Hate Yourself With Style (Nuclear Blast)
by Scott Hefflon
Sweden’s Clawfinger never got their due, and it’s doubtful they ever will. They stand as probably the only metal band that incorporate rappy vocals that doesn’t make me wanna hurl, along with Stuck Mojo, who broke up a half decade or more ago. Singer Zak Tell spurts vocals both singing and snarling, and his thrust is rhythmic, often rappy, but usually machine-gun thrash, actually. The rape role-reversal, “Dirty Lies,” is part melodic dirge, part chugging swagger, and if the lyrics don’t make sense to you, you have no soul. Clawfinger always were straight-shooters, honest in their lyrics, harsh but no oblique shock. Zak’s got a distinct snarl, whether he’s whispering, sing-speaking, or layering the chorus like Dev does. Funny that the swirling grooves haven’t caught on with more metal morons, and the realistic lyrics haven’t appealed to more metal-for-life fans. But life’s unfair, and Clawfinger will stay a reliable fave for a few thousand of us, and the rest of the world can go fuck itself.