Big With the Kids

Corporate Rock-Hack Bands Nobody Over 20 Ever Heard of Rule America

Audiovent's sun-kissed shag shuffle is courtesy of the brothers of two members of Incubus—time will tell if they tap into the 12-to-24 consciousness deeper than did similar sibling bands of Quiet Riot or Extreme. Likewise, Chevelle's "The Red," a recent K-Rock staple, makes one nostalgic for when a band comprised of three brothers was more like the Beach Boys, or at least Hanson. Instead, it's another diluted Deftones. Ditto with TRUSTcompany's "Running From Me." Seems that if you just whisper, you'll seem foreboding enough to share the airwaves with Eminem.

But what the "The" groups delivered in 2002 was freneticism—something that will doubtless be simulated by numerous major-label signings this year. (First at bat: "My Goddess" by the Exies.) The triumph of the hysterical over the heretical, after all, is what we aging Gen X'ers trekked out to watch Axl Rose for. These newer rock hopefuls behave like they're yearning to break out of a restraint that isn't there in the first place—but if they didn't pretend it was, they would have no case (not to mention no teenage audience), dig? But with anarchy reigning in all forms of media, does any chaos remain for a guitar group to convey?

At least Loudermilk have the right notion out of the gate, being a former Guns N' Roses tribute band, giving them a curator's appreciation of eyelined debauchery. Like all the greatest glam bands, though, they can't write a catchy tune. GN'R's recent tour opener CKY's growling "Flesh Into Gear" piles on the sludge with a dollop of Moog, amounting to the Jackass era's equivalent of Blue Öyster Cult. Then there's the Used, a combo from Salt Lake City whose crazily hoarse frontman Bert McCracken—also Ozzy's aspiring son-in-law—seizures through songs like "The Taste of Ink." Oh, the ad copy for the Used's album boasts of how their "sheer intensity" has kept them from being invited back to club or concert venues. Works for me. I've gotten too old for such places anyhow.

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