CD Review

Needulhed - "Pave The Planet"

By Marcus Pan

Think Bladerunner. Think Hellraiser. Think 23rd century. Think Bladerunner AND Hellraiser IN the 23rd century. No, wait…that's not it. I'm missing something. Think Bladerunner AND Hellraiser IN the 23rd century with lead acting roles going to the Animaniacs. Yeah, that's what was missing! Finally, now, you have somewhat of a picture of Needulhed, an industro/ techno/ goth type of triplet ensemble that claims New York City as their home and the 23rd century as their time. The band is made up of Mortimer, Weeks and Nack who handle vocals/guitar, bass and percussion/drums as their primary jobs (although others are listed…Nack operates their time machine for example). Here's where it gets a bit confusing for me. On the album, however, Snip is the man on drums. Whether this was a name or line-up change, I'm not sure.

Needulhed are poised to take the mainstream by storm right now. They've written the musical score for the upcoming movie "Cannibals," from the production house of the Woofenill Works, Inc. ( Don't know the Woofenill Works name? Don't worry…they've had their hands to some extent in such notables as Terminator 2, E.T., Jurassic Park, Casper and…hell, I could go on. Take a look at their web site. Needulhed will also appear in the movie and be heard on the soundtrack of the upcoming "Romeo's Run." With the movie/soundtrack credits coming in and their 1998 release of "Pave the Planet" on Gamma Ray, they'll be Tripping Away into the headsets of a lot of people soon…or at least that's my two cents in the prediction racket.

Pave the PlanetNow that I've exhausted my Nostradamus mode, we can go into the music itself. Needulhed contains pieces of a lot of different genres of music. You can distinctly hear the industrial, electronica, goth rock and even some pop in their music. But they still maintain a great distance from other music I've been listening to these days because, somehow, they still remain amazingly distinct and different. It's the way they employ the samples and instruments, I think. They add an almost cartoon-like quality to their music and their visual look increases this tenfold. On the CD liner they also have a crafted story of who the characters that are Mortimer, Weeks and Snip are and where they came from. Just in case you're wondering, they were reanimated after death by the All Exhaulted Oog to create the music that would unite the world in peace. This, as you probably figured out by now, was in the 23rd century. They're here with us, hanging out in the late 90's, to find four 45 records. Yes, really…it says so.

Some of my favorite tracks on the CD include the second track, Prolificy, which is, for lack of a better description, what I would call an "industrial ballad." The song has unexpected breakdowns, exaggerated vocals and the catchy chorus line of "Nobody told me what I always knew, living easily is all I can do." Their tenth track, and one which also was their music video debut (available for a mere $5.00 from their web site), Necessary Evil is a deep-sounding, bass popping tune. This is one of the quintessential half-dance half-slam songs that I so love. The synthetic riffs in the background keep it together and smooth even when going from heavy guitar to break down. Wonderfully crafted, it is IMPOSSIBLE to not move, shake, jump, or outright fucking dance when this song is playing. I've tested it in various environments including a computer lab, my home and at the behest of my two year old daughter. All have proved my theory true…it just effects you.

Other great tracks of mention is the eighth, called Eclipse of the Rain. It is a strong, building-up style of song that has a resonating temper. Mortimer's half-speech, half-sing vocals bring the darkness of this song home. "…and tears that flow through the seams…you've eclipsed the rain…" to quote a bit of this one. Rajababa opens the CD with a jungle like, cartoon sounding backbeat complete with Halloween reminiscent keyboards and Mortimer's deep, super bass voice in a breathless continuity. Spilling words out of his head like you'd pour Guinness from a pitcher. And the breakdown that comes later, the warped Animaniacal vocal portion…it's a silly sounding song and another you can't help but bounce around to in like silly manner.

Needulhed has somehow rocketed to the top of the exalted "Pan's Favorite Bands" list somehow with only one album. This is something that typically doesn't happen. I will make the first show I am able to be at without damaging myself due to time/place/responsibility issues and I hear their live stage presence is remarkable. You can get their "Pave The Planet" CD at their web site for only $10…a goddamn bargain. Take a ride with the spooky time travelers from the 23rd century and see what's in store for your great-great-great-grandchildren when the world becomes one with the music of a group of superhero undead.

Contact Information:
Mail: Needulhed, 853 Broadway, Suite 1516, NY, NY, 10003-4703

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