Remember nu-metal? Audacious rapping, Hulk-smash riffs and gratuitous samples were all the rage in the red New Era cap era. So, howcome there was never a second wave of nu? Fans of the genre may find themselves on familiar ground with ‘Believe In This’; Collisions‘ certainly borrow ideas, but labelling them as ‘nu-metal’ would lump them in with those landfill bands and one hit wonders who rode the coattails of Limp Bizkit and co., doing the Brighton four-piece a disservice. It’s innovative. It’s gutsy. It’s a disregarder of expectations.
The intro of the title-track is something that could’ve come straight off of Bizkit‘s ‘Chocolate Starfish…’ record, but the riff that follows would make even Wes Borland wince. It’s a monster, but makes way for some fast-paced, The Prodigy-esque electronics, showing that this beast ain’t just about the power. Inbetween the stomping riffs is a hooky rock/metal song, the synth gives it that modern edge that some of today’s guitar based music is, arguably, lacking.
‘Fire Fire’ is another track that makes use of electronic instruments, which add a touch of the atmospheric to another fine set of riffs. “Fuck this place up” is officially the most nu-metal lyric ever written, and one of the most overused pre-break lines, but man, that break – it’s unforgiving and promises to give you one hell of a beating by the time the chorus comes back around.
‘Chasing Forms’ is a brilliant meshing of genres and offers a showcase of some good vocal work. The rapping, combined with the accent, may bring to mind those all-too-well-known crossover chaps, Enter Shikari, but Collisions‘ Olly Simmons shows more variety and control than his Shikari counterpart Rou Reynolds.
The remixed ‘Once Weary Eyes’ is a game changer in that it’s pure drum ‘n’ bass. Much like the mixing of two distinct genres within one track, it’s surprising how well it works alongside the guitar driven tracks. Maybe embracing both genres is the way forward. Shikari never seemed to decide which side of the fence they were on, but with Collisions there isn’t that hesitation in distinction – it just works, and it works well.
Is this the sign of things to come? A resurgence in nu-metal is unlikely, but with the popularity of electronic music at an all time high and metal still struggling to break on a wide scale, Collisions‘ approach throws up an intriguing hybrid that could go one of two ways. With their ability to construct a sturdy riff and their seamless blending of genres, they’ve ensured that it goes the right way. Real good stuff.
Written by Ryan Williams