Through some gross and unforgivable oversight on the part of the record company this album comes with no glittering endorsement from Ross Robinson, so we’ve had to make one up. “‘P.S.I.’ really is an album,” said the reclusive Gandalf of nu metal. “Nay, it’s a rock album full of rock that rocks like a big, um… oh fuck it, I can’t tell them apart. It’s all just shouting really, innit. Oh, is that my cheque?”
It’s metal’s third summer of self-loathing and it’s time to homogenise or perish. It’s major label law: every new grunty-grunty band must have the required quotient of whining Tool gothness, Linkin Park nearly-tunes, Slipknot gargling and NIN‘s pervy industrial pig welding noises. Bagpipes/didgeridoo optional, but a distinct advantage. The only choice available to Johnny Nu Metaller in 2002 is his persona – he can be either SoCal Pretty Boy With Issues, Bunny Shagging Satan Superstar, Balding Tortured Troll or Professional Wrestler In Halloween Headgear.
With the third album from Nottingham’s Pitchshifter, however, a new player emerges into the arena of WWF-rock, The Brainwashed Limey. Like Lostprophets and A before them, Pitchshifter are pasty Britmetal yokels who’ve been adopted by kindly yank benefactors (here, New Jersey’s Machine) and tutored in the art of Selling To Knucklehead Americans. And like every British record ever made specifically to appeal to knucklehead Americans (see also: Babylon Zoo’s ‘Spaceman’, Bush‘s ‘Razorblade Suitcase’, the new Oasis album) it is the liquified shitheap of a billion syphilitic camels.
You know the drill; every song here starts with two minutes of Deftones-by-numbers riff genocide while Jon Clayden impersonates the mating roar of the Nicaraguan bull rhino, followed by a chorus of echoing Faith No More wails that could be Aaron from Staind whining for the bog roll in his new Cuba-sized toilet. Themes include self-hatred (‘Eight Days’), hatred of the self (‘Misdirection’) and disliking one’s person to a rather violent degree (‘Slip’). Move aside, Andrew Motion.
The cod-Poppies techno eruptions and drum’n’bass snurks that characterised the debut album ‘www.pitchshifter.com’ return briefly to give ‘Super Clean’ and ‘Shen-An-Doath’ a kick up the electroclash and ‘My Kind’ and ‘Whatever’ pummel along with assured melodic brio, but otherwise the metal overlords have plonked another heap of undigestible noise sewage on our doorstep and run away laughing.