I was never big on the nu-metal thing that seemed to be everywhere a decade or so ago. However, the one band that came out of that scene I wound up gravitating to was Linkin Park. To this day, I can’t tell you why they stuck out from all the Korns and the Limp Bizkits, but I can definitely tell you I’m glad I bet on them-because they’re the only band left from that era with a sizable audience. It’s probably because unlike other rap-rock hybrids, they had both a capable vocalist (Chester Bennington) and a very solid emcee (Mike Shinoda). It could be because they’ve gradually expanded their sound with each successive album, to the point that you can’t really pin them down to a specific subgenre anymore.

At any rate, LP just might be, quiet as kept, the biggest American rock band out these days. Their last album, “Minutes to Midnight”, sold over 3 million copies, and although critics still like to give them shit, they’ve won over a fair amount of the folks who didn’t think they’d make it to the ten year mark. Their fourth studio album, “A Thousand Suns”, is due out this September, and will probably be one of the fall’s biggest sellers. The first single, “The Catalyst”, recently became the first single in history to debut at the #1 spot on Billboard’s Rock Singles chart. The song itself is pretty good. The band’s definitely been on the epic side lately from a production standpoint (thanks Rick Rubin), and Chester’s gone from singing about himself being fucked up to singing about the world being fucked up (some folks call it maturity, some people call it an expansion of themes). Hopefully, though, the new album reverses trend a little bit and features Mike rapping on more than two or three tracks. He’s too good to use so little.

Now if only their fans could grow up. Looking through the comments on this song’s YouTube page makes me want to slap someone.

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