It's a choice bands in America are forced to make in the quest for stardom: get on the radio or take it on the road. For groups such as Los Angeles-based Static X, radio isn't really an option. Even though commercial radio's "heavy band" quota has been filled by Korn and Limp Bizkit, Static X doesn't really fit there. The quartet's debut, Wisconsin Death Trip
, is heavy, so much unlike the posing of Orgy, et al. Static X is part of a new breed of metal heads, unafraid to deny the influence of hip-hop and dance music on rock. They may love KISS, but they also have a couple Ministry records in their closets. Leader, namesake and big hair owner (see picture) Wayne Static and bandmates Koichi Fukuda, Tony Campos and Ken Jay aren't stereotypical headbangers. They're international citizens from a Goth background. Bands on the Chicago record label Wax Trax! such as Die Warzau and Skinny Puppy have always blended aggressive attitudes with techno beats, and since both Static and Jay grew up in that vicinity, it makes sense that this Chi-town techno-metal sound seeped into their brains. Wisconsin Death Trip
is crunchy and punchy, but very in-your-face. It's not good driving music. It makes the idea of smashing into other people tempting. Now that's a recommendation. (David Simutis)
Studio X performs Thursday, September 9, at Instant Karma. 1617 Richmond Avenue. Call (713)629-3700.