"Fiend Without A Face + West End Motel"

By Dr. Abner Mality

WAY off the beaten path we go with Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds and a couple of side projects he's doing for shit and giggles. I'll say one thing for him, neither Fiend Without A Face or West End Motel sound ANYTHING like Mastodon, so at least we don't have to sit through another solo project that sounds just like the original band. Nope, Mr. Hinds goes back to his rural Georgia roots here and metal is nowhere to be found.

Fiend Without A Face (named after the great 50's flick) is more fun than stuffing an M-80 firecracker down the high school toilet. It's 50% shockabilly, 50% surf-rock weirdness and impossible to dislike unless you're a troll from the frosty forests of Norway. There's some great fast and greasy finger picking going on in tracks like "Black Grass", "Green Slime", "New York" and "Hot Rod"...real catchy stuff!  "Don't Like" is almost aggressive in a punk/metal way but still pure oldschool rock, while cuts like "Cha-Cha", "Cosmonaut" and "Tsunami" are weirder and quirkier. You can hear occasional xylophone, organ and other odd instruments, but not much in the way of vocals (and what there is, is pretty crazed). I have a sweet tooth for this kind of prehistoric rocking and Fiend Without A Face does it proud.

West End Motel is a different proposition. Sorry, Mr. Hinds, but honesty demands that I admit: I loathe country music with a passion. Southern rock I can take, but drunken hick music from the hills is just something that's not in my blood. And West End Motel sounds VERY drunken and VERY hill-spawned. Yet despite my dislike of the genre, I still know the difference between REAL country music and the phony, sanitized crap that tries to pass itself off as country today. West End Motel can take some pride in being part of the former, not the latter.

So if you dig rockabilly, surf and boozy country music, check out this 2-for-1 CD at a special low price.