The garishly decorated liner notes to Dry Kill Logic’s first Roadrunner release (their first two albums, as Hinge, were released on their own Psychodrama label) contain among other things this mantra: “Anger fuels motion. Motion fuels momentum. Momentum fuels progress. Do something.” Without pointing out what seems to be an already tautological argument, I will say that I’m not sure this album is a good advertisement for action.
Dry Kill Logic (hastily renamed after efforts to copyright the Hinge name met with a conflict from another “entity”) most easily fits under the rubric of new metal; their compatriots and closest cousins are the similarly pissed off Slipknot, whose tee shirts adorn the backs of the young, Midwestern, and vaguely disaffected.
I suppose growing up less than blonde and beautiful in New York’s Westchester County might generate a lot of formless ire. (For those of you unfamiliar with the geographical and economic hierarchy of the east coast, Westchester is equaled only by southern Connecticut’s Fairfield County in luxury, minimum house plot acreage, and train commuter executive entitlement.) Predictably, DKL are anxious to prove they are “different” from other new metal bands, but, just as predictably, they don’t really want to say why—they claim the album speaks for itself.
Well, I guess that’s my job, isn’t it?
I heard some really, really tight drums. I heard some riffs that sounded like Black Sabbath on speed, and I heard some fairly monochromatic vocals spit out with the usual unintelligible growl. Whether or not DKL is actually an innovator, at the very least the homogeneity of the sound matches the homogeneity of the message. Song titles like “Nightmare” (ME+U+NIGHTMARE, scream the lyrics), “Pain”, “Nothing”, “Assault”, and “Rot” speak for themselves in this regard. “You don’t like me; I hope you rot” is the chorus of the latter number, and from it I believe we can generalize a lot without quoting much more of the lyrics (which are, of course, reprinted not only in the lliner notes but on the band’s website—they also have the typical metal propensity for web design and gearhead geekiness). In other words, this is not rage directed at anyone in particular. And, even in the absence of some social cause to focus their vitriol, DKL have a hard time even personalizing it above the level of sloganeering and simpleminded persecution paranoia.
It is easy to make fun of bands like this, who so earnestly and unapologetically wear their hearts on their sleeves. I’ve got no problem with that—I have no doubt that they are utterly sincere and committed to what they do. And, they aren’t imbeciles when it comes to the music—even within this more narrow than usual genre, DKL know how to put their money on the driving rhythm that sets their head-bobbing fans a-thrashing, with a drummer who clearly knows what he’s doing. But when you go around lashing out at people for being stupid—a theme that is repeated over and over on their website and in their lyrics—you might want to make an effort not to seem stupid yourself. From the typos littering their Web page (um, when you mean “belonging to them” the spelling is THEIR, not THERE) to the lyrics’ railing, the only “something” DKL is able to “do” is demonstrate its own simple-mindedness.
Sci-Fi Author Ursula LeGuin's Stories of Class War, Religious Dissension, Identity Politics and More