At least one major adjustment was recently forced upon Static-X: Guitarist Tripp Eisen was given the heave-ho after being busted for allegedly having intercourse with minors. But when it comes to music, the bandmates (supplemented by returning power-chorder Koichi Fukuda) are digging in their heels. On Start a War, they continue to ride the nü-metal/industrial horse, somehow managing to coax the old nag across the finish line.

The keys to this accomplishment are hooks, which are plentiful on the likes of "I'm the One," and obstinacy. Although "I Want to Fucking Break It" is pure Reznor aurally and lyrically (it begins "This one's for the assholes"), the X-men's exuberance sells it anyway. The same goes for "Otsego Amigo," a deafening goof of a song that will put a grin on the average headbanger's face.

Along with X-Rated, a companion DVD, War finds the altered Static-X still resisting change. The strategy won't work forever, but this time around, it does.


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