Sometimes I only remember the days when I was young, yet nowadays no one else remembers when they were young and stupid. Sure, it’s kvlt and trendy to affect disdain or downright contempt for the genre, but Muppet sees your elitist bullshit and raises you one velvety middle finger: no one’s saying nü-metal was something to be proud of, but there’s a reason you all know how much it matters when one tries so hard and gets so far. Bastion of trite simplicity and harbinger of cringes that it was, a hook is a hook, and the down-tuned puddle of muddy, rap-tainted bullshit that was nü-metal invariably came with more earhookworms than could possibly be fathomed. Eventually, though, everyone grew up and realized how ridiculous this Durst-y bullshit was, and an unspoken agreement was made to put an end to this nightmare. Germany’s Nancybreathing didn’t get that memo.
I’m gonna be the bigger Muppet and leave any discussion regarding that gem of a name for the comments. We’re here to talk about the music, and though that’s in short supply here I’m still honor-bound to warn you of the horrors awaiting within Awake. The first monstrosity on display in this menagerie of musical missteps is ‘singer’ Christian, whose stilted pronunciations could be forgiven if such were at least attributed to an otherwise strong performance. They are not. The harsh vocals are tolerable, sounding somewhat similar to the more aggressive moments of Endo and going a long way towards keeping this thing above a 0, but the cleans… well, they go a long way toward pushing this thing into null-mans land. Think Maynard half-assing a B side after too many of his precious wines: what we hear on Awake is only slightly less pleasant than that. Cliche lyrics delivered in a predictable formula based heavily in repetition and wrapped in razorwires of angsty edge… ugh.
Even ugh-ly-er is the utter lack imagination to be found within the instrumentation. The nü-nonsense tone and clarity of the guitars once again save Awake from the depths of trve 0, but once again just barely. The heavy, djenty tones of “World on Fire” and “Stronger Than Before” could almost pass for Sevendust or Staind, possibly a beefier Flaw, except each of those bands have released not just songs but entire albums that I enjoy to this day, whereas Nancybreathing have only done this and worse. For over forty minutes, Awake sees these Germans beating the Jørn-forsaken fuck out of 10 dead horses, and the end result just makes me want to break shit. I have nothing to say regarding the drums or bass other than that I can hear them, and that’s probably for the best.
The cause of my contempt, in case you’re as quick as these kids (seriously guys, it’s 2018, what the fuck are you doing making nü-metal???) is that these guys aren’t trying to be so much a band as a collective best-of hodgepodge comprising the members’ old nü heroes. “Too Many” is too much like hearing a Chevelle cover act accidentally merge into a Sevendust track and doing a shitty job at it, and the obligatory feels showcase “Hush” finds Christian floundering through a misguided Tool-meets-Red mire of overdone nümotion. For doing their thing under such a unique crest, Nancybreathing are doing absolutely nothing of their own instrumentally, and doing it with an ill-qualified nü-metal vocalist – which, apparently, is a thing – is about as forgivable as that Korn tattoo we all know you have. As of this posting I haven’t forced myself to listen to “Groundhog Day” to completion, and fuck you if you think anyone owes you having to endure such for the sake of a review. I net but a mere $666,000,000 per review, you can only ask so much from a Muppet.
My favorite part of my Awake experience was discovering a part of myself that I did not know exist, namely, the one that simply cannot sit idly by as his aural cavities become flooded in bullshit too painfully derivative to endure for the sake of a review. Even Whyzdom squeezed a couple straight-through play-throughs outta me before I succumbed to insanity, but this is some hot garbage and I never want to talk about it again. A present-day acoustic Limp Bizkit set would be about ten times more bearable and at least twenty times more imaginative than this is, and I don’t believe I’ve ever had a meaner thing to say about anyone. To balance that out: thanks for not Nancyrapping, guys, it was really nice of you to spare me a 0.0 and I really appreciated it.