STATIC-X

"Cult of Static" (Reprise.; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Wayne and the gang are back at it again. This release is different in a few senses: First, it doesn't have a title track like their previous five do and it’s the second disc to not feature an "Otsego" song. It also has two "car" songs on it ("Stingray" and "Z28"). The first was inspired by Wayne's woman, Tera Wray.

The recognizable punch-in-the-face guitars and pounding drums are still prevalent and sometimes a little Rob Zombie might translate through your speakers. There are a few guitar solos injected here and there and the first track, titled "Lunatic," has a nasty one courtesy of Dave Mustaine. Perhaps you've heard of him?

You can always expect the unexpected with a Static-X song structure and you will get it when spinning this dance/metal/rock/ ... ah! ... my pinky is getting tired of hitting the "/" key. If you like the bashing vocal style of Wayne Static and industrial guitar you're in good company.

This disc does have some bonus cuts; four to be exact. Covers of songs by Motley Crue, Whitesnake and Poison and a Best Buy track, just in case you wanted some more brain bruises.

Static-X: Wayne Static - vocals, guitar, keyboards, programming, producer; Koichi Fukuda - lead guitar; Tony Campos - bass guitar, backing vocals; Nick Oshiro - drums, percussion.

For more information, check out http://www.static-x.com.

"Cannibal" (Warner Bros.; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Despite the pre-publicity that "Cannibal" was going to be the "most metal" album from Static-X in years, the fact of the matter is that this CD is pretty much more of the same from a band who have proved to have more staying power than anyone might have ever imagined. While other bands have come and gone since 1999, Static-X has remained strong, popular and consistent.

"Cannibal" is more of the band's trademark staccato guitars, blazing rhythms, screeching vocals and blistering leads. The industrial influence is still there and, in fact, "Cannibal" seems a little more sterile than the band's previous CDs. Still, the songs are irresistibly hook-laden after the first or second listen and, like most (if not all) Static-X albums, "Cannibal" tends to grow on you the more you listen to it. And, every once in awhile (as it does about halfway through track 3, "Behemoth,") "Cannibal" really surprises you.

If there's one thing we love here at RoughEge.com, it's a success story and Static-X are one of the biggest success stories in heavy metal (five albums on a major label like Warner Bros. is success anyway you look at it). The band's consistency, undeniable talent and decidedly unique sound have brought them to this point and will no doubt continue to take them on that route in the future.

For more information, check out www.static-x.com

"Start a War" (Warner Bros.; 2005)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Despite the fact that Static-X's decision to name their album "Start a War" during such tumultuous times may seem a bit suspect, in all fairness to the crazily coiffed frontman and crew, this 13-track disc hits way harder than previous outings, as the one-two punch of "The Enemy" and "I'm The One" show just how these guys have survived through the nu-metal muck. 

Scaling back on the Goth-rock shtick and pouring on the pounding industrial metal grooves, this disc may reclaim some of the fans the band lost when they switched gears a few discs back, as "Start a War" furthers the Rob-Zombie-meets-Ministry format which Wayne Static and crew do so well and have recently re-visited.

For more information, check out www.static-x.com

"Shadow Zone" (Warner Bros.; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

There seems to come a time in every band's career when they find a new voice, or maybe refine their own voice to the point that it becomes truly their own. "Shadow Zone" may very well represent that point in the career of Static-X. That's either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you feel about the band up to this point.

"Shadow Zone" is still full of the band's trademark industrial/techno metal sound but the songs are smoother and tighter. The vocals are cleaner throughout. And, sometimes, the music even journeys into nu-metal territory (although the band would probably prefer the term "melodic").

This is where your opinion of the band up to this point may make a difference. "Shadow Zone" is more accessible than the previous Static-X CDs and, as such, stands alone. The 13 songs on this CD certainly rock hard and fast enough, they're just not as rough-edged as "Wisconsin Death Trip" or "Machine" nor as dependent on industrial sounds. 

The best songs on the CD are the "Destroy All" (the first roughest track on the CD), the techno-tinged "Dead World," the raging "Monster" and the driving "All in Wait." 

I don't think "Shadow Zone" is different enough to disillusion the band's current fan base, but it is noticeably different. Still, it's a solid CD that proves that Static-X is a band willing to move forward and grow.

Static-X: Tony Campos - bass, backing vocals; Wayne Static - vocals, guitar, programming, keyboards; Nick Oshiro - drums; Tripp Rex Eisen - guitar.

For more information, check out http://www.static-x.com

"Machine" (Warner Bros.; 2001)

Reviewed by Alicia Downs

Honestly: I'm a huge Static-X fan. I love disco and techno, and I love metal. When I first heard Static-X I was enthralled by their use of both styles. I remember first getting "Wisconsin Death Trip" and going completely insane at the grooves that just jammed. But for some reason it took me a bit to get the new album "Machine." 

