Deadguy - Fixation on a Coworker (Cover Artwork)


Deadguy: Fixation on a CoworkerFixation on a Coworker (1995)
Victory Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: mikexdudemikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

"M-e-t-a-l-c-o-r-e -- it's not a four letter word" If some of the bands that have come into popularity these last few years still have you skeptical, there are some bands you can always return to that will remind you of why you loved it in the first place. A lot of people cite Botch or Converge a.
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"M-e-t-a-l-c-o-r-e -- it's not a four letter word"

If some of the bands that have come into popularity these last few years still have you skeptical, there are some bands you can always return to that will remind you of why you loved it in the first place. A lot of people cite Botch or Converge as "that" band, but for me, it's always been New Jersey's Deadguy. Their Victory debut and sole full-length, Fixation on a Coworker doesn't resort to recycled pedal tone riffing, sing-along emotional choruses or trite double-bass rolls; the formula is a simple combination of real hardcore and real metal, resulting in some of the most beautiful sources of chaos and would later become the envy, and eventually the template, for a new era of metal bands.

Production-wise, you won't find pristine, but something more granular; if it was an object, you could probably cut yourself on the ridges. Of course, this only benefits the music as the angular riffs sound like blood-lusting buzzsaws and the palm-muting and tom hits are particularly blaring and heavy.

"Doom Patrol" smacks you in the face right away with galloping speed and bottom-string riffs lush with dissonant natural harmonics. The vocalist, who harnesses overall metal intensity and the throat-grinding attack of a hardcore shout, brings the song to a brief moment of silence before a slow, string-bending breakdown. "Pins and Needles" is a little less straightforward, opening with intricate tom fills and syncopation while the words "This job runs you / this day kills you / this suit owns you / this man tells you what to do" are drilled into your head. Unlike some blood and gore-obsessed metal bands, Deadguy plays off of real life horror, and as a kid who fears a future confined to a cubicle, I can confirm this. Decreasing the pace, "Die with Your Mask On" is a mid-tempo, E chord chugging rant before breaking into a chromatic frenzy as a foundation for the lines "so quick to deny and patronize"; this song, especially, you can hear subtle traces of what would eventually coin the term "mathcore."

More harmonic dissonance opens up "Makeshift Atomsmasher," definitely the most brutal (not this kind of brutal) and unpredictable cut on the album; at only 2:38, Deadguy shows you don't need length to prove technical proficiency. In fact, only one song reaches over three minutes. "Nine Stitches"'s bridge makes me wish I paid more attention in my AP Music Theory class, as the time changes may not trip up Dillinger Escape Plan, but it will confuse any casual headbanger (1-2-3‚?¶what the fuck, right?); subtlety is this band's forte. Next, "Riot Stairs" enters with gloomy, slightly clean arpeggios. Some fast hardcore-esque drums join, thundering along to the desperate yelps of "therapy, not love" -- once again, something I can relate to. The last track, "Crazy Eddie" (the song that reaches over three minutes) consists of three themes: the first is based around a Slayer-influenced single note riff played extremely slow; the second section comes in after a long pause that almost seemed like the song was over with some kickass rhythmic exercises; the third ends with hard and tedious chord strikes.

No solos, no unnecessary breakdowns -- but still technical and heavy as fuck. Fixation on a Coworker left huge shoes to fill that very few have come close to. This is essential modern metal.


People who liked this also liked:
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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.
SlowStupidHungry (December 9, 2008)


Old Victory was so good!

Deadguy, Bloodlet, Integrity, Snapcase, etc.

This album is a monstrous beast of a record. Metalcore is cool. Shitty mainstream rock with metalcore trappings is not."

I'd rather put it this way: In the 90's there were some good bands that happened to sign to the worst label to ever be associated with hardcore.

mikexdude (December 7, 2008)

Maybe one day, I'll be the next JonDaley... a bald canadian.

SloaneDaley (December 7, 2008)

I told you you Mikey Edge just contribute, and look now, you are getting compliments abound. Score is for you!

mikexdude (December 7, 2008)

That's the greatest compliment I've ever gotten.

mpc (December 7, 2008)

Awesome record, I listened to this like crazy in high school. Great live band too. I actually liked this record better than the Kiss it Goodbye one but that may just have been due to changing tastes or whatever.

