Bliss(This) Records, 2009
REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/25/2009
The Alien has landed. Mike Trapp, a.k.a. Mike “The Alien” E.T., a.k.a Capt. Freak, a.k.a the sole member and performer of Crimson Faced, recently brought us his latest offering, entitled Lunatic Binge. Binge finds Mike still plying his trade in a bizarre blend of industrial metal, classic rock and funk, and the guitars are still everywhere. All in all, though, it’s a less frantic approach than his last release, with more attention to melody and structure and much less guitar acrobatics and studio chicanery.
Mike once again takes all the vocal duties here. He definitely sounds smoother and well-rounded on this release than he has in the past. The unfortunate bottom line, though, is that he’s not a great singer and has a very limited range. On the slower songs, these limitations become more obvious.
As much as I appreciate Trapp’s talent, my overall impression is one of a very telescopic vision. Mike is an amazing musician, and I’ve always been impressed by his guitar skills and his DIY spirit, but I think I’d like to hear Mike collaborate more with likeminded and complementary musicians. A drummer would be great, too, as the drum machine leaves me a little flat after a while. I think one guy locked up in a studio doesn’t always make for fertile creative ground. I was left with a feeling of him trying a little too hard to emulate the likes of Trent Reznor and Korn. A few less F-bombs would be nice, too.
Lunatic Binge is a step up in some ways from Trapp’s past releases, with a far more contained hysteria and much tighter performances, but his limitations as a singer left the biggest impact on me. All the same, I’ll continue to follow the Alien in his travels, as this is a musician with an indomitable spirit and tons of creative energy.