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Pledge of Alliance Tour | review | metal | compilation | Lollipop

The Pledge of Alliance Tour

(Columbia)
by Scott Hefflon

You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest nü metal bands in the world! The stench of hype is only slightly less than that of so many sweating angry white males in an enclosed area. Luckily, The Pledge of Alliance Tour includes three of the bigger, (ahem) "brighter" stars in the nü metal scrapheap, as well as a couple also-rans their labels are trying to hype to the hilt to fool the easily-foolable. Which, in this genre, is pretty much everyone. Funny, this CD is arranged so you start at the top and work your way down the list, and you're welcome to shut the fuckin' thing off when you get it (Meaning, some will barely make it through once out of sheer curiosity, some'll never make the all the way through, and the dumbasses'll keep this sucker on repeat cuz the joke'll never get through their thick skulls). This is "whoop it up, yahoo!" music, the rebel music for the offspring of AC/DC-loving parents, seeing as they don't wanna rock out to "Shook Me All Nite Long" like mom does in the kitchen whenever it comes on the classic rock station she plays all the time.

Simply put, System of a Down rule. If you didn't know that, uh, you're not really paying attention, are you? Jerky'n'weird, smart'n'quirky, tuneful yet stumbling comfortable (there's stuff to singalong to as well as stuff that'll make ya look like Steve Martin in The Jerk if you try to snap yer fingers to it). Nü metal needed a spokesman for those rare times when someone asks a question that can't be answered with either "titties" or "beer." All three songs here rule. Next up is Slipknot. They were the first band in the stupid masks. They're a death metal locomotive. They hit a stride and simply beat the shit out of you. I mean this mostly in a good way. They get a little tiring, because unlike Slayer and Meshuggah and, well, the best of each layer of underground metal I could rattle off that most of these boneheads don't have the attention span or depth to've heard of and sought out (yeah, rebel boy, take what yer spoonfed and get your free patch), Slipknot doesn't offer the variety and dynamics (not to mention tunesmithing or versatility), but I'm trying to be positive here... Following is Mudvayne, who have a few simple jazzy breaks and a couple intriguing rap/percussive tricks up their sleeve-tattoos. They only got two songs (Slipknot had three), but they got more than "We're dumb thugs, too! Can we get a song?" American Head Charge who pretty much exemplify the stripped-down Pantera idea, grunting out the one decent idea they have for the length of a song I'll never listen to again. Ditto with No One, who have the right bone-crushing basic sound, but no idea what to do with it. And the singer sounds like he's taking a big dump.
 


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