HYBRID THEORY

MIKE ROSS

, Last Updated: 3:42 PM ET


HYBRID THEORY
Linkin Park
(Warner)

Future musical archeologists will sift through the ruins of the late '90s and early '00s and laugh - just as we did when Spandex bands like Poison made a mockery of metal in the '80s.

"Look here," pop professor Probst addresses the class of 2011. "These poseurs actually thought combining rap with heavy metal was a good idea. And those clothes! What were they thinking?"

It's too bad, really. In the vast tar pits of the rap-metal genre, a few good bands emerge - yet still may be branded as "just another rap metal band."

Linkin Park is one of them. On the surface, the L.A. fivesome fits right in with the horde. Anger, alienation and angst? All of the above. Tormented screaming? Check. Hugely distorted guitars? Check. Rapid-fire rhymes? Check. Turntable scratching? Check. Acoustic piano and sensitive singing on haunting melodies that actually stick with you? Check ... hey, wait a minute.

There's a lot happening on Linkin Park's debut CD and it shouldn't take long before you realize this is no Korn klone. "Hybrid" is a good term. These mainly college-educated guys - who all share vocal duties - appear to have mined the best of both hip-hop and heavy metal, fusing the elements in a clever way that suggests a love for music that goes far beyond fashion. In other words, they can actually rap. They can actually crank out a ferocious, head-banging groove. They can write introspective lyrics with intelligence. It adds up to one of the finest new rap metal bands I've ever heard.

A final note: The mood is rather grim throughout, professor Probst continues, "Is it possible that self-absorbed angst in rock music comes in 10-year cycles?" The studies continue.

Track Listing 1. Papercut
  2. One Step Closer
  3. With You
  4. Points Of Authority
  5. Crawling
  6. Runaway
  7. By Myself
  8. In The End
  9. Place For My Head, A
  10. Forgotten
  11. Cure For The Itch
  12. Pushing Me Away
 


Photos