What is UR Favorite Classic Nu-Metal Band??
Unless you count current metalcore bands with a wiggerish slant (Emmure, Winds of Plague, Acacia Strain, etc.), the genre of nu-metal is all but dead. Once a nearly-unstoppable juggernaut of Kikwear pants, eyebrow piercings, and chinstrap beards, today it is but a dessicated husk, barely clinging to life. At its peak, nu-metal filled the airwaves coast-to-coast, but these days you’re most likely to hear it on a beat up boombox in the corner of a windowless basement printshop or third-rate auto parts store on the outskirts of town.
While the tastes of fickle music consumers may have changed, nu-metal has never sounded better. Many kids these days are too young to have experienced this unique genre the first time around, so I figured I would share some of nu-metal’s best artists that fly a little under the radar of current tastemakers — I’ll skip the big names that we all know (Korn, Kid Rock, Bizkit) and focus on the unsung heroes. And mark my words, you’ll see indie rockers ironically listening to hed(pe) within the next few years!
Formed out of the ashes of the progressive death metal band Oppressor (who’s 1996 album Agony is a highly underrated classic) and rounded out by what must be the only non-idiot in Broken Hope, SOiL had a moderately successful radio song in 2001 or something. I think they had a few other albums that were kind of popular, too. The truth is that they are pretty boring and not that good, but it’s pretty funny that they used to be in really good death metal bands, so I thought I would begin with them. Also, writing their name in mixed case (“SOiL”) is the most trademark-90s thing this side of Old Navy tech vests.
I could and may someday write a whole post about Dope, but I like to think of them as the prototypical nu-metal band. Much like the wignecks that I went to high school with, they embody all the most absurd, trashiest parts of 90s culture. They’re like that weird kid who lived down the street from you in a trailer: pissed off at everybody and everything, but not smart enough to be into punk; stoked on heavy riffing, but not aggro enough to be into real death metal; fascinated by violence and urban culture, but not sophisticated or resourceful enough to seek out legit thugged-out rap. Instead, he drops out of high school, grows a mullet/undercut, starts a nu-metal band, and constantly talks about how big they’re going to be, until he goes to jail for selling meth. Super authentic!!
This band was mostly known for having the singer for Korn’s stepbrother or something as their singer. Although I don’t think they were actually related, he sure did his best to sound like Jonathan Davis, and the band tried very hard to sound exactly like Korn. Basically, they were just like Korn in every way, only about 60% less good, which probably explains why they were not very popular. However, I really liked the intro riff in their song off of the soundtrack for Resident Evil. The singer probably makes his living these days tour managing Asking Alexandria or something, who get really uncomfortable when he gets drunk and tries to tell them how he used to be in a band.
Several years ago, I was watching myself in the mirror while lifting weights and listening to The Gift of Game when I realized how sweet this band really is. I non-sarcastically love both their albums (although for different reasons), and I seriously think they don’t get the credit they deserve. Obviously, their look will be off-putting to most MetalSucks readers, but these guys had some seriously great songs. Their most popular track by a huge margin was the top 40 hit “Butterfly,” but I think more hard-rocking numbers like “Darkside,” “B-Boy 2000,” and their cover of Tha Alkaholiks’ “Only When I’m Drunk” represent their brand of nu-metal much better. Basically, I think of CxT as what Limp Bizkit should have been.
Some random CxT trivia:
- Deceased hipster icon DJ AM was an original member of Crazy Town (although he didn’t seem too eager to mention it lol)
- The drummer on The Gift Of Game spent most of his previous career playing with Chuck Magione
- Shifty Shellshock is a pretty decent graffiti writer, in the early 90s LA style ala CBS, WCA, or UTI
While this band is best remembered for their industrial-tinged, nu-metal cover of the New Order classic “Blue Monday,” there is more to the story than yet another lolworthy one-hit-wonder. In addition to featuring ex-members of Crazy Town, Orgy also inspired 18 Visions bassist Javier Van Huss to invent scene hair! From a post he wrote for Stuff You Will Hate:
I’ve been trying to trace the roots and history of Scene hair, but i can only tell you what inspired US in the beginning: ORGY. The techno-goth-rocker-industrial-glam playboys who scored a minor hit with their cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday“. Every day on our way to beauty school, James and I would pass by the Virgin Megastore in Costa Mesa, and see these GIANT posters of the members of Orgy. These jerks had pointy hair and lipgloss and eyeliner and we were transitioning from wearing JNCOs with basketball jerseys to having to wear all black for school.
While Orgy may be largely forgotten (or to be more accurate/honest, completely forgotten), their legacy lives on in the hairstyle of every 15 year-old girl rifling through the Attack Attack! shirts at your local Hot Topic!
Coal Chamber is maybe the most generic of all nu metal bands if you ask me. They combined all the elements of stock nu-metal (melodramatic, emotional talking parts; eerie clean guitar intros; the clickity-clack bass tone; Disembodied-like mosh riffs, etc) into something that was flawless on paper, yet completely soulless and unappealing in practice. A couple notes on this lolcow:
- In 1998 or so, Coal Chamber toured with the metalcore band Bloodlet (signed to leading independent label VICTORY RECORDS). I knew they were huge pussies when the guitarist was terrified of Charlie, the drummer for Bloodlet (who is himself a huge pussy).
- How did Dez Fafara re-invent himself as someone who is actually credible?! From what I can tell, people actually take his terrible new band (DevilDriver). Seriously, WTF??
Back in mid/late 90s, one of my favorite activities was going to see horrible bands with my friends. Our favorite venue (the original Peabody’s in Cleveland) regularly hosted several regional acts that were always good for a laugh. We always assumed that these bands were so retarded and shitty that playing to 40 people on a Wednesday night in Cleveland was as big as they’d ever get, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. ICP and Kid Rock, two of our favorite joke bands, went on to become chart-topping superstars, and even the humble Mushroomhead has managed to sell nearly 1 million albums over the past 17 years.
This helpful timeline should answer any questions you may have about Mushroomhead’s lineup over the years
I’m pretty sure that one or all of the members on Mushroomhead were Dwid’s backing band for the ill-advised yet kind of awesome Integrity 2000 album, and I know one of them was also in Spudmonsters. Spudmonsters were a little before my time in Cleveland, but I did go over to Spudmonsters vocalist Bhakta Don’s house a few times with my weird Krishna friends — he was really nice and laughed at my stupid jokes about Pro-Pain. In any case, perhaps my favorite thing about Mushroomhead is the comic disparity between the earnestness of their music/lyrics and the fact that they’re 38 year-old men wearing fucking clown costumes.
On a final note, a friend of mine at work told me a story about how he saw one of these guys get in a confrontation outside a show in Cleveland. Say what you want about Clevelanders, but they’re definitely not afraid to throw down, and I’m sure these losers are no exception. Apparently some idiot was getting in the Mushrooomheader’s face, and the Mushroomhead dude said, “Motherfucker, do you know what I do for a living?! I build car seats!!! How fucking angry do you think I am!?”
METHODS OF MAYHEM
I figured I would conclude this discussion by sharing what is, without a doubt, the best/worst lyric ever recorded in the history of music. From Methods of Mayhem’s debut single “Get Naked” (featuring Fred Durst): “Shootin’ my jizzy jizzum.”
What is your favorite classic nu-metal band?? What do you think the third Crazy Town album would have sounded like??? Should Soulfly be on this list? Does anybody with an IQ above subhuman levels actually listen to Mushroomhead?