“Total Universe Man” by Valient Thorr

Artist: Valient Thorr
Title: “Total Universe Man”
Label: Volcom Entertainment
Release Date: June 7, 2005
Genre: Metal/Punk
Rating: 3/5

This metal/punk hybrid frustrates thanks to its solid musicianship getting saddled with the vocals of a guy who calls himself — now get this — “Valient Himself.” In order to fully suss out this album I listened to it twice, and both times I asked myself “Is this a gag?” because the solid playing seems totally incongruous when paired with the wildly off-key and just plain bad vocals of Mr. Himself. That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining and even amusing, but I don’t understand why a band would willingly shoot its own promise in the foot for the sake of including a singer as bad as Himself. Well, whatever the case may be, I’m going to not only give these guys a slightly-better-than-passing grade, I also recommend them to any who like the “what the fuck?” aspect of the band’s singular presentation. Is this a joke? Let’s just say that humor is in the eye of the beholder, and if truth be told I must admit to a fondness for these crazy bastards, and Himself’s vocal kind of remind me of a parody of Suicidal Tendencies’ Mike Muir and the already-parodic Billy Milano, and how often do you run into that?

Track Listing:
1. Prologue: Civil Blood Makes Civil Hands Unclean
2. Showdown
3. Palm Reader
4. Man Behind the Curtain
5. Intermission: Thesis of Infinite Measure
6. I Am the Law
7. Stick and Stones
8. Intermission: Theme from 6th Grade Watercolor
9. Hijackers
10. We Believe in Science
11. Tough Customer
12. Blow Up the Pyramid

Official Website: http://valientthorr.com/

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