Hello. Welcome. I’ll skip the preamble, you know it by now: I am a Nerd. (Just imagine a few paragraphs worth of ‘Don’t make fun of me you’re probably a nerd too if you think about it’ to save time, ok?).
As usual; this is not a real review. This series sees me choose a classic album which I’ve not heard before and describe listening to it in real time. Sound familiar? Good. Lets roll… This entry finds me listening to Nu Metal band Snot’s debut album and only album featuring the late Lynn Strait (and a photo of the dog on the cover, who also died in the same accident according to Wikipedia).
I have a soft spot for Nu Metal since its how I got into music obsession. I became a Metal fan because of the likes of System Of A Down and Slipknot and Limp Bizkit being popular as much as the ’90s output of Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura being exposed to me from relatives. Despite that soft spot I also find a lot of faults with it. Its kind of a ‘My sister is a bitch’ ‘Yes, she is’ ‘Hey don’t you talk about my sister that way dude’ sort of mentality, if you know what I mean. Somebody says its worthless music and I’m the first person out talking about the Blast Beats on Iowa or the complex time-sigs on LD50.
Despite it having its good moments, as a whole, Nu Metal always suffered from bring a bit singles-based and a bit filler-filled, and from bands not lasting. Flaw broke up. Alien Ant Farm broke up. Limp Bizkit fell into disarray. Hed (PE) and Ill Nino went on (but were ignored). Linkin Park and Papa Roach changed styles. Disturbed disowned Nu Metal and pretended to be a Rock band (WITHOUT ACTUALLY CHANGING THEIR MUSICAL STYLE).
Even if you enjoyed it at the time, its easy to write it off, and sneer at the funny hair-dos and piercings and make fun of Coal Chamber’s music videos. Its easy to compare the musicianship on Static X deep tracks to the musicianship on the most adventurous Deep Purple accomplishments and find it wanting. Its easy to remember being bombarded by constant Nu Metal all day every day for a few years and how much you got sick of it. Its easy but it still doesn’t stop me having a soft spot for all this, just the same as the 50 year olds have a soft spot for NWOBHM and the 40 year olds do for glam, and the 30 year olds do for grunge. I’m sure you all heard ‘Evenflow’ one too many times back in the day, but its not cause to say all grunge sucks anymore.
All that being said, no matter how much Nu Metal I listened to at the time… I don’t really know that much about it. Nowadays; I’ll find out about Thrash or Power or Stoner or NWOBHM or whatever, and go exploring and learn and look and find out as much as I can. With Nu Metal however, it was just kinda there, it was everywhere, it was advertising breakfast cereal, it was in Adam Sandlar movies, it was in Biker Grove. You couldn’t escpae it and more kept on coming…. I didn’t have to learn about it because it just was, and it always seemed like it would be.
…Until that is, it stopped …and suddenly it wasn’t cool anymore and everyone turned on it, disavowed it and I felt a little betrayed by all the hypocrites. I finally understood what the fans of older genre’s must’ve felt like when Smells Like Teen Spirit made Thrash and Glam loose its audience.
With everyone dropping Nu Metal like a wet turd you didn’t hear many recommendations to try out new Nu Metal bands. I never got urged by peers to go back to the source and discover where it started or anything, like they would about Fistful Of Metal or Show No Mercy. I never heard much about Snot for example.
I remember once hearing a ‘new Slipknot song’ at school that, deception-unraveled, turned out to be Corey’s contribution to a Snot album… but that’s it. Never heard any more of their music ever. Didn’t see music videos. Didn’t read magazine interviews. Didn’t hear them in Guitar Hero or something. Because, because as far as the world was concerned, Nu Metal was the past, man. That stuff was lamesville. Lets all get Shadows Fall tattoos and go to the God Forbid show now instead guys!
There’s been a paradigm shift recently as people my age start being the generation with the pens and nowadays I often see this album held up as an example of the good bit of Nu Metal alongside the likes of White Pony and Toxicity … sometimes even by people who think good music stopped existing after 1996 for all time, so I’ve finally let curiosity get the better of me and turn my nerd-eye back on Nu Metal to find out if I’m missing something.
Here goes nuthin’ [Play]
The album opens with the self titled song ‘Snot.’ There’s an audio sample of some talking, then an unmistakably Nu Metal wah riff comes in. The production reminds me more of Vision Of Disorder than Linkin Park to be honest. Quite the earthy drum sound. Also noteworthy, the speed. The song is a lot quicker than most Coal Chamber or Korn tracks ever manage to be. It sort of sounds like someone took the Rage Against The Machine funk influenced rhythmn section and then sped it up threefold. The vocals are a lot less of the polished pretty-boy thing that the likes of Adema and Hoobastank managed, its more raw, and unmusical. It reminds me of the more Rap Influenced moments of Slipknot’s debut, like ‘Spit It Out’ or ‘No Life’ verses.
‘Stoopid’ comes in next, with more of that slow vibe I expected from Nu Metal. Its sort of like Mega Kung Fu Radio stuff. Its definitely a bit funk influenced. When it goes heavy though, its quite satisfying. I’m not sure yet how I feel about it all though.
‘Joy Ride’ is quite atypical of the genre, its more like the fast end of Stoner Rock, like a speedier Fu Manchu track. Its just nice ballsy Hard Rock, with lead guitar, woah-ah-ohs and plenty of attitude. I can’t imagine Incubus writing this. Its more Monster Truck if anything.
‘The Box’ comes in next, its one of those loud/quite songs. It reminds me of Audioslave musically (but with busier drums) but the vocals actually come across like the two newest Mushroomhead albums at times, but there’s one background vocal that reminds me of NOLA era Down too snuck in there. These guys have a great drummer.
