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Screaming Headless Torsos: 2005

David Fiuczynski’s Screaming Head-less Torsos return to action on 2005 (Fuzelicious Morsels), with “Fuze” on guitar, Fima Ephron on bass, Gene Lake on drums and Dean Bowman on vocals (Freedom Bremner adds vocals to three tracks). They’re a hard-rocking bunch, but improvisational mettle and compositional depth are integral to their sound. The ska-metal blend of “Woe to the Conquered” strongly recalls L.A. alt-rockers Fishbone. “Faith in the Free” is an over-the-top rallying cry that gets remixed by Ephron as a bonus track. “Just for Now” finds the Torsos at their best, in a Zappa-esque mode, with Bowman and Fiuczynski doubling a seemingly impossible line like it’s nothing. The group’s tongue-in-cheek delivery can be wearying, and some of the political lyrics fall flat: “Oh, what a bummer/I’m in my Hummer/I’m just so dumb and dumber.” But Bowman’s smoky vocal on the Hendrixian ballad “No Survivors” is a plus, and Fuze’s approach to fusion remains fresh and distinctive.

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