"Fiend Without A Face is a rockabilly, surf-type of band, and then West End Motel is like an Americana,drunk country Shane McGowan, Tom Waits-y vibe. More of a vaudeville sound." That's what mastodon guitarist says in the intro to the press blurb for this pair of somewhat strange and eclectic albums. He goes onto say, "The Fiend Without A Face songs were written back in '95-'96, and so on "Mastodon's like, you just smoke a lot of weed and write whatever comes to your mind, basically. I look at Mastodon like an abstract painting, but I'd look at Fiend Without a Face like a paint-by-numbers thing, and I would look at West End Motel as a straight-up, some badass motherfuckers painted a painting Bob Ross-style. Squirrels and stuff."
Good to know I'm sure but none of which makes either Fiend Without a Face or West End Motel a record that one would wish to hear more than once. I have no interest in surf music but I like to think that I'm a fairly open-minded type of chap but the phrase which kept coming into my mind during each listening session was, "hu-hum."
I'm sure that there's plenty of love and respect for the genre behind these albums but this is one of the most pointless vanity projects I've heard in quite a while. It's inoffensive but entirely unengaging.
Disc 1: Fiend Without a Face – Fiend Without a Face
2. Black Grass
3. Green Slime
5. Bank Robbin Bandits
7. Hot Rod
8. New York
9. Don't Like
12. Get Straight
Disc 2: West End Motel – Don't Shiver, You're A Winner
1. The Confident Wino/…And We Are Here To Entertain You
2. The Devil Called Me Tommy
3. I Like It A Lot
4. She's On Fire
5. Under My Skin
6. Silly Old Song