Concert preview: Pop Evil plugs in, but can’t find life with Onyx

  • Jamyme Thornton photo
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From the December 19, 2013 edition

Like the winter weather in Ohio the long-running Michigan hard rock crew is constantly changing. The group has shifted band members, record labels and even musical approaches in its decade-plus of existence. So while earlier albums included occasional acoustic interludes, the band’s latest, Onyx, remains strictly a plugged-in effort. Unfortunately the added electricity can’t give life to these turgid modern rock tunes, many of which tend to lumber along as gracelessly as Frankenstein’s monster.

“I’m alive on the inside,” growls singer Leigh Kakaty on “Trenches” in a vaguely rap-rock cadence, but unfortunately these signs of life aren’t nearly as evident on the surface. Young Guns, Girl on Fire and Era 9 also perform.