Friday, January 30, 2009

Special Superbowl Post: Shane Embury and Chris Kemoeatu, one and the same?

Are Napalm Death's Shane Embury and Steelers offensive guard Chris Kemoeautu be the same person? You may think I'm stupid for even bringing this up, but allow me to elaborate.

Look, I've seen Napalm Death live five or six times during my lifetime. NOT ONCE was Chris Kemoeautu there at the same time as Shane Embury. They are NEVER at the same place at the same time. Why is that? I'm telling you, they're the same person! So if you're going to watch the Superbowl this weekend, keep an eye out...I bet you won't see Shane Embury there. Coincidence? I think not.

For all our non-American readers, the Superbowl is a large sporting event where football is played. Not that other kind of football, American football. It's a sport where guys that look kinda' like Dino Cazares hit each other and make lots of money.

One last point about Shane there no justice in this world? Aside from being an absolutely hideous, and horrendously fat human has just dealt him another blow. He's now bald. Ugh.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Relapse roundup winter 09

I think I posted this before, but I'm too lazy to look through 400+ posts to find it. But when I was like 14, I got the "Corporate Death" compilation that Relapse put out and pretty much loved every song. That's how starved for metal I was back then, I was thrilled to listen to fucking Exit-13 and Convulse! Oh and I thought the pictures of their "headquarters" and boardroom were real (seriously, I did).

Of course, now I'm far too jaded to get excited about anything new (unless it's
Forever The Sickest Kids or Gut doing rap songs). I'd rather just sit in my room and listen to Life of Agony and think about how bitter I am at the world. In any case, Relapse has always been kind to me since my zine days back in the mid 90s, so I thought we would give you the lowdown on some of their new releases. More to come in a future post, I can only review so much crap at once!

Mumakil - Behold the Failure
I don't like grind, so I didn't listen to this album for more than about 45 seconds. If you are into grind I'm sure you will like this, it sounds like Nasum with pretty sick drumming that reminds me of the first Origin record. But since I really couldn't care less about the music, I'll base my judgment on how the members of the band look.

He's even playing an ESP! Page Hamilton should sue him for exploiting his likeness. He's trying to rock back and forth like in the video for "Unsung."

The guitarist looks like Page Hamilton circa 1992. I love Helmet, and I always thought it was cool that they dressed like dorks while everybody else was rocking either grunge gear or JNCOs and chain wallets. That said, this guy needs to get with the program and ditch the Dockers shorts (and the braided leather belt that comes free with them).

Look at his stubby, sausage-like fingers, ick.

Unfortunately the Page Hamilton clone is paired with a gross beardo on vocals. Whenever I see guys like this I always assume the band sounds like Isis, Drowningman, or Hara Kiri-style "beardeath" (thanks for that term, Mo). In any of those cases, DO NOT WANT. I imagine this guy going on tour, gorging himself at Arby's and just destroying the bathroom at the house they stay at after the show. Look, you can't help it if you're born thick, but do you have to make matters worse by growing a disgusting neck beard??

Mumakil MySpace
Verdict: 6/10 bloody axes

Inevitable End - The Severed Inception
The cover made me think this band would sound like Damageplan, with some goatteed, shaven-headed fat guy singing with a terminal case of Robb Flynn's Disease. Or, since they're on Relapse, perhaps Tommy Victor's Disease.

I don't know the name for the terrible disease the singer suffers from, but he needs a doctor pronto!

Anyhow, I also only listened to this one for literally 10 seconds, but I think I got a pretty good idea of what to expect. Basically this is the sort of thing that would have given me a giant boner in 1999 or 2000 when I was super into Atheist, Cynic, (later) Broken Hope, Oppressor, Origin, Dillinger Escape Plan, and pretty much any other over-the-top-guitar-masturbation shredding technical death metal. Back then there weren't a ton of these bands around, so when they did come along it was pretty awesome. The exact opposite is true now, of course. Every 16 year old can shred his balls off, with the YouTube videos to prove it (it took me seriously like 4 seconds to find that, there are zillions more just like it).

Much like the athletes of today would wipe the floor with the guys from even 20 years ago, it's hilarious how amateurish and shitty the bands I grew up on sound today. I mean we thought Morbid Angel were amazing virtuosos, and even a B-level band that I've never heard of like Inevitable End can play rings around those guys without even trying. Of course, that doesn't mean I want to listen to them, but you know what I mean. Try listening to, say, Rottrevore these days. They seriously sound like something from a 10th grade talent show.

