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Nukore: Broken Hip? Hop On

Remember the Rap/Nu-Metal craze that dominated most of the nineties? It’s hard to imagine that these groups are still around. Very rarely, but more often than one would imagine, I get an album that falls into that category. I admit, I have a special place in my heart for some bands of the genre, such as Hed P.E. and Cyprus Hill, though you wouldn’t really file the last one under the Nu-Metal craze, or at least I wouldn’t. I even delve into some old-school Limp Bizkit on occassion. But, checking the inbox, I happened on a band listed as Alternative Metal through Noisehead Records, a label I have grown to greatly respect and expect good things from. But, meerly a few minutes with Nukore (Nu-Metal crossed with Metalcore, get it?), and it was like I just stepped into the world of Jurassic Park for Wayward Dinos.

The press release that went out states that some of the inspiration from the group comes from bands like the ones I already listed above, as well as Korn, which was no real shock, but also Sugar Ray, In Flames, and even Metallica. Given the inspirations, this immediately struck me as an album with one hell of an identity crisis. But, at least the “Intro” set much of it into perspective, which didn’t leave me with a lot of hope at first. The production sounds pretty good on it, but overall it was composed of catchy, yet rather generic mid-tempo Alternative Rock with a heavy Groove foundation, and laced with less enthusiastic P.O.D. input. “Sad Reward” was essentially the same thing, but the background “chants” had more energy than the main one. There also was a breakdown involved that was just someone inhaling and exhaling really close to a mic along to the rhythm in a highly annoying fashion.

“Greedy Swine” has a tired approach to the vocals that took me a good while to get adjusted to. But, the music was actually really catchy, coming off like some kind of modern ghetto gangster type film, or at the very least reminding me of the scene from Office Space where the men are walking away from the copier they stole and destroyed in an open field. The chorus and main verses had me bobbing my head along to the beat, and I found myself really enjoying this track a little after it started. “Interlude 1” follows a brief interlude that is “Deadly Sins,” and it just didn’t grab me as much. Again, it wasn’t bad, but the bland vocals and some of the generic riffs just wound up uninspiring, even the breakdown and it’s insanely long introduction that felt like an eterntiy to get through.

“Rise Up” was another one of the calmer songs that had more a groove to it that would fit an action film like mentioned above. It wasn’t one of the best I’ve heard, but I caught my head bobbing along to the rhythm a couple times here and there, and for good reason. The song is actually pretty catchy in the long run. But, “A.I.T.D.” shows the group’s more aggressive side, throwing in some blast beats for the main verses, and a mid-tempo groove for the rest. It wouldn’t be too bad if the vocals didn’t sound like they were being harmonized from a script for the first time. It was around here I kind of stopped listening, but not because I lost interest, but more because I literally had to stop due to time restraints, and I’ll openly admit that I would have liked to hear more.

I’m not going to sit here and immediately dismiss Nukore at all, especially for bringing back the Rap Metal approach we all thought had run its course. For being a new entry to a musical relic, they do a decent job as far as the music goes, though the vocals could have a little more enthusiasm behind them. Sometimes the tamer approach works, but other times it simply doesn’t and would greatly benefit from a little more push. In no way is this something I’m going to throw in for a long car ride, but maybe to kick back and unwind with a few songs I wound up really getting into. For the random evolution of what most, if not all of the Metal community assumed was an extinct style, Nukore have raised the bar a bit with No Hip? Hop On!, and will surely stir up trouble by swatting at the hornet’s nest that is the sacred existance of Metal and it’s keepers. Time will only tell if this effort may signal proof that history repeats itself, and in so many ways I really hope that isn’t the case, praying to any who can hear me that this is an isolated incident despite how catchy the material actually became after a while.

Nukiore (band)

Digital review copy of this release provided by Noisehead Records.