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
- Answer Song: Not deliberately, but "Superman's Song" seems to be a rebuttal to "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath. While the latter has rejected the humanity he previously saved and is poised for a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, the former is about embracing humanity.
- Badass Baritone: One of the bands trademarks is Brad Roberts' deep, resonant bass voice. He would later use it to take up Inuit throat singing.
- 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.
- Our Hero Is Dead: "Superman's Song": "I despair the world will never see another man like him."
- Revolving Door Band: At this point, the "Dummies" moniker is really just Brad Roberts and whomever feels like playing with him at the moment.
- Superman in "Superman's Song."
- The title of "Afternoons & Coffeespoons" is one to T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
- Silly Love Songs: Averted. Brad Roberts has gone out of his way not to write any of these, as he feels they're too easy and that there are far too many of them. They do occasionally pop up, such as "And It's Beautiful."
- "Swimming in Your Ocean" could be considered a subversion. It's about making love, but the singer's mind wanders during the act on subjects as diverse as why God allows things like tornadoes and train wrecks, and whether or not UFO's might exist. He comes back down to earth at the end, only to wonder if he's impregnated his lover.
- Singing Simlish: "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm."
- 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.