Crazy Town is a band designed to live up to its own name. Led by the devilish and charismatic Shifty Shellshock, they scored a big success with the song Butterfly, which is included in this debut album. This album rarely gets a look in with the history books, so let’s take a listen and hear how crazy a Rock based band can actually get, musically and otherwise. Their music is a fusion of Rap and Metal, particularly with a Nu Metal edge. Sure this was trendy at this point, but let’s hear if this music has any substance to its name.
Intro begins with some delayed vocals stating, “This is Crazy Town” and has some spoken word dialogue about the humanity of their existence, over electronic beats. It’s an interesting and short piece, with the band poised, ready to unleash mayhem.
Toxic begins with some liquid bass guitar, before launching into quite an awesome tune that definitely combines Rap and Rock music, followed by a chorus with crunchy Nu Metal guitars. This does sound evil and satanic, but that’s the point. This is music for those who dig anti-religious concepts and music to match. Still, this is quite a good tune and Shifty Shellshock is a great singer/rapper. It does sound interesting. Understandably, these guys are living by the slogan, “Here for a good time, not a long time”. A good start to an album that should be interesting to listen ahead. Decent song. It ends with delayed vocals and sustained distorted guitars. Toxic indeed.
Think Fast begins with some DJ scratching and Metal guitars. It launches into an awesome piece of music that is clearly Nu Metal in intention, but aggressive and a bit different. It’s okay and a bit different, but it is clear that these guys are working on a fairly formulaic piece of music here. A rather trashy tune is here, but then again, what did you expect? These guys obviously were not intending to be the greatest set of musicians out there, but they do fairly well at their Rap/Rock/Nu Metal hybrid sound. Nonetheless, a super awesome listen. This is very heavy music, so if you like softer tunes, stay away. A cool listening experience, this sounds really impressive. A very powerful tune, it sounds very psychotic. Towards the end, a super fast rapping section emerges, with plenty of drug references. No surprises there. A good song nonetheless.
Darkside is up and begins with some annoying electronic sounds. This eventually launches into a poor attempt at EDM styled music. Soon enough, Shifty Shellshock launches into the mayhem at hand, and he sounds inimitable. A very different tune, it is fairly rubbish despite the singing/rapping which sounds very unique from Shifty. It’s okay, but nothing really new, groundbreaking, or decent here. “Legally insane, deranged, never changed…” makes perfect sense if you are at that drug-influenced level, but most listeners will dismiss this tune. Of course, there are multiple drug references here and this tune is definitely not designed to be heard by people if they like nice and sweet music. The keyboard part is super annoying, and it is a poor attempt at EDM fusion. Skip this one if you wish, it’s not the best to be fair. Mediocre.
Black Cloud features Jay Gordon and begins with some weird electronic keyboard parts, followed quickly by Radiohead esque cut-up breakbeats and a very odd approach musically. This is a throwback to the 1980s musically, and it doesn’t fit the band’s music or persona very well. In any case, this is okay but most other bands would junk this one. In any case, this song is a deep and meaningful sounding tune, which runs contradictory to Crazy Town’s musical purpose to create loud, party-trashy music. The chorus has some awful vocals and this does fall apart after a while. Anyway, it’s okay, there have been worse songs out there. Still, it should be avoided and this album reaches a stumbling point. It’s barely passable. Not the best of the best, and the chorus is fairly horrible. Anyway, pass this one by and you should be fine. There is some electronic trickery towards the end of this trite, and you’ll be glad when it concludes. Rubbish. It is very lengthy as well, over five minutes long.
Butterfly is the moment that is the height of the efforts of Crazy Town. It begins with a deep bassline and a very catchy and memorable Fender Stratocaster lick, ripped from an old Red Hot Chili Peppers song. Soon enough, it launches into a great song, without question. This is mostly sexual lyricism, but there is also a hint of romanticism about it. A wonderful piece of music that articulates the male sexual desire for a dirty woman in the best way possible. It is a great song, no doubt. This piece easily could be put into a Rock DJ Mix set for people to hear. With references to Sid Vicious and his girlfriend, Nancy, Crazy Town, and Shifty Shellshock do a great job here. “Come and dance with me,” is repeated here, to effect. No doubt an excellent song, and Rock fans in particular will fancy this tune. A great era defining song, just as Rock music was beginning to wane in its stylistic influence. Great job guys, a classic song.
Only When I’m Drunk is a terrible piece of music that is a cover of The Alkaholiks and is an interesting lyrical tune. It is an okay Nu Metal styled piece of music and has some interesting pseudo-Rap lyrics here. It is not something designed to impress Rock and Metal fans, particularly the latter. These guys were preparing for drink and drug soaked nights ahead, and it sounds really awesome. If you have ever been under the influence, this tune will make perfect sense to you. Electrifying and interesting sounds, and it does sound great lyrically for a terrible song. Wacky and crazy, it ends with sustained distorted guitars. Out there, all right.
