It sometimes seems a bit detrimental to do reviews on albums that are really old, but as I trawl through covering a little bit about every piece of music in my collection (yes, that’s still an aim of Lines In Wax, despite the recent abolition of reviewing individual formats) it becomes an inevitability. A lot of people can take or leave Korn. In fact, I know tons of people who absolutely hate Korn. But, this album had a massive effect on the metal and alternative scenes in the early 90s. Maybe not as much as Korn would like to think (Jon D reckons Korn laid the template for dubstep, for fuck sake), but it can be blamed for cementing the nu-metal genre fully into existence and starting a mainstream craze in down-tuning guitars. You can also blame this record for Sepultura’s Roots. Uch.
Korn is a rough but disciplined record. It has messy, raw metal hanging off a military-precise hip hop backbone, with Jon Davis attempting a more grunge-style vocal approach here than the famous whines and barking sounds that he would later become renown for. “Blind” introduced the unsuspecting world to the sound of Korn, whilst “Clown” was not only just another single but my favourite track off this album. There’s also the hat-trick of “Predictable”, “Fake” and “Lies” that lead towards the controversial, monstrous closing track, “Daddy”. I’m still not sure to this day if I like “Daddy” or not, but this album (or even Korn) would not be the same without this track.
All in all, Korn’s self-titled is a classic (or is that Klassic?) for me, and a definite staple in the evolution of metal music. It might have led to some pretty drastic music over the next decade or so (rap metal? Uch…) but it still gets the odd semi-regular spin. I’m looking forward to the 20th anniversary tour for this album – even if it doesn’t come near me, I’d love to hear the band play through it again 20 years older and (presumably) wiser.
Are you ready?