It was quite a few years back when I was first exposed to Brent Hinds’ Fiend Without a Face while indulging in a scorpion bowl at Trader Vic’s in Atlanta. For anyone familiar with the tiki-themed restaurant chain, Fiend Without a Face seems like a band created for that very setting. Their oddball blend of rockabilly and surf music felt right at home among the rich Polynesian aesthetics, and while the crowd sipped mai tai’s throughout the band’s shortened set, I wondered when the rest of the world would be introduced to Hinds’ bizarre concoction.
The wait is finally over as the band’s highly anticipated debut album will hit shelves tomorrow as part of a two-CD lot touted as Brent Hinds Presents…. The eponymous release will accompany an additional Hinds-led act, the quintessential bar band, West End Motel. Fiend Without a Face features Hinds on guitar and vocals, Mastodon’s Brann Dailor behind the kit, and Steve McPeeks on bass guitar. Together, the trio creates an offbeat sound that’s part beach party, part bluegrass, and part low-budget horror film.
The album opens with “Calypso,” a two-and-a-half minute intro of feverish fretting and spine-chilling wails, before giving way to a double-dose of auditory amusement in the forms of “Black Grass” and “Green Slime.” “Cha Cha” plays like the perfect soundtrack to any Polynesian paradise and is followed by the Western-inspired “Bank Robbin Bandits.” The album’s incipient single, “Tsunami,” is the ultimate pool party hit, with fluid guitar riffs carrying over the track, and “Hot Rod” immediately hits full throttle, with maniacal guitar picking atop Hinds’ ominous shrieks.
Throughout the album’s thirteen tracks, each song channels differing divinations, from guitar legend Dick Dale to Dracula himself. The band’s unique fusion and fez-fitted fashion, paired with Hinds’ wildly virtuosic fret work, creates the consummate auditory experience for anyone bored with the modern music scene. Fiend Without a Face is an off-base triptych, and I’m anxiously awaiting their next attack.
Fiend Without a Face Track List
- Black Grass
- Green Slime
- Bank Robbin Bandits
- Hot Rod
- New York
- Don’t Like
- Get Straight
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