Company: Driven Music Group Release: 2008 Reviewer: Sinnercorp Genre: Nu, rapcore
A decent, worthwhile footnote in the history of rap-metal
40 Below Summer emerged in 1998 from the local circuit of the New Jersey underground. They released an indie album entitled Sideshow Freaks which soon found its way to the hands of No Name Management, (Slipknot, Fear Factory). After showcases with the labels the band soon signed a deal with London/Sire Records.
If you had to categorize 40 Below Summer, you'd probably say they were Nu-metal. When 40 Below Summer self-released their debut album, Side Show Freaks, in 1999, rap-metal was huge and countless bands were jumping on the Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, (Hed) pe bandwagon. Some of them did it more skillfully than others; plenty of forgettable rap-metal/nu metal/rapcore bands emerged in the late '90s and early 2000s, while other hip-hop obsessed metalheads came out with albums that were derivative but good. Side Show Freaks, which the Phoenix, AZ based Driven Music Group reissued in 2008, definitely falls into the "derivative but good" category.
This 44-minute disc isn't groundbreaking by 1999 standards, let alone 2008 standards. Does this album bring something new to the table? Not even close. In 1999, this type of sound was everywhere. Side Show Freaks is a decent, worthwhile footnote in the history of rap-metal. It is what it is and nothing more than that. Although, 40 Below Summer are no longer a touring band do to other commitments, they do plan on releasing a few more records in the future.