It’s not difficult to see why nu-metal elicits both nostalgia and ridicule, as it’s a confusing ol’ subgenre. The band that originated it, Faith No More, continue to ashamedly deny paternity. Some purveyors have transcended it relativelyunscathed (Korn, Limp Bizkit). Others have rolled with the punches, evolved and survived (Papa Roach), though are notable by their scarcity for having done so. But what of those that have slipped our minds? Those bands consigned to the far reaches of our brains, either because they’ve been eclipsed in our affections by newer, more urgent music better suited to our emotional situations, or their lack of enduring quality means they’ve been banished to the wasteland of our subconscious. Is there anything more fun than unearthing them during a conversation in the pub or listening to a nostalgic playlist on Spotify, like an old box of mementos in the attic? With that in mind, here are nine bands you may have forgotten about, for good or for bad…
In 2003, Download Festival’s inaugural year, Kerrang! was present for Spineshank’s main stage set, during which the band’s frontman Jonny Santos caught a bottle of water lobbed at the stage, swigged from it, and coolly threw it back. Slick it undoubtedly was, but sensible it definitely wasn’t. And while the Los Angeles quartet’s music took fewer chances, owing a sizeable debt to the industrial leanings of their heroes in Fear Factory, the conviction of their efforts and the clout of Jonny’s charisma proved a winning formula on their first three Roadrunner-released albums. The importance of that chemistry was highlighted when the frontman quit the band in early 2004, with work with his replacement Brandon Espinoza not bearing fruit. Jonny would return in 2008, though their resulting fourth album, 2012’s Anger Denial Acceptance, would sadly prove to be their last.
Though they’re known, quite rightly, as the band with the brilliant vocalist Stephen Richards, there’s more to this Michigan band than that. Having been championed, and later chastised via a notorious answer phone message by Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst after not signing with Interscope Records (ultimately signing a deal with Atlantic Records), Taproot’s talents never seemed to be greeted with the success they deserved. For proof, look no further than the fact they’re still actively touring today – their most recent effort being 2012’s sixth album, The Episodes – though they’re most successful moment came with Poem, the hit single from their album Welcome, 17 years ago. Do yourself a favour and uproot some of their music if you’re not familiar with it.
Flying the flag for the Brits are this London-based mob that seemed to support every touring US band in the early 2000s. That’s not to say they didn’t enjoy success under their own steam, garnering an impressive live reputation and three albums of rowdy yet refined tunes. The last of these, 2003’s One Lie Fits All perfectly reflects the political edge the band possessed, though is the last LP they’ve released, despite reuniting in 2011 after an eight-year absence. Break the silence please, lads…
In a subgenre awash with terrible names, Dry Kill Logic were in the rarefied position of having one of the very worst (why on earth did they change from their original moniker Hinge?) The great thing about this Westchester, New York band, however – other than the fact they released an album called The Darker Side Of Nonsense – is that they’re still out their doing it, having recently returned with Vices, their first new track in 13 years.
Whether they like it or not, Adema are most famous for being fronted by Mark Chavez, the half-brother of Korn’s Jonathan Davis, than their own accomplishments. That wouldn’t be the case, of course, if this Bakersfield band had carved a niche all their own, but that’s not what’s happened. Even the band’s oscillating line-up changes, provoked by infighting, has proved more unpredictable than their music, which, thanks to Mark’s familiar (familial) growl, proved too unoriginal for nu-metal nuts.
Hailing from the outskirts of Turin, this lot have been going for an incredible 26 years! Getting their big shot, as many bands in the noughties did, by having one of their tracks featured in a computer game (Available For Propaganda was part of the soundtrack to FIFA 06), Linea 77 enjoyed greater success abroad than they did in their native Italy. Having cut their teeth playing Rage Against The Machine covers in their youth, a clear highlight for the band came when, in 2008, they support the reformed Rage on the only Italian date of their tour. That same year they released their sixth album, Horror Vacui, which featured Sogni Rispendono, a duet with Tiziano Ferro, the Italian equivalent of Michael Buble.
With the release of their seventh album, 2014’s The Righteous & The Butterfly, these Clevelanders have clocked up one more album than Slipknot, but in all other regards they’ve fallen well behind their fellow masked marauders. It could have been very different, though, as Roadrunner Records were interested in signing them before they’d inked a deal with the ‘Knot. And guess what? Apparently it was Mushroomhead that passed on the deal! Regret that one, guys? If there is a rivalry between the two, it’s one that’s been fired up by the fans rather than the bands themselves. Oh and lest we forget they used to have a bassist called Pig Benis.
You could argue this one’s on the list under false pretences, as you’ve likely not forgotten about this lot, but hear us out as you’ve probably remembered them for all the wrong reasons. (hed) p.e. haven’t made a credible album since 2009’s New World Orphans – having released four since then – and haven’t made anything truly great since their first two albums, their 1997 self-titled debut and 2000’s Broke. Setting aside the fact both are blighted with some seriously misogynistic lyrics, because that’s a bigger topic for another piece, what’s further cheapened hed (p.e.)’s stock is frontman Jared Gomes’ dogged determination to keep ploughing forward with a watered down version of a band that boasts 14 former members, making mediocre albums and live shows so bad they seem like acts of self-sabotage.
Purveyors of what they described as ‘Latin metal’, Ill Niño packed some commercial clout – with their debut album Revolution Revolucion shifting some 450,000 copies worldwide. Sadly, over time, various line-up changes, lawsuits and diminishing creative returns have seen the New Jersey band’s early promise slip away. We say band, but these days there are actually two Ill Ninos – a version led by original frontman Christian Machado and one featuring drummer Dave Chavarri.
Some bands sully their legacy with a quantity over quality approach to their material. Not The Union Underground. Quite the opposite, in fact. Despite two stints of existence – between 1996 and 2002, and 2016 to the present day – these Texans have only produced one full-length album. Said album, 2000’s …An Education In Rebellion was an arresting affair, full of stampeding, sweaty tunes, spawning the chart-bothering hit single Turn Me On Mr. Deadman. The band’s Facebook page suggests details of their second album are coming soon, but after a 19 year wait we wouldn’t hold our breath.
According to legendary author F. Scott Fitzgerald, ‘There are no second acts in American lives’. Tell that to Kentucky shit-kickers Flaw, who have been enjoying a second go around since 2006, having originally disbanded two years earlier amid a spot of internal strife. Being completely truthful, the band whose last album was this year’s Vol. IV: Because Of The Brave hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. In fact, the main thing many associated them with is a running joke on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show where the host gave a shout out to the band’s GoFundMe page to raise money for a tourbus to get them to a gig, having made fun of President Trump’s plan to get US citizens to crowdfund his border wall.