"Fame has just turned people into complete monsters," RazorBliss singer Randy Kuszmaul said. "Even the illusion of fame - if you're some kind of internet MySpace whore with, like, 1,000 friends and you really don't do anything except take pictures with your webcam, and suddenly you become completely full of yourself."

"Fame has just turned people into complete monsters," RazorBliss singer Randy Kuszmaul said. "Even the illusion of fame - if you're some kind of internet MySpace whore with, like, 1,000 friends and you really don't do anything except take pictures with your webcam, and suddenly you become completely full of yourself."

So goes the thinking behind "American Gomorrah," the title track from RazorBliss' sophomore album, to be celebrated Friday at Skully's.

"We wanted this record to be relevant to today," bassist Tommy "T-Bone" Caradonna said. So they decided to tackle a self-obsessed culture head-on, mercilessly railing against society's shallow depravity with three-minute pop-metal bursts. It's kind of a funny stance for a band that brings a feline-costumed female dancer named "Razor Pussy" on stage, but RazorBliss is kind of a funny band.

Many metal groups bring a message of doom, gloom and societal disintegration, including plenty of the Alrosa Villa-centric acts RazorBliss was often paired with for its first couple years. RazorBliss roams some of the same territory, but with ironic distance and acerbic wit.

"We do that with a top hat and a cane, basically," Kuszmaul said.

The band formed in 2006 when Caradonna, who played with artists like Alice Cooper and Lita Ford during the '80s and '90s as a hired gun in Los Angeles, relocated from Phoenix to his hometown of Columbus.

There he struck up a collaboration with Kuszmaul, and the pair began to assemble RazorBliss' debut Comedy of Errors. By Thanksgiving, they had finished the album and put together a band featuring guitarists Drake Tulloh and Scott Cassan and drummer Matt Mees, who played with the Godz in the '90s. Mark Nye replaced Cassan in 2007.

Since those early days, the band has found it fits in better with straight-up rock acts than dreadlocked metal destroyers - hence the inclusion of Bullet Jones, Honey Gun and Curse Icon at Friday's American Gomorrah release party.

The melodic rockers aren't a perfect match for RazorBliss, whose music is more reminiscent of the "industrial pop" of Nine Inch Nails and White Zombie, as Nye put it. But they're as close as the band has come to finding a niche in a local scene where few bands share their aesthetic.

If they're still figuring out where they fit into the music landscape - and how a band like theirs can break through to a larger audience - they've made great strides internally. American Gomorrah is the first album to feature creative input from the full band, and the first since they began playing together regularly.

Thus it's a much better-rounded portrait than Comedy of Errors, with flashes of the varied sounds that congeal into RazorBliss' whole. Every player brings something different, a fact they're all too happy to point out.

"You generally find a punk-rock T-shirt on my side of the stage and a death metal T-shirt on [Tulloh's] side of the stage," Nye said. "We're pretty transparent like that."

E-mail your local music news to Chris DeVille at cdeville@columbusalive.com