Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Linkin Park

Hybrid Theory (2000)

Warner Brothers

Punknews' staff does have its own debates behind the scenes and one of them circulated around Linkin Park. They may not be making good music right now but high-school me still has an affinity for Hybrid Theory. Even when they weren't Linkin Park, I had a copy of the Hybrid Theory EP as they transitioned into the Linkin Park identity. As things rolled on, they got signed to a major label and did a great job of feeling underground but with a commercial cloth over them. Their debut LP combined a couple rock genres together and felt undiluted in how they continued to add in the rap element of their game. In doing so, they showed how to execute with style and substance making Linkin Park a household name. And rightfully so.

"Papercut" remains one of the best fusion they've ever done in terms of rock and rap, as it has much more of a cutting edge than say "In The End". It stacks up with "A Place for My Head" and shows just how everyone's talent combines. Mike Shinoda's got mad rap skills on the mic and it complements Chester Bennington's vocals. I still have my LP tee to this day and honestly, this record is one of those that you play and don't bother to skip in terms of tracks. Everything feels like a single and if you wanted to get a sense of their advancement of what nu-rock/metal should be, then take a stab at "One Step Closer" or "Crawling" and the emotion Bennington conveys in his screams -- perfect for high-school outsiders and teen angst. Sure, we've grown past that but to forget it would be closing off a big part of the past. For lovers of the band, at least.

"Cure for the Itch" continued to show how DJ Hahn was underrated and if you took in his career outside of this band, you'd see how creative and artistic he is. In fact, the same applies for Shinoda as per Fort Minor and the X-Ecutioners. Success came big time after this, from Transformers movies to budgets to do amazing music videos. Bennington said to move past this, but maybe he should look back to it. It's cool to change directions but if you're making truckloads of shit now, a little retrospection wouldn't hurt. Hybrid Theory may have been cheesy looking back but it was the voice of a generation way back when. If you don't like it, no problem but it had its place in punk, rock and rap in general.