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

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Song Review: Pearl Jam- “Mind Your Manners”

When it comes to keeping things fresh and unexpected, Pearl Jam stand as experts.  The band has one of the most versatile catalogs of any band rooted in the Seattle grunge scene- ranging from the all-out furious (“Do the Evolution,” “Why Go”), to the beautifully melodic (“Just Breathe,” “Light Years”), to the emotionally powerful (“Black,” “Come Back.”)

Now, in wake of 2009’s smoothly-produced masterpiece, “Backspacer,” the band has called yet another audible- they have recorded a punk rock song.

Well…okay, “Mind Your Manners,” the band’s latest single, isn’t COMPLETELY a punk rock song, but it might as well be.  It’s fast, to the point, and plays like a backhand to the face.  Think “Spin the Black Circle” with a touch of Black Flag.

The song is like a 3 minute joyride in a hot-wired war vehicle – kicking into high gear with sputtering guitars and never stopping for air.

“Mind Your Manners” makes it clear that anything can happen on the forthcoming “Lightning Bolt.” Major Pearl Jam fans will immediately love the song.  Casual listeners might be a little confused at first, but will slowly conform to the track’s appeal.

Pearl Jam- “Mind Your Manners:”  4.5/5

Listen to “Mind Your Manners” Here: