Music » CD Reviews

System of a Down

Hypnotize (Sony)

by

comment
One of the most original bands ever to gain a bankable following is beginning to sound a little too comfortable in its own self-invented genre. Not that any other band has duplicated the formula: metalcore mosh with auctioneer-gone-mad vocals, followed by incantational harmonies and exotic-stringed acoustic breaks. And few other bands with such Zappalike contempt for pop culture have landed on MTV.

But more than half the tracks on Hypnotize follow the tried and true with professional polish -- not a good thing for the band, whose punky spontaneity is its hidden ace. When an obnoxious, jabbering incitement to eat patriots sounds too familiar and downright casual, there's a problem. Unlike on May's sister release, Mezmerize -- which was both more fun and more clearly political -- Hypnotize's best tracks are the less frenetic ones: the title song's meditative, midtempo heaviness, the unclassifiable textures of "She's Like Heroin," and the nearly Queenish "Kill Rock 'N Roll." It's time for System of a Down to shock its own system.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.