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Mutoid Man - Helium Head (Cover Artwork)

Mutoid Man

Mutoid Man: Helium HeadHelium Head (2013)
Magic Bullet

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: BryneBryne
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Stephen Brodsky of Cave In and Ben Koller of Converge and All Pigs Must Die make up two-thirds of Mutoid Man. That alone should encourage most fans of modern independent hardcore and metal to give Helium Head a spin. Here, we have a pair of the absolute brightest and most innovative minds in the gen.
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Stephen Brodsky of Cave In and Ben Koller of Converge and All Pigs Must Die make up two-thirds of Mutoid Man. That alone should encourage most fans of modern independent hardcore and metal to give Helium Head a spin. Here, we have a pair of the absolute brightest and most innovative minds in the genre rejoining forces (Koller briefly drummed for Cave In back in 2005 and 2006) and it's pretty much exactly like having Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen play for the same team, if Jordan and Pippen were a couple of psychedelic metalheads from Boston instead of basketball hall of famers.

Based on the pedigree of their members, Helium Head is more or less exactly what fans would expect, but the familiarity doesn't make the trip any less fun. These songs–just seven of them in about 16 minutes–twist and turn with the furiously reckless abandon of Koller's most affecting work with Converge, and contain enough doubletime Sabbath-in-the-space-age riffs from Brodsky to satiate any Cave In enthusiast. "Gnarcissist," "Scavengers" and the especially excellent "Sacriledge" blaze by in mathy bursts, with loads of frantically calculated drumming and lightspeed guitar-tapping. Brodsky's vocals are distorted throughout, which oddly make the standout moments such like his Robert Plant-esque howl on "Scrape The Walls" all the more memorable.

Those howls are replaced with guttural screams to great effect on the completely bonkers "Friday the 13/8," which, yeah, is in 13/8 time but doesn't seem cramped at all. "Lost in the Hive," meanwhile, has the drive and dirty heaviness of some of Cave In's earlier work–rejoice if you're still clutching your original press of Until Your Heart Stops–and "The Manimals" closes Helium Head in similar fashion, with a hooky vocal melody from Brodsky and demonic riffs.

While Mutoid Man is unquestionably a side project–Koller stays pretty busy with Converge, and Brodsky's exploits with and without Cave In are near-constant and well-documented–Helium Head benefits from that. It's calculated, but has a extremely appealing, fast and loose quality to it that fans should enjoy quite a bit.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Russe11 (December 24, 2013)

SilentStorms,

That was a great interview! Thanks for posting.

davebrave4 (December 23, 2013)

*Yer* unquestionably a side project.

tenwestchaser (December 22, 2013)

This album rules. Can't believe it's missing from so many year end lists, so far. Seems like plenty of people are in the know yet somehow I feel it's getting snubbed.

SilentStorms (December 20, 2013)

I also reviewed this and tried to post an interview here with Stephen Brodsky. Twasn't posted, of course. Until now.

Here's my 30 question interview with the man. My god.

http://www.zegemabeachrecords.com/brodskyinterview/

stillstrungout (December 20, 2013)

I listen to this album almost everyday, it blows my mind. Mutoid Man is exactly what I hoped Acid Tiger would be... except times 10. Converge is king, but hopefully Ben will use his side project energy on MM and these guys will release a real full length

MN_DrNick (December 20, 2013)

Shit's tight.

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