Without a doubt Cleveland’s best band. I’ve been to numerous Shroom concerts and they have so much energy on stage. This CD is a “best of” compilation of their three CDs. For those who aren’t familiar with Mushroomhead they a lot like Slipknot.Mushroomhead has been together for 9 years, and they started the whole costume wearing ordeal on stage, NOT Slipknot. That really dosn’t matter, what does matter is the complete awesomeness of their music. Shroom is able to combine so many aspects of their talents into one amazing sound. What really impresses me the most with their work is the dueling vocals by Johnny Nothing and J-Mann. Nothing’s voice is more harmonious compared to Mann’s all-out rap inspired growling. The other distinctive sound of Shroom is their use of keyboards. In their live show Shmotz(keyboardist) uses 4 keyboards. It really makes the songs seem deeper and more emotional. Best songs on this CD are really all 13, but if I had to choose favorites I’d pick “Never Let it Go”, “Bwomp”, “Before I Die”, and “Solitaire.” I would HIGHLY recommend the purchase of this CD, if not its ok, sooner or later you’ll hear these guys all over the nation.
XX is the band’s debut national release, featuring re-mixed material from their hard-to-find independent releases Mushroomhead(1993), Superbuik(1996), and M3(1999). Quality Q-pack packaging, killer production and ultra hi-gloss artwork makes this one of the most sought after releases of 2001.Although classifiable as nu metal, the nine-piece Mushroomhead don’t rest on the sugar hooks or one-shot blasts that are associated with the genre, instead expanding and twisting ideas in a manner that’s genuinely bizarre and thoroughly entertaining. ”Before I Die” is a furious headbanger, while ”Never Let It Go” is reminiscent of Faith No More circa Angel Dust, and ”Born of Desire” is like a head-on collision between Slayer and a symphony orchestra. For those who love a raw, serrated riff with no interference, ”Episode 29” is 1 minute 35 seconds of pure nectar. Ultimately, this Cleveland group’s effort to expertly integrate styles and strains is 98 percent successful. This artistically progressive metal ensemble deserves attention. –Steffan Chirazi
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…All I can say is that this cd did not disappoint me in any way, because it ROCKS! There is something for everyone on XX. If you like rap, Techno or metal, you’re in for a treat, because it’s all in this album. You will also be surprised to note the presence of a piano. Why be surprised? Faith no more did it already you say? Well unlike faith no more these guys can actually make a piano sound hardcore! I think the piano is most prominent on the track “These Filthy Hands”, where it is used as a backdrop for the heavy bass, guitars and angst filled lyrics: “Don’t catch me If I fall, I may have jumped (you never know), You don’t know me at all!” Are the words, which blend perfectly on the aforementioned track. XX is mushroomhead’s debut cd, but the songs contained within are nothing new to the legions of underground fans that purchased albums at their shows. It’s more of a “Best of” for them…I highly recommend this cd, for a change from the redundancy that is nu-metal. So what are you waiting for?…
This is really about a 4.2, but i can’t 4 stars, its too good. Ayway, about the music. Mushroomhead aren’t another Slipknot,or just another nu-metal band. Mushroomhead are a mix of gothic keyboards, haunting samples, seven-stringed fast guitars, heavy bass, low (and melodic) vocals, and great drumming. You really have to listen to them to get an idea of what they sound like. Now to the band. …bass- Pig is very talented bassist, and I probably word compare him to Ryan of Mudvayne. Very low. Schmotz, keyboards- Schmotz adds a VERY cool element to the ‘Shroom. He is very often used and very talented. I love him to death. JJ Righteous, guitar- JJ is no longer in the band (Bronson is the guitarist now) but I’m puttin’ him cuz he’s on the album. JJ was a great guitarist, fast, heavy, and very good. Skinny, drums- Founding member, and one the greatest drummers alive. He is a huge part of ‘Shroom. Very fast yet very intrique. Bronson, samples- Bronson is now the guitarist, and the new sampler is DJ Stitch is now the sampler but you know the drill. Anyway, Bronson used many turntables and haunting samples on this album. J Mann, vocals- I think this is the guy who sings more melodically and high-pitched. Although sometimes he can get a little annoying, he’s a great singer. His best wrok I think is on “Bwomp”. Nothing, vocals- Great, low-pitched singer. His screams are great on all tracks, and he does a pretty good job of rapping on “Bwomp”. Gravy, guitar- basically, see JJ’s description.Now about the make-up. They go for a more uniform look than Slipknot. But the make up really doesnt matter, though they look pretty cool! Check this out soon.
Mushroomhead’s first album, “XX”, brings to mind Faith No More around the time of “King for a Day” and “Angel Dust” with a little of Mudvayne’s “L.D. 50″ thrown in, yet they have their own unique sound. Part of that is the combination of guitars and keyboards / piano. Few metal bands make the effort to blend and harmonize the two instruments this well, Faith No More and Type O Negative topping my mental list. What makes the album really pop, however, are the two lead vocalists.
Jeffrey Nothing bellows melodically in a Jonothan Davis (or perhaps Mike Patton) style wail, while J Mann growls, shouts and even raps along side. Based on the liner notes, it appears the two singers often write their lyrics independently and on a couple of tracks they even sound like they’re arguing back and forth and interrupting each other. Rather than sounding chaotic and confused, though, this is actually what makes Mushroomhead’s sound work the best. Good examples of this are Solitaire Unravelling, These Filthy Hands, and Never Let It Go.
Other stand-out tracks include The New Cult King, Born of Desire, and Too Much Nothing (very short, but one of the catchiest tracks). There are a couple of weaker tracks, particularly two tracks each performed by only one of the two vocalists (Chancre Sore and 43) but in all, it’s a fairly solid album and an impressive debut.
Let me first explain that everyone who thinks this CD is anything like Slipknot has not listened to this CD, and their review should be ignored. The ONLY similarity to Slipknot is the fact that they wear masks. For those out there that think Slipknot wore masks first, you’re wrong. These guys were around long before Slipknot.In any case, the CD is indeed really good. Every member of this band plays a prominent part in the song writing process (unlike Slipknot), and it shows in the music. The keyboardist and sampler for this band can actually be heard over the guitars on much of the album, giving this band a much more industrial sound than Slipknot. Another thing one would be quick to notice about this band is the fact that they have two vocalist, and each writes lyrics independently of the other. This makes for some interesting songs, especially the single “Solitaire/Unraveling,” where J Mann appears to be singing about solitude, while Jeffrey Nothing sings about unraveling.The music on this CD, as to be expected from a band this large, is very complex. Double bass drums are all over this record, as well as blistering guitar riffs, and interesting samples that add depth to the music. Piano is used frequently on this album, creating some incredibly beautiful songs, the best of which is “These Filthy Hands.” This is easily the best song on the album. There are also two instrumental tracks on the album “Epiphany” and Episode 29.” While is may seem strange to end an album with instrumental tracks, it works quite well here.Unfortunately, the album does have a downside to it that costs it one star. There are a couple of songs on here that are just too weak to be placed on an album this strong. They basically consist of J Mann growling and screaming the same few lines over again. These two tracks are “Xeroxed” and “Chancre Sore.” It’s understandable to have a few weak tracks, considering this album is a culmination of all three of their previous indie releases, but this band could have made a complete masterpiece. Luckily, it’s just these two tracks that are poor. The rest are quite good.Stand Out Tracks: “Solitaire/Unraveling,” “Before I Die,” “These Filthy Hands,” “The New Cult King”Definitely buy this CD if you’re looking for the next evolution in heavy music.