Song Review: Korn- “Never, Never”

Korn fans rejoiced after the band recently rejoined with one of its key members, Brian “Head” Welch.  Absent for four albums, Welch previously helped give Korn classics like “Freak on a Leash” and “Got the Life” an extra kick with his dark, down-tuned playing style.

Naturally, as the band announced that they were working on a brand new album with Welch, fans grew increasingly eager to get a dose of vicious, guitar-heavy throwback Korn.

Instead, fans have been given “Never, Never,” a song that has carried on the dubstep-infused, pseudo-industrial experimentation of the band’s last album, “The Path of Totality.”  The resulting track is truly a head-scratcher.

 Though “Totality” was interesting, its appeal stemmed from the notion that the band was just trying a one-off experiment.  Now, with two guitars and re-charged batteries, it seemed like Korn was ready to return to their roots- the kinds of roots that turned them into a metal sensation in their hay day.

The untapped potential of “Never, Never” is frustrating.  The song could be worse- and it certainly has a catchy chorus- but all-in-all it comes as a slap in the face to those craving a “Follow the Leader” dual-guitar assault.

“Never, Never” builds little anticipation for the forthcoming “Paradigm Shift.”  The song-writing is there, but the arrangement makes no sense.  Welch has been under-utilized, which makes about as much sense as the Minnesota Vikings benching Adrian Peterson.

Korn- “Never, Never:” 2.5/5

Song Review: Stone Temple Pilots- “Out of Time”

It’s been a confusing and pressing time for Stone Temple Pilots.  The band recently fired (and brought legal action against) their centerpiece lead singer, Scott Weiland and- to the surprise of many- quickly replaced him with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington- an odd front man choice for a grunge-inspired alternative rock act.

Then, to make matters even more bizarre, the band’s remaining members went ahead and recorded brand new material with Bennington.  This has sparked a firestorm of various opinions within STP’s fanbase.

It’s interesting (to say the least), it’s- for some- tough to swallow, but regardless of how you perceive it, here it is:  “Out of Time.”

The song’s opening is pleasing- jamming onward with a bubbling Deleo brothers riff that seems to re-visit the momentum ignited on 2010’s self-titled effort.

However, Bennington’s contributions to the track quickly distort this euphoria.  Clearly, he has studied Weiland’s vocal mannerisms and phrasing to a T.  The result is something undeniably artificial.  This sticks out like cancer when plastered atop the song’s impressive instrumental coagulation.

Though the remaining members of STP were probably justified in firing Weiland and are brilliant musicians in their own regard, their decision to continue the band in its current state was an unwise one.

“Out of Time” is not a bad song, but it’s hard to listen to without imagining the perfection that could have been reached with Weiland on vocals.   Some will be able to look past this, but either way, Stone Temple Pilots have inevitably stained their consistency and legacy as a band.

Stone Temple Pilots- “Out of Time:” 2.5/5

Song Review: Alice in Chains- “Stone”

Lately, a considerable portion of Alice in Chains’ fans have remained skeptical about the band continuing onward without the late, great Layne Staley.

But if there was ever a time to leave the past in the past, that time is now.  And “Stone” is one of the main reasons why.

The successor to the chart-topping hit, “Hollow,” “Stone” kicks off with a thundering bass line before segueing into one slimy three-ton behemoth of a guitar riff.

The beauty of the song is that while it does evoke fond memories of “Dirt” and “Facelift,” it stands as its own unique piece of Alice in Chains material.  The band’s trademark mucky guitars are complimented with a crisp, modern sound that packs an unbelievable punch.

If “Stone” does not get your blood boiling for Chains’ upcoming album “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,” there is a strong chance you may not have a pulse.

Alice in Chains- “Stone:” 5/5