Static-X : Machine

Static-X : Machine

Score

Demonstrates that they're capable of socking some flavourful shocks to the nu-metal system.

Fronted by a man called Wayne with three-foot-high-and-rising hair, LA-based foursome Static-X lurk amidst a glinting sea of piercings, tattoos and designer sportswear. So, what sets them apart from America’s increasingly generic nu-metal masses? Partly the fact that they insist on fetishising technology instead of throwing half-arsed B-boy stances. And because, while their lyrics do cover well-worn ground (isolation, futile relationships, overstated angst), it’s the way Wayne Static tells ’em: in unnervingly sensual tones, throaty, scalded and generally unhinged. Which just about salvages opening lines like [I]”I see your bleeding dark side/I feel your angry heart”[/I] from the title track of this, their second album.

Tawdry poetry aside, ‘Machine’ makes a compelling sequel to the impressive 1999 debut, ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’. Tightly produced by Deftones/Pantera supremo Ulrich Wild, the sound is snappier and edgier overall, which ensures fantastic tech-metal fusion on tracks like ‘Get To The Gone’ or the dysfunctional disco of ‘Otsego Undead’. This is hard rock spawned from chaotic loops and samples, all screeching machines on overdrive strapped to massively frenetic, bulgingly muscular guitar riffs. That these men don’t pretend to be stroppy grounded youngsters is also refreshing, although they do flaunt a sense of the ridiculous – take the pompously doomy instrumental conclusion of ‘A Dios Alma Perdida’.

Like its predecessor, ‘Machine’ is a sporadically brilliant, rather than wholly definitive work. This album flags with the desperately scatological ‘…In A Bag’ (really, nobody could be more eloquent about poo than Faith No More’s Mike Patton), and ‘Cold’, which comes over more sludgy than brooding. These are momentary glitches, however. While Static-X might not swagger with the celebrity value of some of their peers, ‘Machine’ demonstrates that they’re capable of socking some flavourful shocks to the

nu-metal system.

Arwa Haider

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