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Published: Friday, 5/2/2003

Cold fills new disc with metal, meaning

BY DAVID YONKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Cold is hot.

On May 13, the five-man metal band will release its third disc, “Year of the Spider,” a mix of melody and lyrical depth produced by Howard Benson - the studio ace who helped P.O.D. achieve its breakthrough with “Satellite.”

Cold's new single, “Stupid Girl,” featuring lyrics and vocals by Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, already is climbing the charts and the group is scheduled to join Jane's Addiction, Audioslave, Jurassic 5, and the Donnas this summer for the Lollapalooza festival.

In the meantime, Cold is on the road steadily, including a stop in Toledo tonight at Headliner's with another fast-rising metal band, Depswa.

Cold's drummer, Sam McCandless, a severe looking man with an easy-going manner, said “Year of the Spider” is “definitely a step up from the last record, as far as production and songwriting.”

He said he asked Benson to make his drums sound “really heavy, John Bonham-heavy” on the new disc, and was delighted with the results: “The drums sound like two dump trucks falling from the sky,” he said.

McCandless, guitarists Kelly Hayes and Terry Balsamo, bassist Jeremy Marshall, and singer Scooter Ward wrote most of the new songs in the studio. Ward roughed out the lyrics with them, McCandless said, and after the band headed back to its hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., the singer fine-tuned the words and added the vocals.

“They sent the record with the lyrics and I was like, `Wow. This album has a lot of meaning,'” McCandless said.

On “Cure the Tragedy,” for example, Ward sings about his sister's battle with cancer.

“I can't take this anymore. I can't feel this anymore. Won't you take and give the pain to me?” Ward sings.

“That's a really, really hard song for Scooter to sing,” McCandless said. “He and his sister are like best friends. It's good songwriting and it's also good therapy for him to get it out.”

When McCandless first heard the band's performance on “Stupid Girl,” he knew it had a magnetic melody. “We just called it `The Weezer Song' because it sounded like something Weezer would do.” Ward sent a copy of the instrumental tracks to Cuomo, and the Weezer star added his own lyrics and vocals.

Depswa, based in Los Angeles, recently released its debut disc, “Two Angels and a Dream,” on Geffen Records. That disc also was produced by Benson.

Singer Jeremy Penick said the band's name was inspired by the movie Medicine Man, starring Sean Connery. The Venezuelan tribe called Connery “depswa,” which means medicine man, as he searched for a cure for cancer.

The name fit perfectly, he said, because the band had been looking for a new name and, until settling on Depswa, had been called Carcinogen.

Cold and Depswa perform tonight at Headliner's, 4500 North Detroit Ave. Tickets are $14 and doors open at 9 p.m.



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