August 6, 2009

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Tantric, Mind Control
Silent Majority/Warner, Aug. 4

One thing I don’t get about people is how they can listen to medium-angry. When my boss is insane, my car’s all Acumen Nation or Meshuggah or Filth Pig, not Creed or Disturbed or Lawrence Welk’s polka septet. When you buzz Elm Street with your stereo cranked, do people look up expecting to see zombies running at them or do they just keep texting? Are you Cartman or Butters? If your music is made of compressed-to-nothing skull-painted guitars and sung by a Jacoby Shaddix clone using auto-tune, you’re Butters.

Medium-angry nu-metal band Tantric’s newest was produced by a Creed guy, but thankfully singer Hugo Ferreira didn’t guzzle too much Scott Stapp Kool-Aid and instead sounds southern-rock-ish with elements of Axl Rose and Layne Staley, sort of polite-angry in general. There’s obviously some Creed to the equation, so the band may get chicks, but I doubt it; a couple of nancy-boy guitar arpeggios aren’t going to dissuade your typical festival slam-dancer from keeping his slimy unshirted beef planted right where it landed after the last crowd-surf. Unlike most of the other putzes opening for Slipknot or whatever at your next 30-band circus, Tantric writes a ton of songs, which helps a lot in the area of listenability; the title track has an actual hook, and there’s some nice Hetfield-esque growling that sustains “Coming Undone.” BEric W. Saeger