Monday, August 3, 1998 - The Michigan Daily - 11
trap on for
a fun ride
Aly Arts Writer
The most criminally overlooked creative
mind in music is quite possibly Devin
Townsend, mastermind behind the aggressive
metal but post-industrial group Strapping
The man is a mad genius on par with Ted
Kaezvnski. Townsend could
actually collaborate with the
Strapping They both employ a simi-
lar method, after all, as each
Young Lad Strapping Young Lad
release is a package of pure
No Sleep 'till explosive energy that leaves
Bedtime the receiver blown away.
* * * Strapping Young Lad now
returns with another pack-
Century Media age of pure napalm in the
Records form of its live album, "No
Sleep 'till Bedtime" (an
homage perhaps to
otorhead's "No Sleep 'till Hammersmith" -
or perhaps The Beastie Boys' "No Sleep 'till
Recorded during the band's trek to
Australia, the album magnificently captures-
the mayhem and beauty that is Strapping
Young Lad. Tight and exciting live versions
of songs from previous albums "Heavy as a
really heavy thing" and "City" literally
explode in your face.
The two things that distinguish Strapping
Young Lad from its peers are the acknowl-
dgement of the ridiculous nature of rock
Continued from Page 9 First u
forgettable. You In
"This song is dedicated to Nancy debut al
Reagan," Ashcroft quipped, before in which
launching into the slow and steady too-time
pulse of "The Drugs Don't Work." was/ hat
Throughout the show, Ashcroft (in could be
a flawless Midwestern American again."
accent no less) cracked jokes about Even d
the audience's knowledge of the words m
band's early material, guessing that seem to I
most of the crowd was assembled of cance ret
"people who just come out 'cause of affairs
they like Nikes," since the band's hit Next
single "Bitter Sweet Symphony" was side fror
used in several of the shoe company's Symphon
After a somewhat limp and frazzled ered a t
ersion of "Come On," it was clear that veins pr
1e show was approaching the outer soulful
limits of greatness, but not quite har- sion and
nessing euphoria. Then
Robed in a see-through black t- stratosph
shirt and white linen pants, Asheroft returned
returned for two solo acoustic Symphon
encores plucked from the rare and The
Continued from Page 16
on, the girls also performed the song "Move Ccr"
from their Pepsi commercial, red and blue Pepsi
logos flying all around the video screens.
Act 2 opened with two consecutive show stop-
pers - the broadway-tinged "The Lady is a
Vamp," and then "Say You'll Be There"
Then Scary Spice announced that it was time to
get naked. Scantily Clad Spice Boys unfolded giant
screens to reveal the Fab Four in theirbirthday suits.
Naughty parts were cleverly hidden by the fancy
chairs they straddled, and we were treated to a
throaty rendition of "Naked," one of the more
obscure tracks from "SpiceWorld."
A 30-year-old woman wearing one of those
obnoxious stretchy British flag tank tops began to
lambada with her male companion. The daddies in
the audience took a trip to the refreshment stands,
and the girls finished off their sex interlude with
the expected "Two Become (one."
And now it's time for the Spice Awards ...
Best Hair Extensions - Sporty
Most Unnecessary Gold Tooth - Sporty
Least Successful Attempt at Cleavage - Sporty
Most Tattoos - Sporty
Most Tolerable Voice - Sporty
Scary Spice Award for Body Piercing -Sporty
Yes, Mel C, professionally known as Sporty
Spice, won the prize for favorite Spice of the
evening. Bouncing all over the stage like a sugar-
pop Gwen Stefani, she delighted the little girls with
her animated confidence.
Six lightning-fast costume changes (these
included the velvet bodysuit look, the sparkly t:xe-
do look, and the sexy hippie look) added stimuli to
this already-inflated extravaganza, and The Spice
Girls ended the show with a three-song encore.
-After two-and-a-half hours of non-stop, in-your-
face Girl Power, it became very clear what the show
was all about. Sure, there was mass consumerism,
sickeningly catchy tunes,quasi-feministrantingsand
gratuitous exploitation ofelunkyplatformshoes.
But the crowd was not left unsatisfied. The elit-
ist music critics and other intellectual non-believes
can boo and moan and make fun all they want. We
got exactly what we came for. We got Spice.
Don't let the long hair fool you. This guy isn't Hanson's older brother - he's Devin Townsend, the lead
singer of Strapping Young Lad. The band's new album, "No Sleep 'till Bedtime," explodes with energy
music and singer Townsend.
Similar to the way Mr. Bungle defies,
embraces and parodies rock and heavy music
values, Strapping Young Lad rejuvenates the
genre. This is best illustrated on the album
with the previously unreleased song, "Far
Beyond Metal," which Townsend explains is
an exercise to show the "cheesy" aspects of
But this band is no joke. Townsend possess-
es one of the most amazing pairs of lungs
known to man, other than perhaps Mariah
Ile can go into an epileptic burst of barked
rage and then a falsetto all in one swoop. On
"Oh My God," he breezes through the delivery
of the manic verse with lung capacity that
Pavarotti could only dream about.
As an added bonus, aside from "Far Beyond
Metal," two other previously unreleased songs
are also included - "Japan" and "Centipede."
The gloriously crushing "Centipede" itself is
well worth the purchase.
- Strapping Young Lad has once again scored
a winner with "No Sleep 'till Bedtime." The
future of hard music's marriage with technolo-
gy does not lie with Fear Factory or Two. It
lies with Strapping Young Lad.
Just like when Ted Kaczynski was on the
loose, you should probably capture Strapping
Young Lad while you can - before it strikes
file of the Verve s expansive
p was a stripped-down "See
The Next One" from 1993's
bum, "A Storm In Heaven,"
h Ashcroft crooned the all-
ly lyrics, "I like the way it
e the wav it is now" and "It
a lifetime before I see you
though Ashcroft penned these
tore than six years ago, they
have an almost spooky signifi-
garding the band's current state
up was "So Sister," a stellar b-
m the domestic "Bitter Sweet
ny" single, which marked the
s high point. Ashcroft deliv-
ender, sweeping vocal, neck
otruding heroically, emitting a
mix of self-confidence, preci-
it was one final shot into the
ere, as the rest of the band
to key up "Bitter Sweet
Verve extended the signature
song into a lengthy jam and spilled into
several different sections, aided by the
eerie electronic noodlings of the pedal-
Only time will tell if The Verve can
weather the many violent storms that
are presently churning within its camp.
It has taken the band eight years to
reach its pinnacle of success, and the
stateside demand for The Verve is only
increasing with current single
"Sonnet," the third hit off "Urban
fyns," starting to sweep the air-
Although Ashcroft himself has
previously admitted that it is impos-
sible for the band to survive without
McCabe, such apocryphal notions
just might be put to rest very soon
considering the strong live perfor-
mance The Verve unfurled in his
Wednesday night, the name Nick
McCabe rang only the most muted
bells, leaving instead the deafening
sounds of a triumphant band deter-
mined to let the music speak for
1 r '
[AwR *x! Y 1RTY' Win a trip for two...