Various : Pledge Of Allegiance

Nu-metal behemoths recorded live. Be afraid...

A spy for the Martian Federation would report that

Planet Earth is dominated – militarily, economically

and culturally – by a single superpower. It might also

report that a substantial proportion of this mighty

empire’s youth are infatuated by a pop group whose

drummer sniffs decomposing bird corpses. For fun. And

whose best known song is entitled ‘People Are Shit’.

To which the Martian High Command would probably reply

with whatever the Martian is for “what the fuck!?”

Hey, it’s an Earth thing, you wouldn’t understand.

Same as you’d find it hard to grasp why anybody would

want to own a live recording of a concert which, for

the most part, sounds like high-explosive bombs

dropped on a dogs’ home. During a thunderstorm. What are

they going to do with it? Dance to it? Wank to it? Use

it to scare sparrows off the skunk plants?

To be fair, our green friends might find themselves

tapping a tentacle or ten to the first three tracks, all

of which are provided by those ever so slightly insane

purveyors of the finest mentalist-metal, System Of A

Down. Here, at least, is a sense of playfulness, of

musical experimentation. And then along come Slipknot

who smash you in the face, rip your heart out, eat it

and then shit down your throat. Musically speaking.

It’s migraine time. Slipknot live are the musical

equivalent of being bombarded with house bricks. So we

ask again – what sort of demented bastard would

actually enjoy listening to this barbaric cacophony?

But Slipknot‘s contributions at least have the merit

of being savagely unlistenable. Because the two Mudvayne

tracks – ‘Under My Skin’ and ‘Pharmaecopia’ – are just

boring. Mudvayne lack either SOAD‘s inventiveness or
Slipknot‘s barbarity. They’re kind of the Leicester

City of nu-metal. Which makes American Head Charge

Port Vale. Or possibly Swindon.

A band called No One relieve the tedium somewhat with

their contribution – ‘My Release’. But it’s doubtful

that anybody except the most fanatical nu-metal

completist will actually have stayed listening as far

as track ten.

Pledge of Allegiance proves three things. Firstly that

live recordings of tours – no matter how “legendary”[/I] – are seldom a

good idea. Secondly that SOAD are streets ahead of ALL

their American competition. And lastly that the nu-metal genre

is cluttered to the point of collapse with way too many

second rate, make-weight lightweights.

It’s time to discriminate. It’s time to get choosy. It’s time for a purge.

Steven Wells