TITANIUM PUNCH by Yashin Blake (Misfit/ECW), 170 pages, $19.95 cloth. Rating: NN
in what's touted as the first-
ever headbanger novel, Isaac, aka (sometimes) Iqbal, is hot for the lead singer but gets it on with the bass player of heavy metal crankers Titanium Punch.
Soon he's with the band, putting together tapes, hanging out at rehearsals, freaking at their shows.
He also has a decent friendship with his roommate, Earl, who can't decide whether he wants to integrate his Bible-thumping girlfriend into his rock-worshipping circle.
Titanium Punch takes these elements and plunks them into a detailed Toronto setting, offering inside info on underground clubs and eateries. You've got to admire Blake's authentic passion for the music and very healthy horniness for girls with guitars.
Problem is, there's no story. The band rehearses, does a few gigs, gets some fans. There's a camping trip during which nothing happens -- oh yeah, a raccoon comes close to the site -- and through the rest of it much moshing occurs and many brewskis are downed.
There could have been some substance here (besides those being abused), but Blake brings the race issue to a head way too late in the game, and a revelation about Isaac's love interest, dropped into the mix with only 10 pages to go, is the kind of thing that could have driven the story harder.
As it is, we get only the set-up for a piece that could have been fascinating. Blake loves his metal, and when he writes about listening to it, he rocks. But the Lola music columnist isn't a novelist yet.
Blake launches his book at Ted's tonight (Thursday, May 10).