MUSIC REVIEWS: System of a Down

Mezmerize American/Columbia
Music •••• Sound ••••½
We won't know the full extent of System of a Down's third "album," Mezmerize/Hypnotize, until the second disc drops this fall. But for now, Mezmerize's filler-free assault nails its targets with precision-guided metal/rock. On "B.Y.O.B.," singer Serj Tankian aims his biting black humor at bloody Iraq while knockout thrash riffs and "la la la"-fueled pop raise an eyebrow. Daron Malakian wages six-string devastation on "Revenga" and sarcastically announces "My cock can walk right through the door" in the anti-authoritarian "Cigaro." The New Wave-y "Old School Hollywood" and the heartbreaking "Lost in Hollywood" conclude the first hit of what may turn out to be a lethal double dose.

See the review of Hypnotize