On Static-Xís hit debut, Wisconsin Death Trip (Warner Bros.), big-haired frontman Wayne Static sounded a lot like the long-lost little brother in the Rob Zombie/Powerman 5000 industrial-metal family. He hasnít changed his tune much on the bandís monochromatic follow-up, which was recorded before they replaced departed guitarist Koichi Fukuda with former Dope man Tripp Eisen. Since Fukuda was also the groupís electronics guru, the new disc has less of a synthetic feel than the first one. The industrial beats on the opening " Get to the Gone " feel redundant next to Staticís hacksaw riffing, not that they subtract anything from the songís near-death rage. Staticís scary-guy howl is even funnier than Zombieís on the single " This Is Not, " and much more fun than the play-goth penchant for melodrama he displays elsewhere. The band like their rhythms a little heavier than most new-metallers, and their speed chops are far beyond those of the first wave of post-NIN industrial pretenders. But the hooks are few and far between on this disc, and too often their belligerence doesnít go anywhere. The hair makes the band, of course ó but a couple of more interesting songs wouldnít hurt either.
(Static-X open for Pantera and Slayer Saturday June 23 at the Centrum in Worcester. Call 617-931-2000.)
Issue Date: May 17 - 23, 2001