Review Summary: "Sexual Predators" is definitely not for everyone, but for the open-minded, this is a real gem.
Grindcore. A genre that people still find misunderstood. A lot of people that I have met tend to stay clear of the music when the word "grindcore" is mentioned. The term comes off as really extreme and for good reason, grindcore is probably the least accessible music around. So I came across Kissy Face Fashion Faux Pas, a grindcore/electronic band from Detroit, Michigan and I gotta say at first I didn't enjoy their sound. Songs such as "I'm like the Tinman, Heartless" off their EP "All this Danger is Turning Me On", were refreshing, strange and original but at the same time, didn't have a lasting effect.
Fast forward to 2009, Kissy Face Fashion Faux Pas release their debut full length album "Sexual Predators" and needless to say, I was interested to find out how they would sound -- now with new vocalist Brett Bugni in place. "Robin Williams... Man, Woman or Child?" immediately delivers a very, in-your-face, brand of aggression. Distorted keys, dissonant guitar lines and a real sense of urgency are put on display and I'm going along with it. The rhythms are very catchy and the flow of the songs are surprisingly more constructed than one would think.
The vocals vary from very angry Blood Brothers highs to Ion Dissonance lows. It makes for a very original blend of styles. The song titles are long and reminiscent of the "grindcore style" (i.e. long & random). The lyrics speak otherwise, filled with serious subject matter.
"We are selling ourselves for nothing as if we had no worth at all these days. No worth at all" - taken from "You're Looking as Lively as Terri Schiavo Right Now"
The guitars on the album deliver very technical riffs, as well a bit of 1980's brand of soloing on some sections of "Sexual Predators" (think iwrestledabearonce's "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon"). The use of off-time tapping during the beginning portion of "A Shattered Penis Draped Across the Gates of Hell" shows that these guys aren't afraid of creating new, original and not entirely "correct" ways to write. I'm not completely certain whether or not the drumming on the album was recorded live or if a drum machine was used, regardless, the backing end was solid throughout the record. The drums don't bring anything new and refreshing but they deliver exactly what is needed, complimenting the other instruments and never overshadowing or forgetting it's place within the song.
Each individual song brings a different feel and showcases every instrument in the line-up. With songs such as "The Greatest Life Ever Lived... An Autobiography By Tim Allen", "Laserdiscs: The Future Is Convenient" and "My Neck Is A Robot" are driven by keyboard synthesizers and showcase many cool, erie sounds that don't overstay their welcome. The bass is the only thing that goes unnoticed during the whole CD experience and the production is nothing to write home about. Although the production was lacking, I felt as though some of the songs were so good that they really didn't need a stellar mix. My personal favourite song on the album just happens to be the closer, "You're Looking as Lively as Terri Schiavo Right Now". The song is very haunting and brings a real disturbing vibe when the onslaught kicks in, powered by a creepy synthesizer note, being held, bent and manipulated. As for breakdowns, you will find a couple of them on the album but they are done very tastefully, which makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable.
Kissy Face Fashion Faux Pas have delivered a very original and accessible grindcore album -- one of the better debut albums this year. "Sexual Predators" is definitely not for everyone, but for the open-minded, this is a real gem.