While nu-metal certainly has its devoted fans and some of the more important bands of the genre are still standing strong today, for most of us who were alive during metal’s golden age, nu-metal was the antithesis of what we wanted to hear. Still, there are plenty of people that sill hold on to the mid-90s to early 2000s as their entry into metal and even today, nu-metal is making a sort of resurgence.
Yet for every Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park, there were some undeniably bad stinkers out there clogging up the airwaves and touring around on the back of their… dubious music. To that end, here are some of the lowlights of the nu-metal scene that exemplify the genre at its weakest.
Methods of Mayhem
Tommy Lee’s rap-metal project, Methods of Mayhem, was an unmitigated disaster. Not only have we been over-exposed to the Mötley Crüe drummer (in more ways than one) over the years, his side-project was about as original and genuine as Vince Neil’s vocals on the last Crüe tour.
Tommy Lee, however, claims that Methods of Mayhem was “way ahead of its time.” Watch the video below and decide for yourself. A warning though. Once you see this you cannot unsee it no matter how hard you try.
What do you get when you take paint by numbers guitar riffs and mix it with some of the most horrendous and juvenile lyrics you’ve ever heard? You get Emmure. This is a band who wrote a song called “Bring a Gun to School.” So edgy!
With lead vocalist Frankie Palmeri being no stranger to dropping racial and homophobic epithets, short of the band’s love the for the New York Yankees, this band’s legacy leaves very little that’s even remotely positive for the metal scene.
Okay, I will admit that I listened to “Headstrong” more than a little while I played NHL 2003 on my Sony Playstation. But other than that, there’s not much here. Unless, of course, you want to mention the fact that members of the band have spent tons of time and effort berating people on social media and called COVID-19 the “Chinese virus.”
Perhaps, if the band spent more time writing good music and less time getting angry on the socials, Trapt could be so much more. I will say though that their video for “Echo” with Michelle Trachtenburg was a definite win.
“Come my lady, come come my lady…” We all heard this ad nauseam a couple decades back. What really made this song, I might argue, was the sample from the song “Pretty Little Ditty” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
What has Crazy Town done since their mega hit? Well, not much… unless you consider a fight with arrests over a less-than-stellar performance on their 2023 tour and a meltdown over stage sound. But what do they say again? There’s no such thing as bad publicity?
A band featuring the son of the great Geezer Butler, Apartment 26 seemed to get every break their way included being placed on Ozzfest. They were also booked on tours with Powerman 5000, Evanescence Sevendust and even, strangely, the Rollins Band. Highly promoted, the problem was that they just weren’t very good. Their video for “Give Me More” needs more.. a whole lot more.
Conspiracy theorists, Hed PE or (hed) pe or whatever they’re called, are known for ranting lyrics and questionable political stances. It’s hard to take the band seriously as critics have often mentioned that the band’s message is mired as more style over substance. Questioning the reality of the attacks on 9/11 didn’t help them either. However, featuring song lyrics like, “Hey Daddy I was born to ride, if I suck your dick will you put it inside me?” it’s almost criminal that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature and these guys didn’t.
My Darkest Days
Signed to Chad Kroger (Nickelback)’s 604 record label, My Darkest Days was a band that reached their supposed apex with the dreadful track “Porn Star Dancing.” Somehow, Kroger got both Ludacris and Zakk Wylde to appear on this track, obviously reducing the q score of both in the process. Sadly, Kroger’s ex-wife Avril Lavigne doesn’t make an appearance in it. Perhaps she was practicing on how not to pronounce David Bowie’s last name.
Perhaps most remember them for the angry message Fred Durst left on the singer’s answering machine, Taproot was a band so many loved to hate. Yes, they did have a Top Ten hit with “Poem,” however, the band is mostly known as the archetype for early 2000’s metal radio mediocrity.
Somehow Guano Apes, a German band with a dreadful name and music to match, made it to Headbanger’s Ball in the doldrums of the early 2000’s. Blending rap with metal and pop, this band tries to cram in slap bass to make something of a repetitive mess that someone at the famed cable network liked. “Open Your Eyes” was their biggest hit. Your actually much better off, however, keeping your eyes (and ears) closed.
One of the prerequisites for rap metal is that you need to be able to rap. Velcra throws that old wives tale out the window and decides to mix their version of rap with the most boring white bread metal riffs possible. Mostly shouting and yelling mixed with images that try too hard to be edgy and controversial, Velcra is about as rebellious as shopping at your local Hot Topic.
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