The Singles Party: Slipknot, ‘The Negative One’

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Singles Party panelist Nick Porcaro dropped a note to us on Mondays saying, “Last week Slipknot dropped a new song, “The Negative One”, their first single since 2009. In the wake of their last album, 2008’s All Hope is Gone, bassist Paul Gray died and drummer Joey Jordison was more or less kicked out of the band. Love them or hate them, this is a big fucking deal.”

And it’s true, in the metal world this the definition of a BFD, so the crew got on the bus to Iowa to hear the latest from the masked marauders of metal.

Nick Porcaro: Your enjoyment of the new Slipknot single depends almost entirely on how you already feel towards the band. Although I’m certainly not a “Maggot,” I can recognize their unique approach to instrumentation and its influence on metal. (Plus, all the speculation surrounding the identity of their new drummer is pretty exciting.)

That being said, “The Negative One” sports some of Slipknot’s worst qualities, namely, it’s instrumentally repetitive and lyrically immature. The song’s main riff starts off intriguing, only to bore its way through your brain over the course of nearly six self-indulgent minutes. As for the lyrics, well…take a look for yourself:

“The prescient, the nascent, the quotient
(They all will fall!)
The cystic, symbolic, condition
(Systemic!)
Egregious, replete with these lesions
(Contaminate!)
Succumb to the selfish creation
(Your failure!)”

Here are some more winners:

“Center for the cynical, you’re so political
You’re getting ready ‘cause the first move is critical
Reciprocity, somebody’s listening
Until we learn from our time we can never die”

I mean, come on. It sounds like frontman Corey Taylor was thumbing through a thesaurus (or a rhyming dictionary) just before the producer hit ‘Record.’

Speaking of production, it sounds like the band is still grappling with what to do in the wake of bassist Paul Gray’s death—any bass-playing on this track is inaudible to me. A band so heavily reliant on percussive pounding should know better than to rob a song of its melodic low end.

It’s hard to judge a band that went through so much hardship between their last album and now, but I tell it like it is. Unless you’re a diehard fan already, Slipknot’s latest single isn’t worth your time. Verdict: one and done.

Kelly O’Dowd: here’s really one two things I know about Slipknot. 1. I saw them perform live at Ozzfest in ’99 and 2. I hated them. Guess what I found out after listening to the song for 5 seconds? Yup. Still hate them. And I miss Ozzfest. Verdict: Abstain

Lucas P. Jones: Slipknot has always had a place in my heart, and recently, Corey Taylor has been tearing it up by lending his voice to some notable side projects. Which is why I am stunned by the mediocrity of this track. The lyrics are bland and fairly uninteresting. And even though the track sounds good, actually digging in reveals a boring guitar riff that chuggs along witgout going anywhere. Cone on guys, you can do better. Verdict: one and done

Erica Batchelor: I’m starting to feel the negativity coming out of everyone here. I just couldn’t get into it either. Along with the music video, I’d say the whole experience is a dark one. I was never a fan of Slipknot and I certainly won’t become one after this. Verdict: One and done

Lisa Pikaard: I love harder rock and so I was excited when I heard that we would be talking about Slipknkot this week. Maybe I set my expectations too high but this song just didn’t hit the mark. The lyrics were so obviously an attempt at being deep that the song actually became laughable. I actually did laugh at one of the rhymes but because it was ridiculous, not because it was entertaining. The musical aspects of the song are repetitive and just lacking in enthusiasm. It’s a hard hitting song but there is no variation, no building, crashing, no dynamics whatsoever. The song had one emotion behind it and that was it. Slipknot’s return has let me down but, again, I had extremely high expectations so is the song awful? No. Is it good? Not particularly. Mediocre is the only word I can use to describe the song. Sadly my verdict: One and Done.

Bill Bodkin: I remember when Slipknot became the all the mall metal rage in the ’90s I unfairly wrote them off. They’ve got some quality early work and their single, “Duality” from back in the day is absolutely fantastic. I too was stoked for some new Slipknot, but man was this boring as all hell. It was nothing but chugging, uninspired and grating riffs supporting some pretty wretched vocals for Corey Taylor — who can sing his ass off by the way. I’m literally disgusted at how awful this track was. Verdict: One and Done.

Al Mannarino:

sherlock pissed

Final Verdict: Absolutely no way you should add this to your playlist.

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