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Music: Crash Test Dummies
Crash Test Dummies is a Canadian Alternative Rock band with a definitely folksy bent, especially in their early albums. Although they first hit it big in Canada with the mournful "Superman's Song," they are best known for their hit "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm", a song that showcases lead singer Brad Robert's distinctive bass voice, as well as his frequently bizarre lyrical subject matter and style.

Not to be confused with The Incredible Crash Dummies

Tropes:

  • Creator Breakdown: Their 2004 album Songs Of The Unforgiven is a very bleak, slow acoustic record about death, with no obvious singles. This album caused some of Brad Roberts' friends and band members to worry about the state of his health. He had to reassure them that the somber style was intentional.
  • The Dead Can Dance: the music video for "The Ghosts That Haunt Me".
  • Godly Sidestep: The song "God Shuffled His Feet".
  • Large Ham: Brad Roberts, especially on his solo live album Crash Test Dude which may be amongst the hammiest live albums ever made.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: There Are Many Dangers has somber music. The first line of the song? "If your toast gets stuck in the toaster, do not put a fork in the toaster, while it is hooked up". Brad goes to mournfully croon his experience doing just this.
  • New Sound Album: Give Yourself a Hand was a complete overhaul of their sound, to the point where it is almost unrecognisable as the same band. Instead of writing humorous folk songs about God and body parts, sung in bass baritone, Brad started writing funk and dance songs about partying and sexual fetishes, sung in falsetto. There are also a few pop-R&B songs sung by Ellen Reid on the album, as well. There was some degree of Executive Meddling in that the record company rejected about 30 of their songs before releasing the album, but the band seemed to be having a good time.
  • Not Christian Rock: Despite the occasional references to God and Christianity, they aren't actually a Christian rock band. Most of these deal with Brad Roberts' whimsical views on the subject and even deconstruct it. If anything, the band might be considered Agnostic rock. God Shuffled His Feet is a good example, where God can't answer some questions himself.
    • "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" discusses a bizarre variation of Christianitynote  where people "shook and lurched all over the church floor".
    • Two other examples are "Here On Earth" and "Fundies Never Have Fun On Sundays". In "Here On Earth" Brad discusses how his grandfather was a Christian and was happy living a strict hardworking existence in the knowledge that he'd go to heaven when he died. Brad uses this to contrast his own beliefs of living life to the full whilst he's alive and not worrying about it. In Fundies, Ellen says roughly the same thing about her own grandfather, but explains how he tried to force his religion on her.
      • "In The Days Of The Caveman" shows belief in evolution.
      • The song "How Does A Duck Know?" seems to say that everything on earth seems to be nicely designed, but that it doesn't matter because of the destructive nature of man.
      • The band haven't written too many songs on the subject in recent years possibly because of being stereotyped.
  • One-Hit Wonder: "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" was their only top 40 hit on the Hot 100, but they had other hits in Canada and the UK, along with a few hits on rock stations. However, they are only remembered by the general public for "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm".
  • Shout-Out: Superman in Superman's song.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Ellen Reid on several songs on Give Yourself a Hand.
    • As well as The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead and Fundies Never Have Fun On Sundays.
    • And a few on Demo-Litions, which were recorded between A Worm's Life and Give Yourself A Hand.

Devin TownsendCanadian MusicLoreena McKennitt
Collective SoulAlternative IndiePaula Cole

alternative title(s): Crash Test Dummies
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