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Well, it’s good to know that the collapse of Nu Metal didn’t entirely wipe the concept of a “lead singer/rapper” off of the face of the earth.
No, seriously. Limp Bizkit may be a punchline these days, but there are people who have done it well. Like… Like what about… Uh…
Oh yeah, Paper Tongues! Paper Tongues were alright. Plus, bands like The Roots have a lead singer and a rapper, and that seems to be fine with everyone for some reason. Xombie is showing up on the scene at a great time since we’re really due for a stripped down resurgence of bands like this.
The whole Nu Metal thing, the glory days of Korn and Splipknot and whatnot are massively unfashionable in the nostalgia market right now, and it’s not like there’s no reason for that. This was an era of heavily corporatized bands selling the angstiest, weepiest, wrist-slicey-est possible music to a generation whose directionless angst and simmering hormones made them easy targets for anyone who’d help them piss off their parents. The whole subculture seems goofy in retrospect. I mean there were white dudes with dreadlocks for fuck’s sake. White dudes with dreadlocks! Fuck’s! Sake! For!
But was the music uniformly horrible? The in-the-know answer is yes, it was irredeemable garbage that will remain buried in years of declining sales, never to appear in the pop-culture canon again.
My answer is… Not really actually. In a genre that huge, there’s always at least a nugget or two of worthwhile music. Besides, think about how we thought of 80s “metal” in the days of Nu Metal. It was an era of heavily corporatized bands selling the dumbest, most decadent Axel Rosiest possible music to our parents. The Mötley Crües, Guns N’ Roses and Van Halens of the world were punchlines at the end of drunken afternoons spent at the State Fair, but now that we’ve got adjusted prescriptions for our rose colored glasses it’s perfectly acceptable to answer Appetite For Destruction when someone asks you what your favorite album is.
Oh man. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more off track with one of these. Reel it in Will.
My point is this… There’s nothing-nothing objectively wrong with a band doing the “rap-metal” thing, even in 2014. Don’t hold it against Xombie (who is, it should be noted, primarily just a metal band though you wouldn’t know that from the tangents I’ve taken in this profile) that they have a lead singer who raps. They wear it well for one thing, and for another it’s nearly impossible to tell what it’s going to be socially acceptable to like in a year anyway so it’s silly to take that sort of thing seriously. I mean, what if Nu Metal has its “Tenacious D moment” sometime in 2015 and becomes a self-aware nostalgia-genre beloved by hipsters across these Great United States? You and your Xombie album could be the coolest.
Stream their new album “Capital” below. Play it loud. In a trendy coffee shop. (If you’re in NYC, I’d head to Sweet Leaf in Long Island City. For Chicagoans, The Coffee Studio in Andersonville.)
Seriously. Do it. Harsh everyone’s buzz.