I heard a lot of people talk about how slight it was in comparison to "Wisconsin Death Trip" and that the sound was completely revamped. That was really not much of a surprise statement though with Koichi Fukuda's departure from the band. It was Fukuda's use of keyboards and programming that helped define much of the techno/disco elements in Static-X. Only after someone told me that "Machine" was different because it was heavier, a la "Ministry," did I go decide that I should have bought the CD damn near a month ago.

So I put it in the player and my first thought was "Huh?" What came from my speakers was a 20 second or so bit of a Mexican musical ode but - before I could reach for the jewel case to ensure that I did in fact have the right album - Wayne Static was erupting on second track "Get to the Gone." I really began to feel the "Ministry" tones by the third track "Permanence" that carried on all through the concluding track "A Dios Alma Perdida." 

Another selling point for "Machine" was Static's personal trials since the days of "Wisconsin Death Trip." The promo track "This Is Not" refers to the disenchantment accompanied with sudden success - and just downright missing home. "Ostego Undead" is rumored to be an ode to the town of Ostego, Michigan where Static has friends. 

"Black and White" completely took me back with the techno heavy anger combined with the Static-X metal sound. It amazes me when any band is able to combine two genres of music in such a palatable and flowing way they are almost unidentifiable as separate entities.  

By the first listen I was sold on this album and it will not be sitting idle anytime in the near future. The sound is different from "Wisconsin Death Trip" but I found "Machine" to be not only more appealing but more aggressive and comprehensive throughout - and I feel completely confident in saying that "Machine" is flat out one of the best albums I have ever owned. 

Static-X is: Wayne Static (vocals, guitars, and programming), Ken Jay (drums), Tony Campos (bass and vocals), and Tripp Rex Eisen (guitars). 

Official Web Site located at: http://www.static-x.com

"Wisconsin Death Trip" (Warner Bros.; 1999)staticxwis.jpg (11671 bytes)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Every now and then a record company's advance press on a band actually hits the nail right on the head. Warner Brothers proudly proclaims Static-X as having a "sound that recalls the sample packed assault of White Zombie, the brooding industrial attack of Ministry, and the techno-fuelled fury of Pitchshifter." Usually, the advance press on bands is humorous in its hype, but in this case I couldn't have said it better myself so I didn't even try to come up with anything different.

The band works hard at achieving an unwavering musical vision - the band's intensity matches that of Prong - and that's impressive. Although the lyrics are a bit vague, there's no doubting the sincerity and honesty behind the emotions being expressed.

The band's greatest strength is their ability to build the sound of their songs by constantly constructing the music's structure in quick pieces.  "Love Dump" and "Otsegolation" are prime examples of how the band layers isochronal guitars over swirling electronica elements with enough variety to maintain interest.

"Trance Is The Motion" is a great track - it's heavy, it's moody, it's freakish, it's a blast. Although the band slows down a bit on this tune, Koichi lets ringing chords fill the air over fierce tribal drumming while Wayne Static screams bloody murder. The song is quiet enough at times to hear handclaps, yet raging enough to provide a lot of passionate depth. This song carries so much emotional weight you'd think you'd drown in it.  Also, Static-X usually meets dramatic results when it keeps things simple.   "Bled For Days" uses a mélange of simple riffs and lyrics to make one powerful track. The pointed riff allows the unadorned verse to explode into a speed-rap chorus.

However, like most bands in the CD era (i.e. being able to put out more than the traditional 10 songs per release) the disc would probably be better if it was condensed from 12 songs to 10 songs.  The two tunes I would have immediately dropped from the CD are "Stem" and "Sweat Of The Bud."  "Stem" sounds too much like Ultraspank and suffers from being a bit one-dimensional - it's more noise than music. "Sweat Of The Bud" tries too hard to be like Fear Factory, but only sounds like a bad clone.

Ulrich Wild (who has worked with Testament, White Zombie, and Deftones) produced "Wisconsin Death Trip" with assistance from the band. Engineering and mixing were done by Wild as well.  The production on the CD is very crisp and clear - and for good reason; you need good production to keep all of the musical elements in Static-X from cluttering things up too much.

Static-X are comprised of Wayne Static on vocals, guitar, and programming; Ken Jay on drums and backing vocals; Tony Campos on bass and backing vocals, and Koichi Fukuda on guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, and programming.

For more information check out http://www.static-x.com/ and see what the fuss is about.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

 

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Revised: 24 Sep 2017 15:29:53 -0400 .