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.