Linkin Park : Hybrid Theory

One feels tempted to retreat to a cave and listen to Kyuss. Forever.

The moniker? It’s a deliberate misspelling of ubiquitous American place name Lincoln Park, changed because that was too expensive to register as a domain name. Fair enough. But reflective of the half-measures which permeate this Arizona quintet’s debut album.

Like virtually every band prostating themselves before the nu-metal flag, Linkin Park are eclectic. They like to rock and hip-hop concurrently, with some ‘electronica’ if they’re feeling especially daring and if you can’t handle that then tough. Ho-hum. Look guys, most metal kids listen to a bit of the Chemicals on the side, and when otherwise damn fine soaring emo-crunchers like ‘With You’ and ‘A Place For My Head’ are pointlessly jazzed up with tokenistic scratching, one feels tempted to retreat to a cave and listen to Kyuss. Forever.

Luddism would be a hasty option though, because Linkin Park have a lot to redeem them. Chester Bennington’s ebbing, larynx-mangling voice for starters. And while bearing no Aphex comparisons whatsoever, there is innovation here ‘In The End’ shares the acid-warped worldview of Tool, and ‘Cure For The Itch”s tricksy hip-hop interlude is all the better for downing guitars. If Linkin Park had applied that less-is-more logic to the rest of ‘Hybrid Theory’, it could have made a decent album great.

Noel Gardner