From The Vaült – Reveille’s “Laced”
I know, I know. Nu-metal is a four-letter word in most metal circles. “It’s stupid! Three-chords are lame! It’s for bro meat-heads! It’s a derka surka murerwafdsahfddagaldsdfnaglfar!” All of those feeling have a ring of truth (except for the last one. You should chew with your mouth closed.) But the thing is that for many people, nu-metal was the gateway to better bands and heavier music. Not everyone was born with a Bolt Thrower album in hand and Carcass t-shirt. We’ve all heard the tired tropes of people seeing an Iron Maiden album at the record store and buying it just because the artwork is scary or someone having an older brother that listened to Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Well I, like a lot of people, didn’t have that older sibling that liked metal and I sure wasn’t going to spend my money at The Wall for a band I’ve never listened to. That’s just asking for trouble. Instead, my source for heavy music came from radio.
Yes, believe it or not, there was a time when modern rock/alternative stations played music heavier than a kitten on a pillow. My two sources were 92.3 K-Rock in New York and “Rockers” a now-defunct Saturday night metal show on 94 WYSP in Philadelphia. At the time when I first started branching out into new music, K-Rock was playing new bands like System Of A Down, Static-X, and the like. Granted, it’s not like hearing Death at 9 in the morning (I would discover Seton Hall’s radio station WSOU for that stuff a few years later). So it was in the mainstream that I discovered heavy music. Hard to think that would be possible nowadays, but even MTV would occasionally play a Mudvayne video in the middle of the day.
So what’s the purpose of From The Vaült? The goal is not to heap undying praise on the genre, but it’s also not to unload scorn. It’s a chance to look back at albums from an oft-derided genre and judging it through older, more mature eyes. What bands and albums still hold up over ten years later and which ones are ripe for ridicule? While the idea of people reading a song-by-song synopsis for an album over ten years old is quite funny, I’ll save us all the pain and just pick out a few overall things from each album that stand out.
The first album I am looking back on is Laced by the Boston nu-metal/ rap metal band Reveille through Elektra Records. Reveille was the first heavy band I saw sans parents along with Clutch. I wonder if the guys from Clutch even remember this tour. A few friends had introduced me to Reveille and to this day I can recite more lyrics to their songs “The Phoenix” and “Perfect” than I’d like to admit. Right off the bat, two things about Reveille’s music are very clear: the guitars and the vocals. Remember that thing I said about nu-metal being three-chord simplicity. Yup, we have plenty of that, complete with some hot wah-pedal action. Reveille’s vocalist Drew Simollardes voice is fairly distinctive, for better or worse. Reveille has the white-boy rap thing down, but this is Boston white, not, say, Omaha white. It’s that stunted, barely-there rap flow that a lot of nu-metal bands unfortunately used. When you’re thirteen, it’s fun. When you’re a bit older, it’s embarrassingly painful. Kind like accidentally sitting on your balls. Another standout from this album are the lyrics. Here are a few gems:
Rectify, this living policy is shit
And all its lies got you choking on your own spit
The seam has split, so spit or swallow
But your lead I’ll never follow
Leashed, cuffed, locked and hooked
Blow it down, tear it down, burn it down
Blackmail- come take it to a whole new level
Motherfucker, I can’t wait ’till I can watch you drown
“Flesh And Blood”
So bury the good and let that shit rot
Cause if your only question’s what’s in it for me
Well then you might as well gouge out your own fucking eyes
For there are none so blind as those who will not see
The album does feature a guest spot by B Real from Cypress Hill, upping the band’s legitimacy about 50%. One other notable thing about the album is that Clive Barker did the artwork. Yes, the man behind “Candyman” and “Hellraiser”. Go figure. Though the band doesn’t have a DJ, there are some random scratchings and wikky-wikkies. Perhaps they had a limited “wikky-wikky” budget. Laced by Reveille oozes Jncos and tank tops. It’s hits that pleasure center deep within our primordial mind. That neanderthal spot that goes “Loud. Yelling. Heavy. Groove. Good.” 15 years later, the lyrics range from silly to cringe-worthy. Shit! Fuck! Motherfucker! Yeeeeah, Reveille goes hard, son. You know how people make fun of power metal for having songs about fighting dragons and rescuing maidens? Well Reveille’s lyrics read like your bad 8th grade poetry, complete with that weird “S” thing people used to draw.
On cheese scale of 1 to 10, this album rates as Limburger. Despite all this, there are worse bands and worse albums out there. Regardless, the album doesn’t hold up nowadays and can be looked upon as a relic from a bygone era that may or may not be making a return, depending on who you ask and what part of the Midwest you’re in. Spike your hair accordingly.