It’s certainly been a while since Static-X was a huge band, but frontman/”Not The Slim Jim Guy” Wayne Static seemed that he’d bounced back pretty effectively from his band’s split and subsequent legal disputes, releasing a solo record and continuing to tour on his classic material. However, the night before embarking on tour last month, Static passed away quietly in his sleep. He was 48. Static had been candid about previous drug use in his career, but had been sober for years by that point. The cause of death is still unknown, and we likely won’t know for sure for some time still, but Static-X’s dissolution was in part due to Static’s need for time off to recover from a heart condition. Executives at hair gel companies the world over expressed their deepest condolences, stating that he “put their kids through college.” All kidding aside, Static-X’s discography was hugely influential to yours truly, and his work certainly isn’t going unappreciated. – by Nick DeSimone
Of all the trends to come along in 2014, Babymetal is one of the most divisive. Gimmicky J-pop from three teenaged girls that hadn’t heard of metal before they were recruited to be in the band, it seemed like something that wouldn’t translate here in the states, despite the band’s popularity in Japan. Turns out we were wrong. Lady Gaga asked the band to open for her on tour in America, and the band played Heavy Montreal, blowing away all those in attendance, including us. The band also played to capacity crowds in New York and L.A., and their record has sold at least 15,000 copies in the states despite only being available digitally.
That’s somewhat of a surprise, given how foreign music generally doesn’t translate in the states. What’s more surprising is the critical response that the band’s gotten so far. A lot of people non-ironically like the band. It helps that there’s a full band of accomplished (if anonymous) musicians backing it. Carcass took pictures with them. So did Slayer. And we’re used to our bros at Metal Sucks trolling everyone, but their co-editor Vince Neilstein earnestly claimed it was his #1 album of the year. Will this year just be a flash in the pan, or will Babymetal be a force to be reckoned with for years to come? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. – by Bram Teitelman