Local Wire

Fall Brawl Tour

Funny they're calling this union of nü-metal refugees (and one newcomer) the "Fall Brawl" tour, since none of the bands could really be associated with the hateful, ultra-aggressive wing of the nü-metal movement so rightfully maligned and hardly missed. Even while they were sucking up to mentor Fred Durst (from whom they've smartly distanced themselves in recent years) in order to move some units, tattooed baldy Aaron Lewis and his Staind cohorts were always more into sensitive introspection rather than vicious tantrums. Ditto Taproot, which began as an angry Korn Klone but quickly segued into somewhat more respectable Alice in Chains worship. Rap-rockers P.O.D., meanwhile, were busy worshiping Jesus and trying to infuse the scene with positivity. Their demeanors haven't really changed, but all three bands -- as their new material demonstrates -- are trying to dispel any lingering nü-metal stigma and infiltrate the current emo/screamo/post-post-grunge Zeitgeist. Rounding out the bill is the recently signed, female-fronted Texas quintet Flyleaf, which sounds perhaps the most "nü-metally" of the four but probably wouldn't have thrived five years ago given the scene's rampant misogyny. But Evanescence (to which the band is often, and not unfairly, compared) paved the way for Flyleaf to freely mix some estrogen with its drop-tuning, high volume, and Christian overtones. I guess that's progress . . .
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Michael Alan Goldberg