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For Those About to “Rock”

It's all about context. Genuine Jersey Shore hair-metal bands are kind of sad. But a group of New York City wiseacres pretending to be a Jersey Shore hair-metal band? That's comedy gold. Or at least comedy bronze. In August, Satanicide--whose over-the-top songs and dim-witted stage demeanor flawlessly evoke heavy metal's heyday--opened for Mr. Brownstone, a Guns N' Roses cover band, at Manhattan's Tribeca Rock Club. Here's how they rocked.

SPIN iconSPIN Staff // October 27, 2003

By: Alex PappademasIt’s all about context. Genuine Jersey Shore hair-metal bands arekind of sad. But a group of New York City wiseacres pretending tobe a Jersey Shore hair-metal band? That’s comedy gold. Or at leastcomedy bronze. In August, Satanicide–whose over-the-top songs anddim-witted stage demeanor flawlessly evoke heavy metal’sheyday–opened for Mr. Brownstone, a Guns N’ Roses cover band, atManhattan’s Tribeca Rock Club. Here’s how they rocked.

11:10 P.M. “This is the best Zeppelin song!” a guy with a buzz cutexclaims. The song playing on the sound system is Heart’s”Barracuda.” The room is as hot and wet as the inside of a Crock-Pot. If I had a mullet, it would be sticking to the back of my neck.

11:15 P.M. Offstage, someone screams into a microphone: “NEWYORK CITY! ARE YOU READY FOR SOME ROCK’N’ROOOOLLLL???”Enter Satanicide, a Village People-esque collection of metal-dudearchetypes, from stringy-haired vocalist Devlin Mayhem (pictureAlice Cooper or the managing editor of Outlaw Biker, circa 1974)to bassist Vargas Von Goaten, whose black S&M mask suggests thechurch-torching ghouls of Norwegian black metal. “We’reSatanicide!” Mayhem shouts. [Moderate cheers] “AND WE’REFROM NEW JERSEY!” [Huge cheers] Fire shoots out of a pair ofplastic skulls. Foomp!

11:20 P.M. “We’re happy to be here at Irving Plaza,” Mayhem jokes,then waits out the laughter. “It’s a lot smaller than I expected. Andy’all look a lot gayer than I expected. But we’re gonna rock foryou anyway!”

11:22 P.M. Mayhem throws the first set of devil horns.

11:26 P.M. Some heckling, mostly variations on “You suck!” Mayhemintroduces the Van Halen-ish “When I Lay Your Lady Down” byimplying that he has recently been the beneficiary of fellatiobackstage, courtesy of a heckler’s girlfriend.

11:30 P.M. Song ends. Mayhem says, “Thank you! Goodnight, NewYork!” He will say this after nearly every song.

11:37 P.M. Estimated wait time at the bar: 48 years.

11:38 P.M. Satanicide have the technical skills that authentic metaldemands–Mayhem’s operatic howl, ax man Aleister Cradley’sGuitar Institute of Technology shredding–but they summon noneof the deadpan earnestness that makes This Is Spinal Tap the metalmockery by which others are measured. The show has an ironicdistance, a sense that the band want to have their cake and eatit, too. Or have their coke and snort it off a groupie’s ass.Whichever. Right now, they’re playing a song called “Rokk n’ RollRekkin’ Ball.”

11:43 P.M. Song ends; people cheer. Cradley: “No applausenecessary–we know that was awesome!”

11:44 P.M. Mayhem addresses some of the ?rumors’ that havebeen “going around” about Satanicide. For instance, Cradleyis not gay. “Yeah,” Cradley says, “you’re only a fag if you’retakin’ it!” “Unless you’re, like, partying,” says Mayhem, “then it’sokay.”

11:52 P.M. Only two people raise their lighters during the powerballad “Heather.” Mayhem gargles the last verse of the songthrough a mouthful of beer. Guy in crowd: “You fuckin’ suck!”11:56 P.M. Mayhem: “The next song is about Satanicide! It’s called’We Rock’!” Mayhem dives off the stage, then crowd-surfs all theway to the back of the club, where he belts out the remainder ofthe song from atop the bar.

12:01 A.M. If you’re in a joke heavy-metal band, is it actually agood thing when people yell “You suck”? The band play a songabout Garden State nightlife. It’s called “Jer-Z Nites.”

12:05-12:11 A.M. Drum solo.