Linkin Park Hybrid Theory

These four bands are prime examples of why we won't have to wait for that twat in the red hat and his bandmates to kill nu-metal. Can you hear the death knell drowning out the chorus of badly played seven-string guitars? I sure as hell can! Shuvel is one of the worst bands I've ever had the displeasure of wrapping my ears around. I see a lot of empty halls and lonely nights for this limp-wristed-bizkit knock off. But "the Durst is yet to come." Chronic Future are cut from the same red cloth as Durst's cap, but do have the advantage of having a couple of catchy numbers in "Jump to Jive" and "? Up." Of course, those are only two of 14 tracks and it doesn't help that these guys are flirting way too much with white boy funk rock and rely far too much on a DJ to scratch their way out of a song. Linkin Park are the most promising of this bunch, as they tack on a bit of Chemical Brothers and NIN electronica to elementary SoCal metal rhythms. Problem is that the only song worth listening to is "Papercut." Just to show that the American major labels aren't the only ones polluting the used record shops, I give you Loco, an indie troupe from Winnipeg. They are the heaviest of this lot, but when you "liberally borrow" from Coal Chamber, Fear Factory's clean vocal choruses and blatantly rip off Korn's "Blind," in "Demolition," heavy doesn't necessarily mean much of anything. Loco have put together a decent sounding package, considering their label-less status, but are in dire need of an identity that already hasn't been beaten into the ground. (Warner)