Given that I have a great relationship with my father, didn’t get bullied in high school, and don’t hate my hometown, my qualifications to review nu-metal are basically nil. Alas, I’ve made my superiors here rather upset in some way, shape, or form and have been duly saddled with a Greek nu-metal opus in the form of Project Theory’s Something between Us. While Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex taught us we shouldn’t taunt fate by trying to avoid it, let the following tragedy in one-act teach you not to taunt those in charge of dispersing music for review. Newbies, ignore my parable at your peril lest you think Jocasta’s fate was too mild.
Opining isn’t technically supposed to appear in the second paragraph, but after listening to Something between Us more than once I found myself on the brink of nihilism and decided that I may as well partake in this small insubordinate indulgence [This behavior is what got you the Nu blues to begin with. – Steel Druhm]. This is the most needless combination of sounds put together in 2016, a mixture of Saliva’s boring tracks, Linkin Park and P.O.D. style poppy rap-rock with none of the catchy palatability, some Disturbed outtakes which would never have made the Disturbed outtakes record, hilariously obnoxious malarkey like Hot Action Cop,1 and what sounds like more 808 drops than Lil’ Jon & the East Side Boyz’s entire Kings of Crunk record.
My school teachers used to say that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Unfortunately, AMG style guidelines do not let me hand in a blank page with a big, beautiful zero at the bottom, so here we are. The best thing I can say about any of the material here is that “Blasting the Sea” would make a good track to skip after a minute or so while playing Need for Speed: Underground in hopes of hearing “Get Low” again. The best aspect of this song is the lack of input from clean vocalist Isaak Evgenidis, who spends the rest of the record waging a pitiless war on the very concept of singing in tune so aggressive that it singlehandedly calls into question Greece’s commitment to the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
As my word limit is less than that of a PhD dissertation I can only scratch the surface of the infuriating content here, beginning with the outright effrontery of “Guardian Angel.” The chorus tries to soar with its vocal melody, but like an old, fat ostrich, it’s flightless and unappealing. Trying to remember the verse enough to say something relevant about it is like nailing Jello to a tree without the added bonus of being mildly entertained by making Jello. There’s actually a song called “Feelings” on here, and it’s basically Saliva’s Every Six Seconds with zero hooks and a bunch of gratuitous bass drops, tailor-made for a bizarre niche market I’m not sure actually exists outside of whatever nightmarish alternate reality this could be considered acceptable music in. Now, I don’t harbour any particular loathing for Saliva; “Your Disease” was comparatively brilliant when I listened to it following Project Theory. “I’m Nothing” is that quintessential nu-metal track where the band tries to sound tough but show they have feelings too, but this particular incarnation sounds like a bunch of tuneless pansies with an unhinged hatred of all standards of goodness and decency in music. There’s even the slow “emotional” rapping, which sees Diogenis Evgenidis spitting stale, lukewarm air instead of fire, like he’s the least effective dragon ever. Not everybody can be RZA on Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), but that doesn’t excuse taking four nighttime Tylenols a half hour before dropping a verse.
From a production standpoint, Project Theory’s project and theory are bad. The 808 drops are obnoxious, louder than everything, and completely clash with the sound of the more organic instruments. Every drop here sounds tacked on and obliterates whatever is happening in the background for a second and sounds hilarious next to the weak and ineffectual kick drum. The bass guitar shows a clear Korn influence in tone and performance but is slightly less annoying, while the guitar is set to the “Metal” setting on your first practice amp. In sum, everything is wrong here, and the only salient redeeming factor is that Something between Us eventually ends. Like building a Rube Goldberg machine to smash yourself in the balls with a sledgehammer every time you walk into your kitchen on a Tuesday, Something between Us is painful, useless, and a dreadful chore that can yield nothing but misery.