(Crash Test Dummies – “Give Yourself A Hand” 39′, Vik recordings 1999)
Six years after the great “God Shuffled His Feet”, the Canadians Crash Test Dummies are coming back to the world’s rock ‘n’ roll scene. If the two-year’s pause between the first (“The Ghosts That Haunt Me”) and the second album was normal in some way (qualitative ripening and auditing), then the long pause after the mega-seller “God Shuffled His Feet” is very confusing. The album “A Worms Life” didn’t bring any big excitements. And, when the fans (including me) will joyfully reach for the new Crash Test Dummies product, they may be: confused, or: disappointed, or: intrigued, or: all that together, with little bit a sense of betrayal. Because, there is something new in the music of Crash Test Dummies. But, that is not new in today’s popular music. The music that this bend produces, varies from grunge and hard rock to trip-hop(?!), and there all doubts about the new album of Crash Test Dummies are coming from.
But, everything is setting down for a short time; Bred Roberts and the company appear in front of us with their new concept, which functions in this frames more then good. While on the last album the associations on “pure man” from the Stone Age were very strong, teasing the pop-icons (Byrne, Dilan) and hospital’s stories, here the texts are stirring between sex (masturbation is in the title of the album) and drugs, between love and pain, between dullness and revenge. So, the musical patchwork we meet in “Give Yourself a hand” doesn’t seem so confusing, as well as the mixtures: male/female vocal, hot/cold, fury/tender, fast/slow. Finally, in the first half of the 90-ties, maybe the world was pleasant place for living. At the end of the millennium, the things transform in some of their other faces, offering more darkness, more violence, more pain, but less humor, irony and pure happiness.
Although in the most fierce moments Crash Test Dummies recall us on Red Hot Chilly Peppers and Faith No More, yet this is their new expression. For those who liked the old Crash Test Dummies, the album “Give Yourself a Hand” offers only a little. For those who will be faithful to this bend no matter what, this will increase their collections. Those in the middle will find some good and some bad songs in this album. With great omnipotrence of the good ones.
The first single from “Give Yourself a Hand” – “Keep a Lid On Things” together with the video spot is charting well. Which means that few more singles will appear. Probably the title song, as well as “Get you in the morning”, “I love your Goo”, “I want to Par-Tay”…