Who to blame, eh? Creed? Train? Staind? All of 'em
and more nondescript college bands across the US? The
great American public for empathising with their vaguely
sincere single-syllable short-sighted insubstantial-imitation
dirge-angst discharge? Someone should be held accountable
ferchristsake, it's not like there's NOTHING else out
there people. Actually, if you're looking for someone
to blame, blame Durst. For it is he that gave rise to
this latest wave. Not only has he thrown Staind our
way with his blessing like a discarded wet tissue, but
he follows it with Puddle Of Mudd (yeah, like well done
with stretching to three words, but please).
story: Lead Mudd bloke Wes snuck behind the cordon,
flung a tape at Corporate Fred's security guard, subsequently
signed to his Flawless (erm, say what?) label and the
remainder of the band were recruited (read manufactured)
around him. Cut forward a year and PoM's 'Come Clean'
is making an entrance in the top 10 of the Billboard
Album Chart, the highest ever for a rock debut, or something.
You can call him a businessman if nothing else. The
biggest mystery though is how and why nu-metal has taken
to selling little more than Diet Pearl Jam back to us
- this particular variety bottled by Kid Rock.
So it does career with a mild touch of oomph across
the tiny Underworld stage, Wes' head baseball cap adorned
(natch), in the style of his mentor (ditto). But this
is nothing higher than lowest common denominator unapologetic
trailer-trash moron rock. Looking for clues - see if
you can spot a pattern: "You guys fuckin' rock, man",
"We've been playing these big fuckin amphitheatres,
they fuckin suck, man", "You motherfuckers drunk? Shit!
Fuck Me!", and personal favourite of the night "Are
you motherfucking guys fucking ready to get fucking
fucked up!?". They get everyone in the place to give
them the finger followed by a "fuck yeah" or something
similar, and finish with "and fuck all those gay encores
too!". Hmmm, revolutionary and politically correct.
Did you actually expect the music to rise above that
to become anything of any real circumstance? They own
copies of 'Ten', this is all you need to know. But they
never achieve the dynamics nor the heart that Pearl
Jam's classic debut achieved, often stunningly live
back then too, they don't even try. They like Alice
In Chains, but could only dream of that kind of grime.
Brash barroom Kid Rock is a style they seem all too
happy with here. Just hurl it out loud, shout a bit,
make sure each chorus is met with a gutteral roar (hey,
we're not saying this isn't strategically and efficiently
implemented, far from it), drink beer, headbang. Jungle
instincts, nothing more and indeed nothing less. Blame
who you like, just please don't let it keep happening.
Report by James Berry