Review

NOTHINGFACE Nothingface

Album · 1995 · Nu Metal
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3/5 ·
aglasshouse
Nothingface's little-known 1995 debut unsurprisingly shows them at their most vulnerable and creatively amateurish. As a result the band seems to play much of their sonic onslaught safe, leaning heavily on their contemporary influences to guide them through the ordeal of a studio debut. These influences mainly revolve around the increasingly-popularized Korn sound with stocky, punchy drum fills and semi-reserved riffing to make way for what is generally the most-sought piece- the vocals. Such a production choice is a bit of a problem though as Matt Holt in his earliest stages really hadn't quite perfected his scream nor his clean vocals, both of which would become hallmarks of the classic Nothingface sound. At his best, Holt sounds like a mediocre proto-Chad Grey-esque character, with his emotional value not nearly being up to par with his future work.

The band occasionally hits some marks though- mainly because these lovable bastards are so talented- with really well-thought-out constructions in their music. For example, 'Severed' is likely the most epic and impressive tune out of the bunch, showcasing not only Houck at his best with his blistering syncopation but also a rather fantastic and roaring breakdown that makes the track hold up to even some of their greatest hits. I cannot for the life of me understand why it wasn't chosen as a track to re-record for Pacifier in '97. Another highlight is the atmospheric 'Communion', another very Korny track where Holt channels Jonathan Davis with a warbling, weak-sounding whisper layered on with microphone distortion effects, creating quite the formidable atmosphere for fresh-out-of-the-underground band. But while these tracks are indeed great and a fun romp either way, Nothingface 1995 is still an album that could do with much improving, which is almost certainly to be expected with such a new band who hasn't quite found their footing at this point in the music world.
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Unitron wrote:
52 days ago
Good review, haven't heard much of this one, but Severed is fantastic.

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