Yes, it seems like everywhere you look these days, some tattooed beat messiah is preaching the gospel of metal, pounding the mook rock pulpit like a drum solo gone awry.
As with the boy band phenomenon, a few anthemic hits pave the way for a cavalry charge of woeful wannabes who've traded last year's hair gel for the backwards baseball caps and paint-by-numbers introspection that are currently en vogue.
With the flood (or is that Puddle of Mudd?) of nu metal bands currently stampeding toward your pocketbook, it can get a bit confusing sorting out the mooks from the rest of the sonic wolf pack. Disturbed, Drowning Pool, Fuel, Saliva, Incubus, Godsmack, Godhead, Stereomud? It's getting hard to keep up without mixing your Sum 41 and your Blink-182.
Thus I present the Unofficial Guide to Mook Rock, a Linkin Park lexicon, a Papa Roach primer, your very own dictionary of Durstian verse.
l Anthrax -- Made mook rock possible with Public Enemy collaboration "Bring the Noise" in 1986. Yes, it's all their fault.
l Beer -- The official drink of the mook rock olympics. Preferably chugged, slammed, quaffed or simply poured over one's head, or the head of one nearby.
l Cap, Baseball -- Preferably red, preferably Yankees. Must be turned backwards to show that the rigid norms of regular society simply do not apply in the mook world.
l Durst, Fred -- The Bill Gates of mook, the man who put the limp in Limp Bizkit. This baseball cap-sporting mook mogul is responsible for backing the careers of dubious outfits like Staind and Puddle of Mudd.
l Fraternity -- The place you're most likely to hear mook rock played -- on a top-of-the-line stereo purchased by mommy and daddy, of course.
l Grunge -- By combining heaping helpings of angst and distorted power chords, this early '90s phenomenon provides one half of mook's rock/rap combination
l Homophobia -- Mook philosophy espouses the values of heterosexuality by grinding in a mosh pit with a bunch of sweaty guys while simultaneously cheering the shirtless male performers on-stage.
l Irony -- See above.
l Jonathan Davis -- Korn lead screamer who made angst and the thought-to-be-dead "wispy" mustache safe for mass consumption again.
l Kick ass -- An all-purpose mook expression denoting a) adj; superior quality, b) verb; to fight. Can be used in the same sentence: "Korn kicked so much ass, I gotta go kick someone's ass."
l Linkin Bizkit -- The most common mispronunciation of the interchangeable Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit monikers. Limp Park is still holding steady at No. 2.
l Mook -- The official mook formula goes something like this: Take heaping helpings of suburban angst and pasty faced punk. Combine with equal parts Ibanez Tube Screamer distortion pedal and Roland 808 drum machine. Sprinkle with generous doses of misogynistic marketing and serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers right away -- this recipe goes stale quick.
l Nu Metal -- The nu term for an age-old music that more than a fu musical crus have gotten into these days. It's like the whole word has started speaking in Prince-ese.
l "Outside" -- The Staind mook rock ballad that launched a million lighters (and three million cash registers).
l Pit, Mosh -- Given the increasingly corporate atmosphere of present day concerts can the Viacom/Blockbuster Mosh Pit be far away?
l "Smooth Criminal" -- The surprise hit cover of the Michael Jackson song. Even child molesters deserve better.
l Thirteen -- Average age of a male mook rock fan.
l Underage -- Average age of a female mook rock groupie.
l Woodstock '99 -- The mook gathering of tribes where rock, rap and rape joined arson and capitalism for a party we're all still trying to forget.
l Xerox -- Slang term for the verb "to copy." See Linkin Bizkit.
l Zero -- Number of mook rock bands that will be around once the next musical trend takes over.