Music Playlist week #27 (The Nu-Metal edition)
Has there ever been a music genre in history that appeared as quickly as Nu-Metal, made such a huge impact them vanished? We doubt it.
So, what was Nu-Metal? The crudest description is the subgenre of Heavy Metal that combined metal, hip-hop, alternative, funk, industrial and grunge. Sometimes all at the same time. If that sounds like it would be a huge mess, then a lot of the time you would be right. But, like it or not, some of the best guitar-driven songs of the last 20 years are classed as "Nu-Metal".
It was a pretty welcome antidote to the hair metal and Britpop that was dominating the airwaves at the time. The funny thing is that the bands classed as this HATED it. Nu Metal was seen as a dirty term in music and seen to lack any credibility. Interestingly in the years following its explosion into the mainstream, peoples stance on it seems to have softened somewhat.
Whatever you think to Nu-Metal, you can't argue with the results. Just look at some of the bands that came from it. Korn, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Papa Roach, System Of A Down, the list of megabands goes on and on. The combined record sales from just these five bands alone are absolutely astronomical. The main bulk of Nu-Metal came from the US, but there were a few bands in the UK too that had notable success, such as Hundred Reasons, Hell Is For Heroes and Lostprophets (but the less said about them the better).
It wasn't just the music that made the scene too. Nu-Metal had a very specific fashion to it. Baggy, ridiculously wide trousers, baseball caps (red ones usually) and dubious haircuts with an excessive amount of product in.
So how did the genre eventually become so hated and fall by the wayside? There are a few reasons rally. The notoriety and ego got the better of a lot of bands - Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst becoming an ego-driven monster is a story that everyone knows - and the bandwagon jumpers meant the scene became very diluted. It also didn't help that Nu-Metals association with the misogynistic and macho "jock" crown meant there was definitely a bit of an unpleasant edge to it all, as well as the controversial events from the Woodstock 1999 music festival.
Like everything, as soon as things become too popular, there is a backlash. Soon enough, another trendy genre took over, Emo. That's a story for another day.
People can still slate Nu-Metal as much as they want, but the fact is that without it, there wouldn't be bands such as While She Sleeps, A Day To Remember or Bring Me The Horizon, who all grew up listening to the bands we list below.
You know what? We love Nu-Metal to this day and aren't afraid to admit it. The worst thing about it in our eyes is the name. Awful. Just awful.