"Life Is Peachy" Review

Life Is Peachy [1996] Released: October 15, 1996
Recorded at: Indigo Ranch Studios, Malibu, California
Band: Jonathan Davis (vocals, bagpipe); Head (guitar, background vocals); Munky (guitar); Fieldy (bass); David (drums)
Additional Personnel: Chino Moreno (vocals)
Producer: Ross Robinson
Executive Producer: Jeffrey Evan Kwatnetz

  LIFE IS PEACHY contains a CD-Extra video segment of Korn's performance at the Astoria Theater, London, England.

  "No Place To Hide" was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.

  Full of shrilly, distorted guitar squeals, bass-heavy darkness and laryngitis-inducing growls, Korn's sophomore turn, the oh-so sarcastically titled LIFE IS PEACHY, is a musical tour through some truly evil corners. The Bakersfield quintet's paranoia-induced rampage makes countless by-the-numbers death-metal acts seem cartoonish by comparison.

Mostly, Korn succeeds in inspiring rage and terror by not overplaying its hand, and by mixing in hip-hop beats, punk abandon and funky humor with its thrash. Jonathan Davis croons as ably as he roars, making his "Exorcist" impression seem genuine when he does break into it. James "Munky" Shaffer's and Brian "Head" Welch's guitars never explode into bombastic faster-than-light solos; instead, they uphold the album's eerie textures by flying in and out of the mix like samples. And drummer David Silveria is as adept at reproducing the Latin percussion polyphony of War (on a metallic cover of that band's "Low Rider") as he is double-timing on his twin bass drums. Add it up, and LIFE IS PEACHY assembles into far more than your average declaration to Satan.


  With their second album Life is Peachy, Korn has enhanced their metallic influences, delving deeper into murky sonic textures and grinding, menacing rhythms straight out of underground black metal. Korn adds enough elements of alternative rock song structure to make the music accessible to the masses, and their songwriting has continued to improve. Nevertheless, the band's main strength is their raging, visceral sound which is far more memorable and effective than their songs. The riffs might not always catch hold, but the primal guitars and vocals always hit home.



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