- American Head Charge
American Head Charge tries too hard sometimes. There are six of them where there could be four, and they used to be heavy into shock theatrics onstage -- hurled pig heads and shotguns fired at the crowd. These were just a couple of the things distracting metal fans from the band's crunching rockers, which were more than decent -- especially by the standards of the rapcore acts they frequently toured with. The band released one album on American, got dropped, and now they're on DRT, supporting their new disc, The Feeding, on one of the best tours of the new year so far.
Joining AHC on the road are Otep and Candiria, two bands also in the process of gaining (in the former case) or regaining (in the latter) a little respect. Otep started out as kind of a death-metal Avril Lavigne -- a girl whose manager built her a band. But on her second album, House of Secrets, she's actually developed a style and a vision, and rips it up live. Candiria is back with its first album since a damn-near-fatal van wreck, stripping its sound down until it's only incomprehensibly intricate about half the time. With this lineup, an evening of mosh-pit frenzy is virtually guaranteed.