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Who's Been Sleeping In My Brain

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Album Review

The title of the album, songs with names like "I'm Her Frankenstein" and "Wish I Woz a Dog," the utterly demented look of Nik Fiend in full make-up and regalia, not to mention the rest of his bandmates — the Alien Sex Fiend ethos was set from the start, in all its wiggy glory. Sometimes the sheer wackiness obscured the fact, though, that ASF offered great music along with the humor, always the distinction between the truly great comedy bands and the ones that are just a bad joke to begin with. While not pretending to be pushing the cutting edge of music, Brain was still a great combination of punk's snarl, glam's giddiness, campily dramatic theatricality equal parts Alice Cooper and the Damned, and not a little bit of envelope-pushing with the band's extensive use of drum machines alongside Johnnie Ha-Ha. With Mrs. Fiend pulling a bit of a Ray Manzarek on keyboards and bass sounds, and Yaxi kicking up the guitar dust, all Nik needed to do was wrap his electrocuted-Cockney singing around it all, and the rest was genius; however, Youth provided the finishing touches as a producer, balancing crispness with just enough echo and murkiness to satisfy all sides. To its further credit, Brain wasn't just one tune repeated over and again; while ASF aren't exactly ever going to be known for ballads, the rumbling Burundi-into-'50s raunch of "Wild Women" isn't the pulsing pagan psychosis of "New Christian Music," which in turn isn't the anthemic, heroic surge of "Ignore the Machine," and so forth. Though arguably ASF has never really moved beyond the bounds of what it set on Brain, what the band did come up with was more than great then and now. The CD reissue adds live-on-Swiss-radio takes of "New Christian Music" and "Crazee," which if anything are even more demented than the album.


Formed: 1982 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A product of Britain's early-'80s Batcave goth punk movement, the North London-based Alien Sex Fiend were led by the eccentric Nick Wade, better known as the macabre Nik Fiend. A staple of the London scene as a member of such relatively obscure groups as the Earwigs and Mr. & Mrs. Demeanour, he made his recording debut under the name Demon Preacher; several other short-lived projects followed before he formed Alien Sex Fiend in 1982 with wife and synth player Christine (aka Mrs. Fiend), guitarist...
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Who's Been Sleeping In My Brain, Alien Sex Fiend
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