Strangeland – Review


by Scott Hefflon

A collection of 18 hot and heavy bands contribute to the soundtrack of one of the most disturbing horror films in years. Written by and starring Dee Snider, Strangeland is a feast for the eyes and imagination, and the soundtrack is a feast for the ears. Dee Snider opens the CD with “Inconclusion,” a haunting, modern-sounding song, followed by one of the most popular new metal bands, Sevendust. (They’re on TVT, this soundtrack is on TVT, they’re the second track… Coincidence?) Next up is “A Secret Place” by Megadeth. A signature song, at least they didn’t reuse “Trust” yet again. For some reason, I’m still getting Shocker flashbacks. Pantera pop in with “Where You Come From,” and Anthrax contribute “P&V,” a surprisingly dirt-kickin’ rocker with cowbells and everything. Next up are brats of the new metal pack: Snot with “Absent,” dayinthelife interpret Twisted Sister’s “Street Justice,” one of the songs the film is based on, and Coal Chamber slink and howl through “Not Living.” Next up are Bile‘s “In League” and Marilyn Manson‘s “Sweet Tooth” – while these songs/bands might not seem similar to you, they’ve always been kinda similar to me. But Bile is uglier, heavier, and meaner. And significantly less famous. “Eye for an Eye” by Soulfly is next, Soulfly being Max Cavalera, formerly of Sepultura, for those who don’t get out much. Nipping at the heels are a couple of those rapcore songs baggy-pants kidz in the ‘burbs seem to like so much when Rage ATM doesn’t have anything new – (hed)p.e. with “Serpent Boy (radio edit)” and Kid Rock with “Fxxk Off,” perhaps one of the most thoughtful and musically intricate songs the world has never seen. Yeah, right. Following is The Clay People‘s “Awake” with the chorus of “Wake up! Time to die!” After the previous flat tracks, this industrial rant sounds almost good. But I just can’t get that Lizzy Borden song outta my head. And I think I liked it better. Next up are the scary, new goofs on the block, System of a Down, with “Marmalade.” Combining driving ’80s powerrock, tech soloing, Jello warble, and dorkiness somewhere between Primus and Coal Chamber, I kinda like these guys. While outta place here, Nashville Pussy‘s “I’m The Man” simply smokes. Not as fast as Zeke or Speedealer, this co-ed team is raw rawk the way it should be. Crisis saunters in next, covering Twisted Sister’s “Captain Howdy,” the other song Strangeland is based on. And while it doesn’t show Crisis in their natural, unnatural light, Karyn’s whisper-to-a-growl is always welcome. Closing this 18-song, 70+ minute soundtrack is “Heroes Are Hard to Find” by Twisted Sister, the band’s first new song in 12 years. It’s a comicbook strut-through-the-mall song with inane, rhyming lyrics, guitar solos, and fist-pumping action galore. “Memories, blowtorch the corners of my mind (of any hidden evidence).”
(23 East 4th St. New York, NY 10003)