September 6, 2001

The Power of Pete

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In a year when acoustic strumming steals the show at Ozzfest and TRL is frequented by suicidal frontmen, it’s tough to think of music as anything more than a neatly ordered circle of pop where Manson and Timberlake can sip tea together on the same suburban awards shows. Maybe it’s that the 2000-somethings are a very accepting group of listeners, maybe we just have dull ears, or maybe it’s just that we’re looking for the next thing — has anyone seen my flannel shirt? my Doc Martins? my glam garb?

But despite the music scene being an up-in-the-air, up-in-arms artistic backwater, we can be thankful that bands like Pete don’t wash away. Pete’s self-entitled debut album fits in somewhere between Static-X and the proper evolution of Megadeth, where the band got better and the scene faded, not vice-versa. Pete is a band that doesn’t fit behind any sort of outgrowth in the current musical landscape because industrial has died and Metallica still chooses to argue with little boys rather than rock like they should.

Fitting in, however, is not always the goal. To the contrary, Pete shines because they hit the music scene with an unexpected kidney punch, and mix up enough rage, rancor, and class to make Tool tap their feet.

On “Awake,” the album’s eeriest cut, vocalist David Terrana lurks behind the drum and bass, admitting, “I don’t want to see, I’ll drown so deep/ I can’t even stand myself.” And when the guitar bites the speakers and leads into the chorus, Terrana isn’t far behind: “You