Artist: Alien Sex Fiend
Title: Too Much Acid?
Format: Double LP Gatefold
Catalogue Number: GRAM41
Year of Release: 1989
A1 It Lives Again
A2 I Walk The Line
A3 Nightmare Zone
B1 Get Into It
B2 E.S.T. (Trip To The Moon)
C1 So Much To Do, So Little Time (Bun-Ho!)
C2 Haunted House
C3 Smells Like...
D1 Hurricane Fighter Plane
D2 Sample My Sausage
D3 Boneshaker Baby
If you like shouty music, you'll probably like this. If you prefer your shouty music with up-tempo goth-styled drum beats, heavy guitar, bad keyboards and worse samples, then this is definitely the record for you.
Most tracks follow a very similar pattern. The drum beat (almost exclusively bass drum and snare in a boom-crack-boom-crack stylee) comes in, a guitar riff or chord (singular) is plucked/hit, keyboards waft around, samples misfire and lead singer Nik Fiend shouts the title of the track, and whatever other words pop into his head.
This formula becomes quite enjoyable over the course of this double album, and I found myself smiling when during Get Into It the phrases "game of cricket" and "Jim'll Fix It" came out of Nik's mouth. Well done, I thought, they even rhyme.
The approach worked less well on Hurricane Fighter Plane, which sounded like they got a bit lost part way through it, and features one of the worst guitar solos I've ever heard. And apparently, owning a hurricane fighter plane is great, because you can still get from A to B whatever the weather, or rather "don't matter if it rains", as Nik puts it.
I tended to like the instrumental parts - the coda to I Walk The Line, the start and end of Nightmare Zone ("Living in a nightmare zone, they took my cat, I'm all alone!") and whenever Nik is lower in the mix and his effected moaning and whooping becomes part of the whole big mess of noise - then it works, I'd even go so far as to say it's quite good in bits. But then they'll ruin it with poorly chosen samples - there's an orchestral stab that ruins Get Into It, sirens and gunshots pox-like on Nightmare Zone, and strangely also on Hurricane Fighter Plane.
The exception that proves the rule is the otherwise tedious Sample My Sausage which is made bearable by the inclusion of Robbie Coltrane's turn as Dr. Johnson in Blackadder III, when having read Baldrick's magnificent octopus, shouts "A sausage!" and storms out, on account of not including the word 'sausage' in his dictionary. And thankfully, the sample that wound me up so much in Bun Ho! is absent from the live version of it, but makes a brief and unwelcome appearance in Haunted House instead. The album ends with a great deal of noise, drones and effects, which I like a lot, but they even ruin this by throwing a cheap Warner Brothers "That's All Folks!" sample on at the end.
Looking at the inside sleeve, I thought that Nik Fiend looks like a cross between Marilyn Manson and Norman Wisdom - knowledge of the heavy-handed antics of each of these contributes something to an appreciation of the overall sound of Alien Sex Fiend. And all three of them go on for way too long.