French coldwave: a sort of proto-goth rock sound that developed in the late 70s.
American coldwave: guitar-driven electro/industrial music that enjoyed brief popularity in the early 90s.
To fans of both genres (author included), watching people get pissy about the difference can be very entertaining indeed.
French goth: mon amis, i hear you like ze coldwave?
US rivet head: yeah, bro, totally! just bought the new 16volt album, shit was SO cash...
French goth: qu'est-ce que c'est, 16volt? do you like trisomie 21?
US rivet head: who's that? have they remixed any Chemlab tracks?
Someone who enjoys the darker industrial side of techno, or more accurately, the more aggressive stompy side of industrial music. The rivethead is ridiculed equally by the old school industrial fans as well as the newer cyber crowd, but is usually too busy stomping to Caustic, Feindflug or Die Krupps to give a damn. Rivetheads are commonly thought of as being supremely elitist but behind those outsized military goggles there often lies a knowing sense of humour--hell, you'd need one if you dressed for war just to go clubbing.
"You call yourself a rivethead? I invented that shit. You wanna stomp to Death Method, you owe me royalties." --Chase of Reconstriction records (he may or may not have actually said this)