Neurotica – 2002 – SmackDown!/Koch

Neurotica image
S= Atheist, Unheard>>KELLY SCHAEFER>>Starrfactory, Unheard
D= Murder Dolls, Neurotica, Sebastian Bach>>JASON WEST – G.J. GOSMAN

Schaefer and Bowen founded the band in Sarasota, Florida in 1995. The act spent two years playing locally. AC/DC singer and local resident Brian Johnson helped the act find management and produced the band’s debut, Seed. Johnson also produced Living In Dog Years. The hard rock band drifted towards mallcore to gain a more contemporary sound. Following the release of Neurotica the band participated in Ozzfest. SmackDown! (of fake wrestling fame) dropped the band and the band dropped itself. Scahefer would restart Atheist.

The band opened fror Kid Rock, Staind, Fuel and other pop bands. At one point the band’s debut album mistakenly was pressed a bluegrass band’s music, something which confused those who received early copies.


Boy was I certain this was going to be detestable even before hearing the music. The band's discovery by AC/DC's Brian Johnson and his subsequent production of the band's debut was not going to make a difference either. This being on WWE's Smack Down Records, and WWE being the bastion for white trash fakery and all things retarded, there was no legitimate reason to believe Neurotica will feed any emotional need other than wife beating. Then there was the band's name which famously rhymes with Geriatrica. Two car drives with Neurotica in the CD player later and this isn't half bad. Imagine a meeting of Jackyl/Slaughter with Prong. This is loud, forceful, brash and above all effective. In fact, unlike WWE (neé WWF) that's spawned this, this is not a fakery. Indeed the blokes can play.
It is hardly a surprise to those who remember Atheist - the band of neurotic singer Kelly Shaefer. What is surprising is the drastic change of style. The vocals are not the raspy thrash metal vocals metal fans know from Shaefer. The voice is more conventional and sung here. Do notice the System Of A Down resemblance on the opener Ride Of Your Life though. Neurotica delivers infectious melodies with enough lack of leads to satisfy the modern commercial sensibility. The sound is tight and the production top-notch. Special production kudos go to the drum sound whose snare sound is unlike the pots and pans tone of most modern drummers and whose bass drums are booming. Having said that, we would regard ourselves as remiss if we were not warn the reader that this is no hard rock masterpiece either. Lyrics like, 'my friends shit on you' (repeat) prove that. Neurotica's lapse, however, in no way impedes the hard rocking nature of the album and the pleasure of listening to this cruising down the highway.