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The Apex Theory
TOPSY-TURVY
(DREAMWORKS)

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New metal is old enough now that its bands have begun to splinter off into subsets. Thereís the empty-headed crunch of hedonists like Limp Bizkit, the self-flagellating yowl of Papa Roach and Staind, Linkin Parkís emo proselytizing, and the politicized indignation of System of a Down. Although the Apex Theory at first resemble a slightly blurry xerox of that last act ó both are Armenian-American bands from LA who boast a complicated, prog-rock-derived rhythmic agility ó the group are actually more interested in splicing together elements from each micro-genre of new metal to create a sound thatís instantly recognizable and instantly attractive to young men on the prowl for crucial MTV2 lifestyle accouterments. So the bandís DreamWorks debut packs a familiar, occasionally hollow punch, but itís also more effective than you might expect. The lead single, "Shhh . . . (Hope Diggy)," surfs on a wave of drummer Sammy J. Watsonís bottomless tom rolls and bassist David Hakopyanís muscular fretwork; "Drown Ink" adds some faintly Middle Eastern guitar noodling to its Deftones-like groove. And singer Andy Khachaturian is as comfortable moaning lines like "Panic under pressure cooker/Thoughts lead me dying sooner" as he is railing against global warming.

BY MIKAEL WOOD

Issue Date: June 13 - 20, 2002
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