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Music Review: Static X – Cannibal

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Anybody remember that ad campaign? The product was the American classic snack/junk food, the Slim Jim. The announcer was pro wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage. Yessir, the Macho Man grizzled out those words under high pressure in the most guttural of ways, neck veins standing at attention.

For the longest time, most of the vocals found on so-called "Nu Metal" records reminded me of that Randy Savage delivery. All growl, all cartoonish rage. There were parallels with the music too. Lots of down-tuned guitar rumble… and not much else.

So then why do I like this Static X record? It's still got plenty of deep guitar squall. There's also more than a little bit of uvula abuse. The mystery is that, unlike the other CDs I've heard, this one grabs my attention. Is it a change in the thematic approach? Dunno, I haven't pulled out the lyrics sheet yet.

The mystery's solution made itself known to me during the fourth or so listen: guitar solos.

That's right, at some point between now and my last Static X experience (2003's Shadow Zone), the band brought original lead guitarist Koichi Fukudu back into the fold and in the process, added color and extra intensity to the music.

Please don't worry, the guitar solos played by Fukudu don't go on for several minutes nor are they played with a violin bow. No, these are short and terse things that torque up the proceedings by allowing the rhythm section to take a short breather. This has the effect of making that chunky guitar seem all the more intense when it returns. This gives even the most brutish tunes ("No Submission" comes to mind) a feeling of dynamics that wouldn't have been there otherwise.

Call this stuff what you will (and I'm sure someone's gonna correct me on the Nu Metal thing), but there's an undeniable and relentless energy to the whole thing. Don't believe me? Put the opening "Cannibal" on the noise-making device of your choice. Turn it up very loud. Think of it as the aural equivalent of a Slim Jim, without the extra fat and salt, but with extra gristle.

Feel your neck veins stand at attention.

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About Mark Saleski

  • Congrats! This article has been forwarded to the Advance.net websites and Boston.com.

  • jerry

    I may have to check this out but it just seems that they are one of the last remaining bands trying to hold onto the glory days of “nu-metal” Maybe the new record will change my mind.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Come on, Mark… It’s one thing if you like it but plese don’t use the term Metal when describing this sad excuse of an album. Actually, I think Powerman 5000 probably has a better new release than these guys. You can go ahead and scrap the “Nu-Metal” term for these dudes… Try
    Aerobirock. Let’s go!! Get those Knees up…1,2,3,4!

    (Sorry, Mark, you know I like your reviews)

  • brian, you’re way more of a metalhead (and fan) than i am, so i’m not going to get into all of these naming semantics.

    obviously, this is not metal. however, it sure as heck sounds like all of that stuff they (whoever “they” is) were callin’ “nu metal” a couple of years back.

  • I love playing the name game with music. I have fun trying to come up with new classifications, or appropriating others for my own purposes. One of my recent concert reviews used the word nerdcore. i love it!

    Anyway, I have been meaning to check out the more recent offerings of Static X, I haven’t really listened since “Machine”

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Sure thing, I understand Mark…

    I’m just here to keep the catagories in check! My only intention is that when overrated, untalented hacks get labeled as such then people use this shit as benchmarks for other bands that shouldn’t get any attention whatsoever!