Hollywood Babylon features Mad Lion and begins with some interesting electronic sounds, complete with robot speech, before launching into a horrible sounding tune. The guitar riff here is also truly horrible, and although there have been some glorious moments on this album so far, this is pure garbage. It just sounds like a musical joke, even for the band’s Nu Metal stylings. Likely filler, save your ears and stop this song immediately. The fact remains that these guys do not have a consistently great ear musically, even on their debut album. Enough to shake one’s head, please do not listen to this terrible song. Unless you really dig Rap, Metal, and especially Nu Metal, then avoid this like the plague. Neither sensational nor special, this also has some terrible Rasta styled vocals, before returning to this terrible main section of the song. Do yourself a favour and please avoid this, you’ll thank yourself later. Junk. The outro goes, on and on, just like the lyrics state. Pathetic.
Face The Music begins, sounding like a continuation of the previous terrible tune. This shares around the same audio quality control as the previous tune, and is just as bad. One must note Shifty Shellshock’s voice is powerful and unique, but this music doesn’t live up to the hype, at least on this song. With many explicit lyrics and a powerful sound section, this tune is very Nu Metal and sounds fairly ordinary. The music is just not the best, and the guitar riffs are fairly awful, once again. This would make more sense if one was under the influence, but the average listener will not enjoy this. There is a neat breakdown in the second half with DJ style scratching and some neat electronic sounds, before this trite ends. Quite ordinary. It ends with a load of fuzz bass to finish.
Lollipop Porn is an amusingly titled tune. It quickly launches into a better piece of music that should have been the B-Side to Butterfly. It’s a good piece of music for what it is but still relies on the awkward fusion of Nu Metal here. Many satanic lyrics are here, and the sounds and textures are much more minimal here. It does sound better as a result. As mentioned earlier on in the album, this is not music to play around your grandmother. A good piece of music that gives a much-needed break from the mediocrity of most of the album, this song is explicit and profane to the nth degree. A fun and hedonistic listen with a huge sexual edge, it is rather catchy. An interesting piece of music, it ends with some ambient styled textures, with some punchy drumbeats. It’s okay, but not perfect. The beats at the end are insane and should be sampled in the future for an EDM hit. It ends with wobbly electronics.
Revolving Door begins with stardust sounds, some funky Fender Stratocaster riffing, and launches into a piece of music about one-night stands. These guys obviously aren’t religious, and much prefer to indulge in the fruits of life. Nonetheless, just like the previous song, this is a better piece of music than expected. Humourous, witty, and descriptive, Shifty Shellshock comes across as a pickup artist and pervert, but that is exactly the intention. Sampling some retro beats and some porno styled sounds, with a nod to Kid Rock, this is a better side of the band that should have been explored more rather than Nu Metal styled mediocrity. A really interesting tune to hear, this does sound very gentle compared to most of the rest of the album. These guys are like the satanic Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The outro just has the chorus and the funky jam section powering along. Fresh, funky, and fun, this is actually quite good. Nice tune.
Players (Only Love You When They’re Playing) begins with some sensual female lyrics muttered here by Jenny Sipprelle, some funky electronic sounds, and sexual harmonies, before Shifty Shellshock launches into a tune about being a pimp and a playboy. Surprisingly, this is also quite good listening, and the music is nicely and carefully constructed. If only the majority of the album wasn’t forgettable Nu Metal try-hard music, then this would have worked better. Regardless, this is a dirty, devilish, and amusing tune about lusting after women. There is no room for romance in Crazy Town, as the band lives up to their name on this tune. A really good piece of music, it does have some porno samples in it. A different and excellent listen, this is the equivalent of Eminem’s early stuff, just set to a more Rock informed setting. A very cool listen and worth your ears. Out there, only for adults here.
B-Boy 2000 launches into a strange Rap tune with KRS-One featured in it. It soon launches into some ordinary sounding Metal guitars and is very direct. Another okay-ish tune, this has a duet between Shifty Shellshock and KRS-One, to a fairly mixed result. It has an awkward fusion of Rap, EDM stylings, and Metal. Sure, on some levels, this is easily appreciated, but it still comes across as a rubbish tune. This can be easily ignored, especially as one approaches the end of this mixed bag of an album. The rapping is very good, but the musical track isn’t. In any case, the lyricism is good and refers to being a badass B-Boy 2000 being a space-age superhero. Again, if these guys had cut back on the drugs and sex a bit and placed some more effort into the songs at hand, this would have worked better. It has a strange descending guitar part towards the end that sounds very Metal. Good, but not fantastic.
Outro http://www.crazytown.com is the outro tune, and straight up, should be avoided. It’s just random beats and textures, just as the internet was becoming a new phenomenon. Still, this isn’t the best. The loop at the end is horrific. Like fingernails down a blackboard actually. It ends with some multitracked vocal samples, and the album is done.
This is definitely a mixed bag of a musical listen. It’s not outright terrible, but it is a bit of a letdown on the heavier Nu Metal-styled songs which sit uncomfortably next to the more focused, mainstream Pop/Rock tunes. In any case, if you do feel nostalgic for the music around the turn of the century and don’t mind a bit of explicit sounding lyrics, then this is for you. Otherwise, just listen to the Butterfly single instead. It has potential but soon enough, the devil’s temptations of drugs and alcohol made these just a passing moment in the history of time. Shifty Shellshock in particular had a drug struggle and is now clean and sober, always a good thing. Musically, it’s fairly average, but it does have its own unique moments present.
A mixed bag of music.