Home Read Classic Album Review: Mushroomhead | XX

Classic Album Review: Mushroomhead | XX

The Cleveland horror-rockers might impress alienated teens, but nobody else.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


You gotta feel sorry for Mushroomhead. Let’s face it, when you see eight guys in psycho-killer masks and jumpsuits playing nihilistically destructive alterna-metal, two words leap to mind: Slipknot wannabes.

Truth is, the Cleveland octet have been around, masks and all, since 1993 — two years before Slipknot. Too bad their music isn’t as far ahead of its time as their image. XX, the band’s fourth CD and major-label debut, is a watered-down cocktail of high-impact post-industrial thudding, hard-chugging rap-metal misanthropy, gothy synthesized creepiness and lyrics that may impress your average alienated teenager (“If it were up to me I’d free Charles Manson”) but are sure to induce eye-rolling among anyone old enough to buy their own beer. Bottom line: Slipknot can kick these guys’ asses without breaking sweat. Which goes to show, it isn’t being first that counts — it’s being best.