Over the last few years, nu-metal has become the music industries whipping boy. Articles like this one, are a common sight on my Twitter feed, while even I have been knowing to throw the occasional barb in its direction. Yet, is that really fair? Is nu-metal the giant pile of shit we all like to make it out to be? No. No it really bloody isn’t.
Now let us get this straight, there is some bad nu metal out there and yes, Limp Bizkit are a bit embarrassing. But you know what, there is some even worse fucking pop music out there. Some truly shit rock and roll and some absolutely cringe worthy heavy metal. Nu metal is like every other genre on the planet. There was great and there was bad and people seem obsessed with focusing on the bad.
Now I kind of get why that is, most people writing about this stuff are of a generation where they remember listening to bands like Limp Bizkit and Alien Ant Farm. Now a days, they are the kind of people who sit around listening to twee cunts with banjos, writing generic shitty pop folk or whatever the fuck you want to call it. They are kind of embarrassed by their past. They shit on it in order to not have to admit they once liked it. Because they don’t have like having fun anymore, they just like being twats.
Now I haven’t just written this in order to insult these people, as much as I could quite happily do that all day, but rather to point out all the awesomeness we got out of nu-metal. For one thing, it was the last proper metal esque genre to get big mainstream coverage. It paved the way for bands like Slipknot, who despite occasionally getting shoved in the nu metal category, really aren’t, and even stuff like Asking Alexandria, to get big. It gave birth to the idea that not all metal is incomprehensible screaming (which it isn’t) and some of it has bounce and groove (why they didn’t figure that out with Pantera is anyone’s guess).
Secondly, it gave us some truly awesome bands. Have you heard Korn? Have you heard Korn recently? They are arguably on the best form of their lives and they were part of the so-called nu metal movement. For christ sake, Deftones came out of nu metal and they are bloody brilliant and don’t have a stupid baseball cap in site. Every single musical trend can be defined by its best and worst bands. For every Guns ‘N’ Roses there was a Poison and nu metal is exactly the same. People forget its importance in introducing these bands, because they were the bands who grew past the genre, it doesn’t change the fact that without the likes of Limp Bizkit, these guys might have never got a chance.
Finally, and most importantly, it was fucking good fun. I dare anyone to go and put on a Limp Bizkit album and by the end of it not have a shit eating grin on their face as they bounce around the room. The same can be said of most nu metal. Sure it probably wasn’t the most technically proficient music to ever be released and a lot of the bands did suck. However, you drop some of those tracks in a rock club and then tell me that people don’t like that music. It’s time to stop treating nu metal like some freaky cousin, who everyone at the party doesn’t like. Because the truth is that freaky cousin is banging his head and having the time of his life, while not giving a flying fuck what you think.