Hand of Doom

A Beginner's Guide to the Best Black Sabbath Tribute Band in the World (Idaho/Retrophonic)

The best thing about Hand of Doom, the hot new quasi-celebrity Black Sabbath tribute band, is the cheesecake photo of frontwoman Melissa Auf Der Maur adorning the cover of its debut live disc. Her back is to the camera. Her arms are outstretched. Her pants are suitably tight for the occasion.

There. We said it.

Should such a crass, sexist remark put you in a lousy mood, just imagine how you'd feel if you actually had to listen to Hand of Doom.

We presume Auf Der Maur to possess a modicum of talent, having survived tenures as bassist for Smashing Pumpkins and Hole. But her decision to assume lead singer duties and drag a filmmaker (Joey Garfield/DJ and gongs), a clothing designer (Molly R. Stern/bass), some chump (Guy Stevens/guitar), and fucking Natalie Merchant's former drummer (Pedro Yanowitz) through a host of toe-tapping Sabbath ditties ("Fairies Wear Boots," "Paranoid," "War Pigs," etc.) is patently ridiculous. Other than the chump guitarist, the performances are of strictly Gong Show quality, particularly Auf Der Maur's. Her sneering, campy impression of Ozzy's vocal mannerisms joins forces with her inane stage banter to present a unified front of sheer doofiness.