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It’s weird. For months now, working the deadly Sunday night shift, I’ve heard a song on the work radio that I’ve really enjoyed but haven’t been able to identify. Being a Sunday night (in the wee hours) there’s no announcer to tell me what the song is — it’s all automated at that time of night — and whenever I try to describe the song to friends or family I get wide eyes and blank expressions.

“It’s like Linkin Park with a female vocalist”, I told everyone. No response. Damnit. With the exception of my great affinity for punk rock/progressive hardcore, my entire CD collection is female vocalists. Girl Rock, I dig it. Garbage, Veruca Salt, Avril Lavigne, No Doubt, et cetera. It’s long been a dream of mine to start a hardcore outfit with a girl (or girls, really) out front; something I even tried to press on the bandmates of my last two bands. For me, it’d be an amalgam of some of my favorite musical elements. Take AFI, A Perfect Circle (and Tool, for that matter), Massive Attack, and throw a very capable female voice on top of it all and you’ve just made my musical nirvana.

Today, while Garth and David (my new housemate, moving in next weekend) were Kazaa–ing their asses off, I decided to check out the ARIA charts for a possible match. I knew it was a band I’d never heard of before, filtering out half the chart, but whaddya know? First track on the chart that I listen to (read: acquire) is the right one: Bring Me to Life by Evanescence.

At work, they put a store–page microphone near one of the speakers of a tiny, tinny radio to give us all music — meaning we get one stereo channel and a very top–heavy track. Remarkably this setup improved my perception of the song, and hearing it at a decent volume from decent speakers was just plain disappointing. Evanescence really is like Linkin Park with a female vocalist — with all the posturing and cliché that their genre affords them. I downloaded a few more tracks, only to be faced with more of the same crap. I mean, their lead singer appears to be kinda hot, but that doesn’t excuse them any more than it excuses Killing Heidi for their sounds–the–same music and sounds–the–same vocals.

It seems to me that they’ve taken the nu–metal genre and tweaked it just enough to be original (ie– switch your angry, white, gothic, male singer for a female of the same description) without actually innovating. Welcome to today’s music industry. Welcome to the future.