Nu-metal and its discontents

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“Weird Al” Yankovic is the most misunderstood music critic in America. I think

it’s the “weird” in his name that throws people off. Maybe his addiction polka.

Maybe it’s the crinkle-curl hair. Whatever the cause, it’s a shame because

Al’s Angry White Boy

Polka succinctly details exactly what’s ineffably awful about Nu-Metal.

As a genre, Nu-Metal was born in the dying embers of both Grunge rock and

“Big Hair” rock (clearly a May-December relationship if there ever was one).

A good Nu-Metal band is Helmet (although I’m not a fan, I can tell those guys

can rock). The rot set in when Nu-Metal became a corporate commodity and

stupid white boys thought that they could rap over wailing distorted guitars.

I’m not sure that’s how Affirmative Action is supposed to work.

From the mid-nineties on, the Suck knob on Nu-Metal continued to get cranked

higher and higher until, well, even Weird Al noticed. In 2004’s Poodle

Hat, Yankovic went back to his roots with “Angry White Boy Polka.” Unlike

the polka tune on his first album which seemed to celebrate “classic rock,”

I get the feeling Al is making a point of showing off the cyclopean banality

of the lyrics that populate the most commercially successful examples of

Nu-Metal. “Preachy” doesn’t really seem to cover for these whiny punks, but

judge for yourself. After listening to a few of these tunes, I get the feeling

that covering Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” in this style would be a mega-hit.

I have created a table that lists the source material used in Weird Al’s

parody. Old folks like me will certainly have avoided most of these

excremental twits, but now, no matter your age, you can confidently say, “Staind?

Those Nu-Metal guys suck!”

Nu-Metal: a musical STD of nineties.


Band Song Album Sample
PAPA ROACH Last Resort INFESTED Sample
SYSTEM OF A DOWN Chop Suey TOXICITY Sample
THE VINES Get Free HIGHLY EVOLVED Sample
THE HIVES Hate to say I told you so VENI VIDI VICIOUS Sample
WHITE STRIPES Fell in Love with A Girl WHITE BLOOD CELLS Sample
THE STROKES Last Night IS THIS IT? Sample
DISTURBED Down with the sickness THE SICKNESS Sample
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE Renegades of Funk RENEGADES Sample
LIMP BIZKIT My Way CHOCOLATE STARFISH AND THE HOT DOG FLAVORED WATER Sample
STAIND Outside BREAK THE CYCLE Sample
KID ROCK Bawitdaba DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE Sample
P.O.D Youth of the Nation SATELLITE Sample
EMINEM The Real Slim Shady THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP Sample