Review Summary: Old bones.
I was eight years old and a fan of Korn when I first heard Skeletons
My cousin had no use for his old CDs and let my mom and I sift through his collection and snag whatever we liked. I found a plastic bin with a few keepers inside: the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
soundtrack, Lil' John’s Kings of Crunk
(the CD was see-through and I thought that was neat), and Nothingface's Skeletons, which had a crack across its cover. The artwork featured a skeleton holding a heart on a string. On the back was a picture of the four band members wearing black dress shirts and red ties. I--again, an eight-year-old Korn fan--was curious, and scrambled to press the eject button on my Memorex CD player. I inserted the silver disc, wrapped my "behind-the-neck" headphones around my ears, and pressed play.
I opened the lyric book and saw "Machination" was first. The first line of the song would be: "Let's start a new nightmare." I had no idea what to expect. Metal? Rock? Grunge? These were the only genres I knew. Then it hit me. Loud bass! Heavy guitars! Fast drums! They quickly cease, and I'm reminded of how "Chop Suey!" initially shocked me when it premiered on the radio. The first line is whispered, and I'm hooked. This band sounded heavier than Slipknot, and for that, I was impressed. Not only that, but they pulled off slow, melodic sections with much more virtuosity than said band. I was impressed with how seamlessly Nothingface were able to blend these softer sections with the heavy, more dominant ones, especially on tracks like "In Avernus" and "Ether." I was impressed with Matt Holt's vocals as long screaming sections were followed by delicate vocal melodies. I was impressed with the band's interest in odd time signatures. I was impressed with the acoustic interlude during the second half of "Incarnadine," the marching-style drums on "Patricide," the number of times Matt drops the f-bomb in "Murder is Masturbation." Why would my cousin want to give this away?
was a heavy metal opera for me. It was the soundtrack for a summer of pool parties at tattoo artists' houses, Razor scooters riding through suburbs, and motocross videos on VHS. To hear it now is a trip through memory lane, and to be honest, twelve years later and I still hold it in high regard--unlike the rest of my eight-year-old music taste. Skeletons
still sounds as groovy and pissed-off as it did when I thought holding up devil horns was socially acceptable. The appeal of alternative metal may not be as prevalent as it was in 2003, but in terms of talented alternative/nu-metal artists, Nothingface should have a place near the top of the list. They are that good.