Why, oh why can’t nu-metal just go away and die? What sounded rather refreshing in 1997 quickly became the scourge of the metal world a few years later, the popularity of the turgid, drop-D dominated genre setting back the development of traditional metal by five years. Metal has caught up at last, as Lamb of God and Mastodon are starting to have significant impact on the charts, but all the nu metal holdovers continue to refuse to die, despite having completely played out the gimmick six years ago. And there are still people willing to hear the music, as the successful Family Values tour made an inexplicable return after five years, led by innovators-turned-parody Korn, and this compilation attempts to cull some memorable performances from the tour. Like the tour’s lineup, it’s a decidedly mixed bag, horribly recorded, with a pair of fresh-sounding bands buried under a morass of bland riffs, lugubrious beats, and lyrical self-pity. We get the woefully unoriginal Flyleaf (who performs an inexplicable cover of U2’s “Pride (in the Name of Love)”), power ballads by MOR bores Stone Sour and Tool wannabes 10 Years, and no fewer than six songs by the ubiquitous Korn, who sounds well past its best-before date, even on its one classic song, “Freak on a Leash”. Only the contributions by the always engaging Deftones (who never deserved the nu metal label) and Japanese visual kei stars Dir En Grey manage to stand out, but neither band can save this interminable, muddy mess.
// Notes from the Road
"On release day for their latest Big Mess, Grouplove packed Baby's in Brooklyn for a sweaty show.READ the article