You remember nü-metal, right? Chugging riffs. Grunted vocals. Big pants. Soul patches. It’s one of the last remaining mutations of rock that no one has bothered to pick up on. But I think it’s high time that we all took a closer look at it. Disturbed is getting back together, and that seems as good a reason as any. So let’s re-evaluate it together.
More than anything else, nü-metal is known for heavy, heavy riffs. Granted, there’s not a lot of
But maybe that’s precisely what makes nü-metal so great. It’s not that there’s no place in the world for a Yes record. Hell, I own a bunch of that stuff. I’m even a bit partial to the whole “flute rock” end of prog. On the other hand, I appreciate (probably even more so) basic, crunching rock riffs that send your testicles aflutter and have you looking to get in the pit and try to love someone. What’s more, while anyone can learn a few scales inside and out and shred, it’s a lot harder to write an effective track that basically uses one chord over and over again.
It’s a visceral
Okay, so the riffs aren’t all that challenging. But that simplicity of composition is precisely what has forced nü-metal bands to find other ways to set themselves apart from the pack. So it might be Fred Durst’s raps. It might be the post-Marilyn Manson take on shock rock that Slipknot brought us. Or it might be Static-X’s nods to disco. But unlike other idioms of rock music, you’re probably not going to confuse one nü-metal band for another. Especially not if you’re looking at a picture.
Then there’s the small matter of sound effects. DJ Lethal’s solos on the turntables are arguably more interesting than what Wes Borland was doing on his guitar, and that’s saying a hell of a lot. But when it seemed like there was nowhere else left for
It’s been about ten years since nü-metal’s inevitable fall from grace as the flavor of the month in rock 'n' roll. That means we’re primed not just for a critical reappraisal, but also a revival. So if your band doesn’t have a DJ already, you're too damn late.