Machine (Warner Bros.)
By: Jake Beamer
Machine, the latest release by Static-X (www.static-x.com), has much to offer. Being a somewhat new fan of the band (who knows why I didn't like them before), I'm not sure industrial rock has ever seen the likes of this solid of an album.
I had remembered Static-X from their first record, 1998's Wisconsin Death Trip, and the hype over the first single from that album - "Push It". I wasn't impressed at the time. Maybe the MTV-ness of it all killed it for me, or something else. I do remember Wayne Static's (lead vocals/guitar) insane hair. A lot of hairspray.
But what I failed to do at the time was listen to the rest of the album. Later, when I delved deep into Death Trip, I found several really good songs (i.e. the title track, and more) with melodic riffing and vocal stylings. But my complaint was that many of the songs sometimes meandered endlessly with too much repetition at the end. But it's an OK album.
However, Machine improves upon and exceeds everything previously set forth on Death Trip. Again, my only complaint is longevity of some songs' endings, but that isn't really bad this time around. It gets the point across. My only other main beef with the album is long ambient intros (a la last track, "A Dios Alma Perdida".. although I understand why it was done, and first track "Bien Venidos" is just sounds.. ) sometimes take away from the riffing ROCK of the other songs.
But I can overlook those things. All in all, the album is astounding. My friends and I found ourselves lusting over Machine after hearing first single "Black and White" and then "Cold" - also on the Queen of the Damned soundtrack. The melodies and riffs are out of this world, the lyrics are good - fast and rhythmic. It all blends together into this big piece of electronic/industrial rock that really is a thrilling listen.
Other tracks on the album that deserve mention are "Get To The Gone" (track 2), "Permanence" (track 3 and a personal favorite), plus track four - "Ostego Undead", "Burn To Burn", "Structural Defect", "This Is Not" and of course title track "Machine".
But the major thing to note is, the album works. The track order flows properly, the ups and downs are there with the well-placed loops, samples, and breaks, and everything else incredible that is pure Static-X enjoyment. Plus rhythm section Ken Jay (drums) and Tony Campos (bass) pound out some serious beats and former Dope guitarist Tripp Eisen shreds like no other.
When it comes down to it, if you are a fan of:
1. Industrial or electronic rock
2. Hard or heavy music, or even
3. Crossover, goth or even metal type stuff
- and you don't have this album... why don't you?
It's a staple. Get it, enjoy it, and catch Static-X the next time they come to your town. Hell, I'd even recommend Wisconsin Death Trip if you pushed me enough.