As an opening salvo, these first four songs are all quite distinct, and the album feels pretty diverse, I don’t really have a sense of who Snot are yet, based on four very different directions.
‘Snooze Button’ follows. It goes down the slow, funk and rap-metal rotue. Pleasantly, however, its faster than most slow Nu Metal. I can see why people dig this album, its just that bit less polished (ie. its not overproduced like later-day Nu Metal) but doesn’t have that Sloppy we-can’t-play thing of Kitte and Coal Chamber’s debut. Even the clunky Alice In Chains influence bass lead parts don’t last too long. Its not one of those songs that bores you for ever and you rarely hear the chorus.
‘313’ changes the pace, it feels more laid back, with a sort of ballad feel even though its not a ballad by any stretch of the imagination, more like creepy dvd-menu music from a crime documentary. There’s some theremin, some sound effects, some sex noises, its all a bit Porcupine Tree…
Then the album’s Title Track, ‘Get Some,’ arrives, with a slow creepy vibe not too dissimilar to Korn’s ‘Trash’ even though it predates that track by a good few years. Its one of those twinkly creepy songs that you’d imagine has a music video about peadophiles. Until the noisey chorus comes in and again, I think more Vision Of Disorder than Papa Roach. Drums once again noteworthy. I like towards the end of the song when its the same but just angrier, it reminds me of Biohazard’s New World Disrder album
Two slow songs in a row is a bit much though, even if one was more like an instrumental interlude. I hope they do more of that fast ballsy Hard Rock ala ‘Joy Ride.’ It’d be cool if that was not just a one-off.
Aww yeah. Couldn’t have planned it better myself. The next song is a fast-assed rager. Slapping out of the tracks with a Motorhead style urgency that has neeeever been Nu Metal’s forte. The mid section and the viva la france moment are a bit odd but overall this song is just the injection of energy needed. Spineshank’s turgid Strictly Diesel album could’ve learned something from this.
Then once you’ve recharged, there’s a nice mid-paced pissed-off stop/start tune with some nice riffs and very entertaining drums. Its one of the best on the album so far, even with the very character voice vocals. I don’t think the melodic chorus works the best, its a bit too grunge for me, nor does the anal sex joke, but musically its got the punch that is missing from a band like Kittie.
Nu Metal albums would tend to blur together now around this point, sort of loose interest and put in a filler-laden second half. Lets see if Snot can escape that fate…
The horribly titled ‘Get Some O Deez’ is next. It opens with more of that Korn’s ‘Trash’ sort of vibe. Then sort of just ends. It was more of an interlude.
‘Unplugged’ is very much the typical Deftones’ debut sort of song, mixed with the sort of Post Alice In Chains Nu Metal sub set of Drowning Pool and Soil et al. There’s a surprising amount of Anselmo in the clean vocals. This song, while good, is a bit generic compared to the rest of the album. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one was maybe the single.
‘Tecato’ has a very promising start. Really great busy flippy drums, a nice high tempo, its a bit like Know by SOAD in that fast Nu Metal vibe. There weren’t that many songs this fast in this genre. Its one of my favourite songs on the record so far. The vocals probably held this band off getting wider commercial success but they so truly suit the band’s music.
What, James likes it when they do fast songs? I guess we’ll have to have ‘Mr Brett.’ which sounds for the most part like a mixture between Fucking Hostile and Waiting For The Turning Point with a tiny touch of Pennywise. Nice guitar solo too. Who says Nu Metal killed guitar solos?
For me that’s where the album should’ve ended. Feels like a nice length and it would’ve been out on a high point. However, there’s two more songs to go. Next is a slow proggy moody tune with I forget what you call it. Not Hammond, but the other one. The one at the start of ‘Sheep’ by Pink Floyd. That type of Key instrument. Oh wait, I get it. ‘Keez’/’Keys’ … I see what you did there. If I ignore the keys, then musically it reminds me of ‘Goddam, Even Superman Shot Himself.’
Next song and way-to-be-tasteless! It opens with a scream of ‘My balls, your chest.’ Its a funk-fueled, bounce-filled, loud loud loud Rap Metal tune. Its very obnoxious and sweary, but undeniably catchy. Oh hey, a dog barks on it, I wonder if its the one from the album cover.
Wow, that was all over the place. I don’t know what that really was. It was one of the better Nu Metal albums for sure musically, but I can also see its commercial limitations. Its a bit overlong at 15 tracks and could maybe have lost the three instrumental tracks, but I guess counter-arguments would claim that they help give it character.
It would also feel more cohesive without the three fast, non-Nu Metal songs, but again… counter-argument is that they’re the three best songs on the album.
One thing I can’t defend is all the sillyness and studio banter and non-professional bits in the background, or the awful lyrics like ‘MY BALLS, I WANT TO PUT EM ON YOUR CHEST’… Motely Crue and Poison were blunt at times but I don’t think it ever reached outright saying that, no double entendre, no wordplay, just balls/chest.
Its interesting to think of this album in the wider context of Nu Metal. Its not one of the more Metallic ones like Slipknot’s debut or The War Of Art. Its not one of the ploddy slap-bass ones like Coal Chamber and Korn’s debuts. Its not one of the grungier ones like Godsmack and Drowning Pool. Its not overproduced and poppy like Linkin Park. There’s no influence from Tool or Faith No More apparent. Its kind of some sort of Punk end of Nu Metal that I’ve never come across before.
Interesting. I’ll have to try this a few more times and see if I can get into it. I’ll see if I ‘get it’ before I Get Some, har de har har.