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Sappy Bell 

The Nightmare Chronicles (Corporate Punishment Records)

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Sappy Bell is one of Cleveland's hardest-working bands. The quintet's elbow grease has resulted in video play on MTV and Much Music. Its debut, The Nightmare Chronicles, will have you questioning why the band hasn't torn up WMMS yet. Maybe the band lacks the loot for payola, because Sappy Bell has enough nü-metal tendencies to thrive in the same 1999 time warp as Buzzard.

In addition to schizophrenic vocals, singer John Sloboda busts nü metal's predictable, heavy verse/ soft chorus approach, with angst-ridden lyrics like "Nobody knows who I really am." But the band also incorporates hardcore gang chants and metalcore breakdowns -- call it nü metalcore.

Sappy Bell's flare for melodic choruses and killer grooves should continue to win fans outside of local rock radio.

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