Ladies and Gentlemen, I Give You The BEAVIS BAND...Uh, I Mean Linkin Park
Written: Jan 8, 2002
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Mike Shinoda isn't bad, In The End is fabulous
Cons:in only 15 words? Come on, I'm not a miracle worker!
The Bottom Line: Remember when Beavis just did cruddy imitations of lame bands, instead of actually being the singer for them?
There are certain trends in the music industry that just must die. Right now, there are boybands singing about wet dreams (O-Town), female pop singers who sell out their own values for album sales (Jessica Simpson), and there are more rap-rock acts out there than a genre can truly hold. One of these is Linkin Park, a band with decidedly good intentions ("we want to make music we weren't hearing"), and a great idea: take the 6 members' musical influences, stir them together and come up with a new hybrid, hence the name of their debut album, Hybrid Theory. Well, it was a good idea in principle.
Ahhhhh Linkin Park. It used to be that they didn't bother me much. Oh, don't get me wrong, I thought they sucked when I first heard them about a year ago. But it wasn't until my brother Tim described them with a perfect sentence that I truly realized how awful they are. It was as we drove to see U2 that this convo happened. I've recreated it below for all of you:
Tim, flipping radio dial: christ, radio is terrible.
Matt: tell me about it. 3 Doors Down gets major airplay.
Tim, as Crawling plays in the background: No, there's that other band...wait, is this them? Yeah it is.
Matt: Linkin Park?
Tim: They aren't Linkin Park.
Matt: yes, that's who is singing this.
Tim: They are Beavis Band. They're singer sounds like friggin Beavis used to. God listen to him. (Chorus of Crawling plays along)
Matt: *laughs hysterically at the truth*
OK, so maybe that's not the EXACT conversation, but believe me, that's not very far off. I know it was Crawling on the radio, I know I brought up 3 Doors Down, and I know my brother refused to call Linkin Park anything other than Beavis Band.
What is truly scary is that it's true. Lead singer Chester Bennington tries so much and so hard to be Beavis that it's laughable. Sorry, but the day I have respect for a guy who tries to sound like Beavis is the day that Eddie Vedder tries to mimic Butthead.
To be fair, Linkin Park isn't all bad. Their current single, In the End, is by far their best song, and it deserves all the success it's received thus far. It's only on this song that the band's myriad of influences comes together in a musical stew that actually tastes pretty good. It's truly the only time that Bennington (heretofore called Beavis Boy) doesn't sound like Beavis.
Other than that one shining example though, it's all pretty bad. Most of the time, rapping emcee Mike Shinoda is too busy trying to convince us he's a great rapper rather than coming up with a decent lyrical turn or two. The only thing he convinces me of though is that he's as fake as they come. Meanwhile, Beavis Boy does his best Almost Famous impersonation. Come on, you know the scene. William and Penny start arguing and William busts out with "sweet? I'm not sweet, I'm dark and mysterious and seriously pis*ed off!" Yeah, these guys are pis*ed off and I love Barbara Streisand.
The worst song, by a longshot (and that's saying something with how bad this album is) is A Place For My Head, a song that so rips off Korn's debut record with Beavis Boy's soft "pained" whisper that Jonathan Davis should be smacking this Beavis wannabe around the way Butthead used to. Perhaps Alternative Press had it right when they called this band "the bastard child of Fred Durst and Christina Aguilera."
Of the other reviews I've read on this site, everyone seems to rave and rant about the lead track, Papercut. For the life of me I can't figure out why. The music is terrible, it's like Nine Inch Nails gone rap-core. For a rap-rock band, their bassist, Phoenix, sure doesn't seem to do much. Maybe he heard the demos for this record and flew far away. Drummer Rob Bourdon should change his name to "Boredom" because quite frankly, my thirteen year old niece could play what he does, and not just here, but throughout the record. Lyrically, the song sucks even worse, and it's just as painfully irritating as a Papercut. Well, at least they got a title right.
One Step Closer, the first single, is the type of single that makes me hold my head and rub it the way Al Bundy used to do on Married With Children. "I find bliss in ignorance" is one of the most clear lines, at least when Beavis Boy isn't singing in his normal constipated yowl. Of course, they find bliss in the ignorance of the record buying public, who inexplicably made this the best selling record of the 2001 calendar year. Yeah, and someone dares call MY musical tastes fruity?
With You is apparently the band's attempt to appear sensitive, at least lyrically. It's a song about lost love, but the only thing that isn't lost about this song is the fact you can actually audibly hear the bass at times. Who knows, maybe Mr. Phoenix accidently stumbled into the studio one day while the rest of the band was recording this.
I have no idea who Brad Delson's influences are as a guitar player, but they can't be very good. By the time you hit the fourth song, Points of Authority, you feel like he's already battered you with all he knows. Then again, those fourteen year olds love those big loud power chords, and we wouldn't want to risk being labeled a "sell out" by doing anything else, would we?
The aforementioned Crawling is Beavis Boy's worst attempt yet at sounding pained and tortured. But it's Runaway that give us hope yet, as Beavis Boy tells us he's "gonna run away, and never say goodbye." Well, I guess we can only hope.
I'll stop there. If I haven't convinced you yet that this band is a 3rd rate, Beavis and Butthead inspired, Korn and Rage Against the Machine wannabe, then I guess I'll never be able to.
In a last attempt to be fair, I will say Shinoda gives a valiant (if at times overbearing) effort, but to quote his own song, "in the end, it doesn't even matter."
On the bio section of their website, Beavis Boy says "When I was two, I used to run around singing Foreigner songs." Yeah, and you're gonna tell me he's now dark and mysterious and NOT Beavis Boy? Well, to give him a small amount of credit, I guess he did his best to show us how Hot Blooded he really is.
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