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POP MUSIC | Record Rack

Godsmack Delivers the Noise; Yoakam Brings Home the Pain

** 1/2 GODSMACK, "Awake," Republic/Universal

October 29, 2000|LINA LECARO

If the fiercely devoted fan bases of boy bands and teen queens are responsible for making pop music what it is today, then the equally loyal admirers of heavy rock could be the next to change what we hear on the radio and see on MTV. Bands such as P.O.D., Papa Roach and Godsmack are already making a difference, and they owe their successes almost entirely to underground followings garnered from live shows and word of mouth.

But to stay on top, today's metal bands have to be able to deliver tunes that are both intense and infectious. Boston-based Godsmack did it on its self-titled debut last year with mesmerizing cuts such as "Whatever" and "Voodoo," and this follow-up (due in stores Tuesday) has some equally raw, rhythm-fueled grinds. Moody numbers such as the title track and "Bad Magick" showcase the quartet's Metallica-esque guitars and the riveting rebel yell of singer Sully Erna, who sounds like a cross between Metallica's James Hetfield and Alice in Chains' Layne Staley.

There's more than enough here to satisfy noise-hungry kids, but more demanding rock fans may find the disc a bit monotonous. Many of the songs, while melodic and driving, simply rework some of the same structures and vocal stylings over and over. Still, the stronger cuts show enough promise to keep Godsmack smack dab in the middle of the current heavy rock revolution.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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