road in his old '82 Ford pickup, with a 12 gauge cradled in his left arm and that frightening gleam in his eyes. You know the man means business, and things are bound to get ugly for anyone in his way.
It would be easy to say this is just another post hardcore album. There are definite nods to the Amprep bands of the nineties in the use of dissonance and jarring time changes. These elements however, are used tastefully to the bands credit.
Most of the songs on this album are really about no frills heavy handed riff rock. The drums pound mercilessly, the bass roars thick with distortion , the guitar rages franticly bouncing from spasms of minor key dissonance to driving classic metal chugging, passages of dirge-like doom and even moments of spaced out psychedelia. The vocals are furious tirades about your garden variety social ills such as people's cats, Alaska and pink bunnies.
One of my favorite things about this record is the fact that the more experimental elements of the songs work well within the overall compositions and things never get too chaotic. This really gives the moments of chaos that much more power leaving a stronger impact on the listener.
I do pride myself in being an even handed reviewer and not some slobbering fan boy so I would have to say this is not the most original material I've heard. While I really do like the clever arrangements and the way the different musical styles are put together in a really focused solid way, there really isn't anything new going on here. It's basically an auditory collage of Botch, the Jesus Lizard, Eyehategod and Acid Mothers Temple which is pretty rad. Besides, part of the original anarchist movement from the start of the 20th century was collage art so I say more power to them.
In spite of the fact this not the most original material, I really do enjoy Facepilot. They play with a lot intensity, raw energy and humor that really comes through strongly on this recording which is not an easy thing to pull off. I do also really like the fact that they maintain an excellent balance between technicality and brute force.
Using Jimmy's time honored scale of 1 to 10 minutes in reference to the auto erotic pleasure produced by this album I'll give 8 minutes.