Exploding Head Phenomenon
I just love the humility in bands that embrace their influences without shame. This nascent decade has suffered plenty of over-styled pop bands co-opting the genre label of punk rock (and, unfortunately, softening the trademark edginess of true punk music). On Exploding Head Phenomenon, Seattle's FASTER DISASTER admits to actually being there during the best years of The Cramps, X, and Tex and the Horseheads. Loaded with raw, pre-MTV blues-based punk rock, Exploding Head Phenomenon is a decent freshmen effort for the trio. Songs like "Headache" are filled with hooks filed to a serrated edge by guitar and girl-on-boy harmonies.
Exploding Head Phenomenon is a fun, refreshing listen, if at times a bit too dated. The drum lines are on the classic rock side and lack a melodic, contemporary spin. Rolls and fills, better suited for a really good eighties cover band, trip guitarist [Esteban Buenomuchaco’s] slicing guitar riffs. The explosion of emo-core in the mid-nineties, fronted by bands like Bob Evans, Bitch Magnet, and Fugazi, updated the pulsating snare drum and ride cymbal combo of 80s rock with melodic lines and quirky phrasing. Exploding Head Phenomenon would break ground if the roots were aerated by this kind of alt rock history. As a first recording, though, it is worth the introductory price. As FASTER DISASTER works out the kinks, expect a more polished, cohesive sound, and the headlining spot at local venues.
—Tess. Lotta, Scene & Heard
Belltown Paper, December 2003