Your Ice Cream's Dirty

Devilhead

Loosegroove, 1994

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devilhead

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/06/2014

Hearing this record for the first time was a hell of a surprise. I went into the record with one idea and came out of it with that idea totally warped and twisted. Devilhead was started by the brothers of the late Andy Wood of Mother Love Bone and were signed by Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard’s upstart label Loosegroove. The record was mostly ignored at the time of its release and there’s a damn good reason why: it’s without a doubt, one of the worst records ever made!

From the first song, “Too Much Protection,” it’s clear that the band was just goofing around with vocals and almost anything else possible, right down to the very low-fi production. Vocalist and main lyricist Brian Wood is the main culprit here, as he’s the face of the band and everything seemed to be riding on his shoulders. His guitar-playing brother Kevin is the only decent musician in the revolving lineup of musicians that made up the band. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Brian was also the singer for the Soungarden side band Hater, from which several other members of Devilhead came. Hater, being a much better band that at least seemed to care about what their album sounded like, managed to crush Devilhead musically. On this album, Devilhead tries a little bit of everything. There’s the attempt at passing for punk on “Don’t Make Me” and the quasi-balladry on “There,” complete with slurred, almost Waits-ian vocals which just make the listener reach for the skip button.

In order to drive the point of obnoxiousness home, the band’s six minute epic, “Polly” feels like six minutes, drawn out and ridiculously stupid. It feels to me that the band were signed because of their history with Gossard; then they went into the studio and did whatever the hell they wanted and Gossard put it out. On “Troubled Moon,” the band even goes out of their way to sound like Brad, Gossard’s own side project that was getting some notoriety at the time.

On their self-titled song, Brian Wood sings like a lousy lounge singer while the band rocks a mid-tempo beat behind him – and guess what? Nothing exciting happens! It just sounds like ‘90s mediocrity. “We Like You” sounds like macho swagger in the shape of a crappy rock song. The coup de grace of the record is ironically titled “Funeral March,” and it feels like one as well. The last five songs on the album are stupid little throwaways designed to be hidden tracks but feel just like added torture.

In essence, although Devilhead made one more album in 1996, don’t expect hardcore and devoted grunge fans to be begging for a reunion album or tour any time soon. If it wasn’t for Oasis’ Be Here Now or Black Flag’s What The…, this album would go down as the worst album I’ve ever heard.

Rating: F

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