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Good fun, but never really fitted anywhere - 80%

Vim_Fuego, August 6th, 2004

Hands up if you remember Scatterbrain. OK, there are a few hands there. Hands up if you remember any Scatterbrain songs other than "Don't Call Me Dude". OK, very few.

Yep, poor old Scatterbrain, cursed by that hoary old affliction, the novelty single. "Don't Call Me Dude" is a tale of psychosis induced by the Californian predilection for calling people "dude". Basically, some dude (oops!) steals lead singer Tommy Christ's girlfriend, and every time he hears the word after that he flies into a homicidal rage. Still with me? Listen to the song and it all becomes clearer, Doo-wop intro and outro included.

'Don't Call Me Dude" received huge attention and was also well promoted on the back of a hilarious video. There was a bit more to Scatterbrian than just one song though.

Basically, the whole of 'Here Comes Trouble' is a novelty from start to finish. Scatterbrain was well named, because some of the ideas on the album are... well... random. "Earache My Eye", the comically camp Cheech and Chong number, receives Scatterbrain's odd treatment. "I'm With Stupid" is a song about growing a second head, which happens to be brain damaged. "Down With The Ship" is kind of an oddity, borrowing and sampling from other songs. Not just a few songs, a LOT! It's fun to play "spot the riff" while listening to the song. You'll hear Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, and quite a few others I can't identify. There's also a whirl through Mozart's "Sonata #3". So much for side one.

Side two is much the same- a tribute to Tommy Christ's penis, a poke at censorship, the infamous single, and finally a tragi-comic beatnik take on why milkmen shouldn't drive drunk.

So what's the music like? Imagine Faith No More on happy pills and you won't be far off the mark. Far from the heaviest thing you'll ever hear, Scatterbrain skirts a fine line between thrash and funk metal. The guitar pairing of Glen Cummings and Paul Nieder are highly versatile, bassist Guy Brogna could slap it with the best of them, and drummer Mike Boyko seemed to enjoy his double kick drums.

Unfortunately, Scatterbrain sank from view, not through lack of good ideas, but seemingly through poor timing. If 'Here Comes Trouble' had been released a couple of years earlier and they may not have been drowned in the plaid clad grunge tide.