If you thought Static-X might mellow out after its hair-raising debut album Wisconsin Death Trip went platinum and incessant touring brought together hardcore fans everywhere, then you don't know Wayne Static. The band's second album, Machine, is even hearvier and darker. Alternative Press has named the album one of the most anticipated of 2001. For Static-X, the trip continues with a new Machine.
Static-X and their 1999 debut, Wisconsin Death Trip
, seemed to garner more interest for singer Wayne Static's gravity-defying hairstyle than for the L.A.-based lineup's genre-defying music. The aptly titled sophomore outing, Machine
, is the worthy, if expected, follow-up. The intense, mechanized, futuristic metal found here comes across as a thrash version of Orgy
, with a dollop of Ministry
and a dash of Powerman 500
tossed in for extra punch. The intense, short bursts that are "Get to the Gone" and "This Is Not" are forceful and demanding, thanks to Static's growl-scream and the rhythmic power of the music. The spooky "Cold" and epic album closer, "A Dios Alma Perdida," would be suitable for a horror-movie soundtrack, while "Otsego Undead" kicks off with a welcome organic drum sound, though the song never really goes anywhere--a problem that resurfaces throughout Machine
. Indeed, the album's revved-up vibe, monster riffs, and irresistible energy are all ultimately held down by a dearth of memorable songs. --Katherine Turman