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Tuesday November 21, 2000

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Linkin Park

Headline Photo

By Oliver White

Hybrid Theory

(Wea/Warner Bros.)

Grade: B-

Arnold Schwarzenegger would feel nothing but justified by walking down a dark alley with Linkin Park playing in the background after getting all the bad guys and saving the country from nuclear destruction. This band's sound is hard-edged, and it plays as hard as it looks on the back cover of its latest album, Hybrid Theory.

The band mixes a very sharp, metallic edge in its music with a fast punk-rap persuasion. Part of the time in its songs, such as "One Step Closer," it sounds as if other bands such as the Deftones and Limp Bizkit somehow magically landed inside the track, or into the vocals of lead singer Chester.

Without listening to the lyrics of the songs, the talented guitar and drums come through, but the songs are teen-suicide-note style, especially "Runaway," "By Myself" and, well, every other song on the record. Upon not-so-careful inspection, it is very clear that the band is a couple years late for counseling and may have been the next high school travesty had it not gotten a record deal.

Linkin Park's radio hit "One Step Closer" is a typically hard-edged song - one to play at the gym while bench pressing - but after an entire CD, one begins to notice the large amount of repetition, each song sounding much like the next. The one exception is "A Place For My Head," which is, unfortunately, no less suicidal, but does have some fairly cool slam poetry peaks throughout the beginning of the song with Mike Shinoda emcee-ing and mixing beats.

Hybrid Theory is a decent CD overall, and it shows that Linkin Park has some promise. Look out for future albums - if the guys don't end up in the obituary column in some outback newspaper.

-Oliver White