For those people out there that thought nu metal was an evolutionary dead end, I suggest you think again.
Spirytus may well be taking the genre a massive step further.
Mixing the bounce of funk rock with the aggression of metal what you end up with is a kind of streetwise aggro-core.
Before people start wincing at my genre-scrambling description and wonder what it has to do with nu metal let me explain. When you go to buy paint and want a colour mixing you start out with a base to add pigments to. Then the whole thing goes in a machine and gets a bloody good shaking to mix it up. Well here, nu metal is the base, funk and hardcore along with an assortment of other influences are the pigments and Spirytus are the machine doing the shaking. Simple.
These guys really do make it sound all so simple, but their music is actually rather clever. They’ve made it appeal to such a wide audience by the skilful choice of when and where to allow any one genre to take the lead. In many ways you could describe The Fundamentals as experimental – just not in the way you’d expect from that label. Normally when you use experimental to describe a musical work it conjures up an image of mind mashing complex arty nonsense with the odd useful riff or hook thrown in. Here though, the Nottingham noise crew have used their science lab of sound to make a record you really do want to jump around to. Crucially, they’ve made something you’ll want to play time and time again.
Music like this goes back a lot further than you’d imagine. Anyone remember the trailblazing funk metallers Mordred? Well opener Fundamentals sounds very much like them, the heavy bass hook, the rapped vocals and open drumming are all similar. It’s a whole lot heavier of course, especially in the chorus. The guitars do, on occasion, go a bit awry when they’re allowed to do their own thing. Actually having what sounds like a bit of free form jazz in the solo of Horses Will Bleed is one time when something a little bit more standard would have kept the momentum going. This played in a club would have the dance floor (or mosh pit) stood around slightly non-plussed.
The recent addition of a turntablist at the expense of one of the guitars has improved things immensely. That is something I never thought I’d say, but here it’s true. The scratching and samples sit naturally with the urban street sound. It is an essential part of the infectious Mandem which had me reminiscing about yet another old fusion band, this time Swedish rap metallers Clawfinger. So much is surprising about The Fundamentals. The fact that it got me remembering bands from so long ago came as quite a shock. In terms of current groups out there you’d have to cite them as having a comparable sound to Hacktavist.
The fact that I prefer them with one less guitar and the addition of a man fiddling about with turntables is quite a revelation too. Leading the charge into a whole new area of heavy music you can only applaud Spirytus for making new music that’s cool.
The Fundamentals EP will be available to pre-order from December 13th.