Heard It on the X

There Is No Such Thing as Nü Metal, and It Has an X-Tremely Funny Face

But do you wanna know what really sticks out like a sore fourth thumb on MTV X? Every new video that isn't nü metal. Whether it's new AC/DC, Stone Temple Pilots, At the Drive-In, the Living End, Snake River Conspiracy, or Sum 41's already classic nerf-punk clip for "Fat Lip/Pain for Pleasure." The coolest pop-punker and non-nü hard-rock vids have one thing in common that make them more memorable than just about any humpbacked, eyeless dwarf Marilyn tosses our way: real people. Other than the band. Kids. Fans. Friends. People dancing and goofing around and having a party cuz they can't believe they've been asked to show up and act dumb for a stupid video that's gonna be on fuckin' MTV.

Horned beatnik goth geniuses Mudvayne
photo: Greg Watermann
Horned beatnik goth geniuses Mudvayne

The middle-of-the-road malaise that the nü-bys ponder alone in their caves is nowhere to be found in a Rancid or Green Day vid. Korn and—God help me—Limp Bizkit certainly have their moments, and just like their spiritual predecessors Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi, it's not their fault if they've spawned monsters who made their sights and sounds commonplace. And the Reznor-Manson aesthetic will get most of those bands through album two. But that end-of-the-world shtick will begin to make those spooky empty sets look mighty empty indeed for groups who are primarily pop to begin with. In other words, the rotting flesh metaphors get harder to come by unless you're a true freak or a proud metal warrior resigned to your fate in the hell of underground fandom, like Eyehategod or King Diamond. Translation: Get plan B ready now, boys. Think techno. Or calypso.

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