Forgotten Nü Metal, 1999-2002
by Chuck Eddy | September 23, 2013
After Korn's third album, Follow the Leader, topped the U.S. album chart in 1998, and especially when Limp Bizkit's second, [Significant Other], repeated that feat a year later, the writing was on the wall: For the next three years, rock radio would be overrun by moshpit mooks trying to rap or otherwise get somehow industrially funky with all the grace of a zebu in a Hummel figurine shop. Some nitwit named it "nü metal," and the dumb name stuck.
Here's a whole bunch of such historically footnoted outfits, most of whom scored with either one radio hit or a handful during the window in question, then either slowly or quickly faded from both airwaves and public memories. A few had connections to the big and powerful: Adema were fronted by the stepbrother of Korn's Jonathan Davis; Powerman 5000 by Rob Zombie's little brother. Deadsy got helped out by both Davis and Bizkit's Fred Durst; Godhead (oops, gODHEAD) were the only band signed to Marilyn Manson's Posthuman Records.
Other distinctions: Kittie are all women; My Ruin were led by white female rapper Tairrie B, who had put out a decent solo album that nobody bought in 1990. Vanilla Ice, who made the nü metal move on his aptly titled album Hard to Swallow, had made a somewhat more profitable white rap record in 1990. And speaking of being hard to swallow, Methods of Mayhem were fronted by Tommy Lee from Mötley Crüe.
Additionally on this playlist, Dope cover Dead Or Alive, Alien Ant Farm cover Michael Jackson, and Coal Chamber cover Peter Gabriel (with Ozzy's help). None of those are as catchy as Crazy Town, represented here with their second-most famous song, possibly even more fun than their best-known one. Also, finally: The Static X dude had the best haircut.