Flybanger Headtrip to Nowhere

With the art, band photo and record label status screaming "nu-metal," my ears were rather stunned with the White Zombie/Metallica-sounding opening "Cavalry." Even more surprising was that it's actually good. The rest of the album stumbles through rocky paths of melodic rock and stoned out metal, all wearing nu-metal's dreadlocks and facemasks. They're veiled, but we can still smell them, not unlike a skunk. Flybanger seems to have a bit more integrity than some of the slop out there these days and can write some good straight-ahead metal rock, but I still am left with a bad taste in my mouth. Could be the slap-bass, could be the forced angst vibe or it could be an instinct to not want to really trust Columbia with providing us with the latest in metal. Stuck at the crossroads between good, innovative heavy music and phoney, money-grubbing pseudo-glam, the choice is theirs. I'll tune in next album to see what happened, but won't lose any sleep over it in the meantime. (Columbia)