Also, I'm beginning to like mikexdude's reviews the best on this site. They all seem to be well written and accurate.

SilentStorms (December 6, 2008)

I'll have to check these guys out, as I've always heard good things. But still, Botch just HAS to be better. Score is for the review.

JoelSweetheart (December 5, 2008)

it's been a long time since i've heard these guys. wow.
like almost 15 years...

Ikari (December 5, 2008)

Seriously, the Rorschach->Deadguy->Kiss It Goodbye lineage was just an amazing batch of records

feeeding5000 (December 5, 2008)


Old Victory was so good!

Deadguy, Bloodlet, Integrity, Snapcase, etc.

This album is a monstrous beast of a record. Metalcore is cool. Shitty mainstream rock with metalcore trappings is not.

Thus_Spoke_Sean (December 5, 2008)

nice review!

essential album!

SlowStupidHungry (December 5, 2008)

Could never get into this band. Maybe because I only bought this for the Rorschach connection.

Score's for Rorschach.

totallysuperawesome (December 5, 2008)

I first saw these guys at the Down Under in New Brunswick, NJ in 95 or 96, and was completely floored. They've been one of my favorite bands ever since. Deadguy was my Black Flag. "Fixation..." was my "My War". Aside from being so technically proficient and manic and heavy, Tim's lyrics about dysfunction, broken families and hopelessness surrounding the future terrified me, probably because I was confronted with these realities personally and because it mirrored most of the friends in my circle.

Kiss it Goodbye's "She Loves Me ... She Loves Me Not ..." might be a better record, but "Fixation..." is truly a landmark record. A seminal record from a time when Victory was putting out truly fantastic records (Snapcase's "lookingglassself" & "Progression Through Unlearning", Guilt's "Bardstown Ugly Box", Bloodlet's "Entheogen", By the Grace of God's "For the Love of Indie Rock", to name a few).

sugarfull (December 5, 2008)

Kiss It Goodbye's full length was great, but I like the songs on the Choke EP even more. Maybe a review is in order.

nocigar (December 5, 2008)

I don't see a linked picture, all I see is this shitty ass artwork.

LinoleumMagazine (December 5, 2008)

That picture rules! There's nothing like a hardcore show in a suburban driveway.

the_cobra (December 5, 2008)

i saw them a bunch of times back then and they never dissappointed. great band

Ikari (December 5, 2008)

This is a great record, and although I would stick them closer to noise mongers like Unsane rather than any metalcore band, the review is pretty good.

Living in Jersey, I got see these guys a bunch and they were always kind of frightening to watch and not just because of them; people were crazy for these guys.

Kiss It Goodbye does come highly recommended, another great record and maybe darker than this one.

mattramone (December 5, 2008)

It's a band on Victory.

This band does not feature Tom Kalnoky.

You claim this band does not suck.

Clearly, you are in the wrong. Score is for having a 24 hour Subway down the street for my stoned ass.

tenwestchaser (December 5, 2008)

When I hear Deadguy I immediately recall Rogue's Deadguy Ale. Good beer. I should check this band out also. Maybe have a drink and a listen at the same time.

conduit (December 5, 2008)

Score is for the records victory used to release. This band rules.

mikexdude (December 5, 2008)

DrGunn, I was not aware of such band. Thanks for informing me, everyone in Deadguy are incredible musicians.

DrGunn (December 5, 2008)

this album does indeed rule. after this album, tim and keith (the singer and guitarist) quit and started kiss it goodbye, who's sole full length i think i love even more. super under-rated band.

mikexdude (December 4, 2008)

Sugarfall, one of your comments inspired me to write about this. I dedicate it to you.

sugarfull (December 4, 2008)

Also, forgot to mention "The Extremist" is such an emotionally charged song, my favorite on the album.

sugarfull (December 4, 2008)

Yes,yes yes! Great review, and pretty timely for me. This album will always be a classic, and pretty much any band that Keith Huckins did guitar in is amazing. Score is for those bands, and for this album.

Essential music.

bryne (December 4, 2008)

Score's for the linked picture.

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