For Those About to "Rock"

SPIN Staff

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.

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