The 100 Greatest Nu-Metal Songs of All Time: Postscript
Thank you to Ellie Kovach for having the most direct influence on this piece, her editorial advice was inspirational - nurturing my voice while introducing me to the magic of putting things in hyphens - and a reminder that good grammar (commas inside quotations!!) is a lifelong pursuit. Very important I thank the nucord discord and all my best friends (Orion, Harvey, TS51) that recommended me more incredible music than I can recall offhand (shunsquad forever, stepagang represent) and were always ready to provide download links for the most obscure bands you could imagine with no problem at all. Katarokkar and the r/numetal subreddit were insanely important. Multiple entries on this list were either directly recommended by Katarokkar, reddit's greatest mod, or stumbled upon via random r/numetal links posted by the passionate fans that dwell there. My wonderful friends in Nu Metal Twitter who long ago transformed the site from a hellworld to a place for meaningful music discussion and the only good kind of memes which are nu-metal memes. Need to thank pitchfork.com! Idc how lame that is their best songs of the 90s list, best songs and albums of the 00s, best songs of the 80s, and 50 greatest dancehall songs of all time lists changed my life for the better not to mention all the album reviews (put the 8.7 review for S.C.I.E.N.C.E. back online cowards) that turned me onto most of my favorite music ever. Finally, Ian Cohen needs a mention here; his 2017 review of White Pony is why this list exists. I remember being so amped to see someone in Pitchfork finally validate nu-metal. It planted the C4 charges on the door called "Nu-Metal Sucks" in my brain and life has never been the same.
My purpose in life has always been to show other people new music. As a lil kid I remember excitedly playing my cousin the song "Help!" by The Beatles as I was convinced it was the greatest song ever made at the time (He didn't like it, I remember him saying something about it being 'old person music'). The best memories I have of high school are finding bands and raving like a lunatic about them until every friend I had was into them too (shoutout to my most successful efforts Radiohead, The Dismemberment Plan and Clinic). Nu-metal I think is the endpoint of this impulse, this need to turn others onto music. I mean it is fucking staggering how much of this genre is unmapped territory. I used to discover a new favorite song/band/album a few times a year, now it feels like I can't go one week without finding a new nu-metal favorite (currently; Obsolete by Fear Factory, Fallen by Evanescence). It's an incredibly exciting thing, it feels like being on the forefront of music right now. It's difficult to remember a genre being more thoroughly crushed underfoot by the culture writ large (I brought up disco previously but that never even died in Europe) and now more ripe for discovery.
This list was formatted as tribute to all those Pitchfork lists that have had such massive impacts on me over the last..... 13 years? Sheesh, as a not so wise man once said it's been a while. I think I got it right all the way down to the font. It's such a trip to see these songs in this context. With those numbers next to them. I love that shit, I love scrolling down the page excited as hell to see what's next. Looking for that validation of your own favorites and the possibility of discovering new ones at the same time. The top 20 is xmas to me, I try to pace myself but always go racing to see what's number one before going back to read all the entries. That idea, that this list could have the same effect on people, is crazy to me. I think someone's new favorite band of all time is in here (if ur reading this and haven't yet listen to Pleymo!) just waiting to be discovered.
It's 3:30 AM here in Indianapolis. I'm out here for a wedding. Everyone wants to know if I'm ever going to get married but I tell them "I am already married. I'm married to a genre called nu-metal."
...yeah I don't say that. If I'm feeling formal I'll say "ahhh maybe someday!" and if I'm not I'll give them the rundown of how badly I want to be a jetsetting 30-something that wears designer sunglasses and always seems a lil drunk but wears it well and how marriage doesn't totally fit into that plan yet.
Everyone does know that all I do is talk about this weird ass genre now and although I still feel kinda awkward about trying to explain it to family I did only bring nu-metal tee shirts (papa roach, limp bizkit and mudvayne to be specific) so I deserve whatever I get.
By the way. I actually have an album of nu-metal music I put out in June. I have not been talking about that at all recently as I've been wearing my music journalist hat for the last couple months but I reccomend checking that out sometime too.
Thank you for reading my list! Please message me on twitter if you'd like to talk about nu-metal or recommend me more of it or argue about Mudvayne (they're overrated and I'm sorry).
Goodnight peoples! Neo-Metal forever!