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London WC2 Astoria

The song remains the same....

London WC2 Astoria

The song remains the same. During the course of heavy rock history we've learnt that for every Guns N'Roses there's a Tigertailz, for every Nirvana a Stone Temple Pilots. Fake, copycat, bandwagon-jumping buffoons whose careers are short, messy and unproductive.

Tonight, we soon realise that for every Korn there's a Static-X and for every Marilyn Manson there's a Coal Chamber. Pity the fools. What we have here is the ropier end of the metal genre. Thanks to the platinum-selling legacy of Brian Warner and Jonathan Davies, the ever-increasing batch of nu-metal acts are a tiresome blend of low-rent goth theatrics, facial piercings, self-pitying sixth-form poetry and, of course, big shorts.

One of nu-metal's more successful acts, Static-X's jerky, industrial racket is impressive for five minutes until you realise that beneath the angst and sledgehammer riffery there's little else to hold the attention. They may run through their debut 'Wisconsin Death Trip' album with vicious aplomb, but when EVERY SINGLE FUCKING SONG goes 'Chug chug A WAH! Chug chug a chugga chugga' it's difficult to see how long they'll be gracing the pages of the world's metal glossies.

At least their heavy-handed, one-riff racket sounds slightly vicious compared to Coal Chamber's sloppy goth meanderings. This really is a new low, right down to frontman Dez Fafara's gleaming bald skull. If Static-X and Coal Chamber really are nu-metal's upcoming stars, then it's only a matter of time before their big shorts are pulled down, leaving their copycat arses on display for all the world to see. Here's hoping.

Type O Negative are a different matter. Their roadies wheel out church benches, a steaming cauldron and a ball of chain. At last, some laughs. Led by the 10ft tall Playgirl model, ex-road sweeper Pete Steele, Type O are a band who've eschewed metal's fickle fashions - they've always been goths.

Blending Sabbath-guitars with Sisters Of Mercy stylings, they have genuine panache and a couple of tunes to boot. It's an old-school, headbanging, metal set, made up of tongue-in-cheek anthems like 'My Girlfriend's Girlfriend' and 'In Praise Of Bacchus'. Type O are the gothic Spinal Tap, and for that, sick genius.

Ditch the big shorts, release the bats and feel the darkness.

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