Devil Thumbs A Ride (Universal)
by Jon Sarre
The Hunger sees their music as a math equation: Elements of one popular music style plus elements of another popular music style equals money, fame, adulation and something to show for that music school education. The concept at work here has more in common with the “Billboard Hot 100” than it does with any smoky club or dingy basement. “OK, Metallica sells five million units, Nine Inch Nails sells three million, and Green Day sells seven million. We can obviously move fifteen million by ripping off commercially viable segments from each of them. It’s so simple!” Let’s hope not, because music is too closely tied to (or driven by) demographics as it is.
I guess it’s too late for us though. Radio has already bought The Hunger. “Vanishing Cream” (this album’s “hook” single) is already getting respectable rotation. The first time I heard it, I thought it was Metallica gone totally off the deep end and releasing a thinly disguised remake of Green Day’s “Longview” with some icky synths added for some obscure reason. Yes sir, pretty scary and it just keeps getting dumber. Most of Devil Thumbs a Ride sounds like White Zombie backing James Hetfield as he sings lyrics written by a lobotomized Trent Reznor. The worst part is, this equation probably works in the end, making it inevitable that this band is gonna be huge, massive, kings, gods (for a few weeks, anyway). So when all the accountants start bands, who’s gonna do my taxes?