Has there ever been a more unlikely chart-topping band than Korn? Conceived in the post-grunge era and dominant as the millennium clock turned over, Korn took elements from a dozen different types of music (thrash metal, hardcore punk, droning experimental noise, whatever it was that Primus made) and infused it with hip-hop swagger and a frontman Jonathan Davis' naked, unhinged approach to lyrics and vocals. Their self-titled debut earned them plenty of admirers, and on this day in 1996, the group kicked it up a notch when they released their second album Life Is Peachy.
In a weird way, Life Is Peachy actually represented something of a de-evolution for Korn, as it took away any of the clean production lines on their debut and replaced them with jagged edges and more guttural rhythms. Life Is Peachy really belongs to bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, as the bass thuds and drones are extra low and powerful. There is bass sludge all over the album, from the opening lunatic buzz of "Twist" to the intestinal punch that is "Good God." Much of Life Is Peachy is ugly, and there is none of the playfulness that would surface on their third (and breakthrough) album Follow the Leader. Follow the Leader was clearly conceived as a crossover album, while Life Is Peachy is pure Korn id — nothing but anger and violence and black metal howling. Even their cover of War's "Low Rider" sounds sort of evil.
That's not to say it's a bad album — on the contrary, Life Is Peachy is one of the more fascinating (if inconsistent) entries in the nu metal canon. Plus, it contains "A.D.I.D.A.S.," one of the only tunes that could be described as "fun" on all of Life Is Peachy (though be warned that the video is pure darkness).