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Static-X

The release of Static-X's fourth studio album follows a trend of their previous releases: unplanned lineup changes. Original guitarist Koichi Fukuda makes his return following the unfortunate personal and legal troubles of Tripp Eisen, who wrote music and lyrics for the album prior to his departure. Drummer Nick Oshiro makes his Static-X recording debut here, having joined the band just prior to the release of their previous album, Shadow Zone.

The new effort, Start a War, is a down-tuned riff orgy that is also the angriest offering of the group's career. Having nothing to do with politics, the album's title track was written in defense against those who opposed the band.

A track filled with pure hatred, "The Enemy" opens the album: "I'll destroy you / Kill or be killed," states frontman Wayne Static before screaming, "You make me hate you," before the song's conclusion.

Known for incorporating programmed beats as a backing tempo, Static-X manage to pull off pure rock songs on Start a War. Tracks such as "I'm the One," "Set It Off" and "Pieces" steamroll without the help of keyboards and programs, which allows Oshiro to be showcased as a drumming powerhouse.

Continuing the mythology of their past records, Static-X's new album features the track "Otsego Amigo." Static and bassist Tony Campos share vocal duties, with Campos barking lyrics in Spanish, playing the role of a drunken, dead bandito.

Honoring their old mantra "Keep Disco Evil," Static-X have produced a much-needed, solid record that has saved them from becoming a parody of themselves.

More by Jon Hobson

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