Due to release their sixth album The Hunting Party in June 2014, Linkin Park have dropped first single Guilty All The Same to give fans a chance of what to expect from them on their next musical outing. In a recent interview with Guitarist/Vocalist Mike Shinoda, he says the next album is to be “like a 90’s style of rock”, maybe hinting back to a sound similar to that of their classic debut Hybrid Theory.
Immediately its clear that Guilty All The Same is a step back to the old ways for Linkin Park. It’s raw, a little thrashy and loud. Vicious, if you will. It is guitar heavy, and hints at punk rock influences. After an intense start with a barrage of drums and some crunchy guitars, we hit an interesting build-up and a continuation of the previous riff. It’s a whole 90 seconds before Chester Bennington’s vocals are first heard, where he’s backed mainly by Rob Bourdons clever snare work. It builds up some good momentum before we hit the chorus. The music ducks down and Bennington’s vocals take over, but it’s not too long before everyone turns themselves back up to ten. The single features New York based rapper Rakim, however with Shinoda already accustomed to this particular skill set, it may appear an odd choice to bring in someone else. The breakdown slows the song a little, but Rakim’s vocals do just enough to keep things ticking, and the rhyming work is intelligently structured. The song plays out as it began, lying somewhere in between punk and nu metal. It’s a hefty finish, if a little repetitive.
On this song alone, its clear the band are taking a different direction to more recent albums. Gone is the dominance of electronica. Here, it’s all about the guitars, the drums and the vocals, and the rough around the edges approach is a welcome return. Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come.