American Head Charge : Poughkeepsie The Chance

Slipknot[/url]had better watch their backs...

Being a stinking, decrepit pisshole in the centre of Poughkeepsie’s main crack dealing district, The Chance theatre is a perfect place to watch the seven-headed metal beast that is American Head Charge.

A gang of former drug addicts/dealers, assault rifle enthusiasts and sexual deviants from Minneapolis, tonight the Head Charge are playing second on the bill to 30-something hardcore metal band Biohazard, whose long and tawdry career is finally grinding to a halt.

Things are only just beginning for the young and (relatively) good-looking AHC, who’ve made a storming debut album with Rick Rubin and have got the coveted support slot on [a]Slipknot[/a]’s upcoming European tour. Tonight, they demonstrate why they’re one of 2002’s most promising metal acts.

Wearing vintage 1930s suits that they used for a magazine photoshoot earlier in the day, the band make like N*SyncKnot as they bound around the creaky stage in time to their Ministry meets [a]Faith No More[/a] meets [a]Slayer[/a] racket. Songs like ‘Americunt Evolving Into Useless Psychic Garbage’ and ‘All Wrapped Up’ are propelled by ultra heavy metal guitar riffs, furious industrial drumming and screeching, white noise courtesy of dual keyboard players Aaron and Justin, who wrestle with their synths and gurn a lot.

Frontman Martin Cock looks and sounds like FNM’s Mike Patton after a particularly gruesome bout of shit love while barechested and beautiful guitarist Wayne Kile is like Incubus’ Brandon Boyd without the bongos. Call the News Of The World because the rest of the band look like serial sex offenders and members of ‘The Addams Family’. Something for everyone, then.

Even the sceptical redneck, potbellied Biohazard fans who started off tonight by screaming abuse at the band are in the moshpit by the end of the set, punching the younger members of the crowd in the back. At the back of the stage, a gaggle of American Head Charge groupies sing along to every word and later storm the tourbus for a ecstasy and whiskey fuelled ‘party’. Complete depravity. [a]Slipknot[/a] had better watch their backs.

Andy Capper