In which we regale you with stories/reviews of bands that should’ve seen more of the light but were swallowed up and spit out by an unforgiving Metal sub-genre. Welcome to “Daze of the Nu”, our brand new column featuring a different nu-metal outfit that we feel didn’t get the attention they deserved.
Darwin’s Waiting Room had the stuff. Groovier than Korn and way heavier than Linkin Park, this Miami quintet were a veritable force to be reckoned with. In fact, Orphan is the album Korn should’ve put out instead of Life Is Peachy: it’s polished and focused, sounding like a band firing on all cylinders who already know their voice.
Abrasive Michael “Grimm” Falk with his in-your-face delivery was the perfect counterpoint to Jabe’s angelic voice. Seriously. One of the best singers to come out of that era, Jabe had a glow to his delivery. When he belts out the chorus to “Feel So Stupid (Table 9)” for the first time on the opening track of Orphan, you WILL pay attention.
As the perfect dichotomy to those clean lines was Grimm whose flow and screams were mesmerizing. His wails at the conclusion of “Sometimes It Happens Like This” are more earnest than any of the forced emotions from Jonathan Davis on Korn’s sophomore opus as he belts out “I’m stronger now!” at the songs conclusion.
While the band itself was a solid unit, it was those two vocalists that truly set DWR apart from their peers at the time. “In To The Dark” should’ve been a goddamn nu-metal anthem and way bigger than it was. The grooves were there, the contrast between the vocalists matched perfectly and then there was the pure rage! As far as nu-metal breakdowns go, this one was as epic as it got. Eddie Rendini’s riffs just shrieked while Joe Perrone bashed away and Alex Cando laid down these galloping basses that would pop up on later Taproot albums.
People, we’ve only touched upon the first three tracks of this record!
Rendini, who sadly passed away in 2015, was just as much a “voice” on the album as the actual vocalists. His riffs could be downright menacing one moment, mystifying and perplex the next (“Spent”, “Transparent”). Alongside a rhythm section that truly captured the sound of that period with the aforementioned co-vocalists, DWR should’ve been bigger. The band quietly broke up in 2004, having only recorded one more album (Apology Accepted, never “officially” released in 2003) with members going their separate ways.
The “classic” Orphan is out through MCA Records (Remember them?) and you can purchase your very own right here.