Anyhow, if you're into non-stop, balls-out shredding deathcore, you'll jizz over this for sure. I'll be jamming some Obituary if you need me.

Inevitable End MySpace
Verdict: 7/10 bloody axes

16 - Bridges to Burn
Now this is more like it!! There are few bands that I love more than 16 (along with their sister bands Despise You and Crom). I could write a review of it, but instead I'll just copy and paste an email I got from Gene Hoglan's Balls in which he mentioned it:
most porn stars don't make much, especially if you're a dude, but a top billing star like riley mason had to be making at least 5-10K a film. granted, that's still not that much money for sucking off and fucking random strangers, but i'm sure it's a lot more than she would have made had she stayed in north carolina, gone to community college, and worked at forever 21 in the local mall.

i have not seen adrenna lynn's butthole, but i would like to. the idea of tattooing your butthole is kind of brilliant. i don't even understand how it's possible, but i want to see it and i applaud her for going all out and making a real statement of individuality instead of just getting a shamrock on her pelvis.

i wasn't too into the new 16 album when i first heard it, but the more i listen to it the more i'm feeling it. there are few bands that can make the phrase "life sucks" sound so meaningful. i've also been listening to a lot of crowbar. there's nothing like overweight dirtbags telling you they've given you all they have to give over heavy as fuck riffs to help get you through those cold winter days.

you should definitely try to come out to REDACTED whenever you can. you're more than welcomed to crash at my place (i have a couch that folds out into a full-sized bed). we'll bro down like it's nobody's biz. we can watch the danzig home video, pound brews, chug some red bulls, blast some push-ups, and oogle hot babes. also, if you're not doing anything super bowl weekend REDACTED and i are driving out to REDACTED to watch the game. i think REDACTED might even be coming out. even if you don't care about football, it's worth it just for the spectacle. i was there when the steelers won the super bowl in '06 and it was fucking pandemonium.
Anyway, that's about all there is to say about 16. This record fucking rules. It's out now, and if you don't buy it you're a poser that's too happy. If you liked their old shit, this is just like it only with better production. There's nothing better to listen to when you're feeling old, bitter, broken-down and spiteful, which for me is pretty much 100% of the time!

Verdict: 9/10 bloody axes

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The thrash metal checklist

With so many genres, subgenres, and sub-subgenres of metal, it can be hard to classify a band. Are they progressive cyber pornogrind, neoclassical wigger slam, or post-structuralist industrial shred? Sometimes you just can't tell! With that in mind, we assembled this handy guide to identifying one of the most common species in the field: the thrash metal band. Simply go down the list and ask yourself if the following elements are present. Think of it as a Jeff Foxworthy bit: "You just might be a thrash band if..."

Toxic waste

I am not sure why thrash bands have such a fixation on toxic waste, but they definitely do. The image above captures the toxic waste thing nicely, as well as a few other memes such as "smug, fat rich guy on the cover." I guess toxic waste was just part of the zeitgeist of the 1980s, as evidenced by the creation of the lamest superhero cartoon ever, Captain Planet. It's almost charming to look back at the 80s thrash movement as a time when people actually cared about stuff, as opposed to the unapologetic self-centeredness of today's popular music (for example, Avenged Sevenfold). By comparison, the idealism and enthusiasm of, say, Sacred Reich is kind of like watching Leave It To Beaver or something.
Examples: Evildead, Nuclear Assault, Sodom

We pretty much said all there is to say about this phenomenon in our 3 part series on metal spokesmen (here, here, and here), but the list certainly wouldn't be complete without a mascot!

Amateurish sociopolitical commentary
For some reason the 80s made every dumb thrash band think they were Noam Chomsky, and every band treated us to their unsolicited, uninformed opinions on social issues delivered in musical format. I don't completely get it, but as Mike Muir taught us, just because you don't understand it don't mean it don't make no sense. And just because you don't like it, don't mean it ain't no good. Because you wouldn't know what crazy was if Charles Manson was eating Froot Loops on your front porch. In any case, a thrash band can definitely write songs about shit like monsters, nightmares, and killer robots, but they have to include at least one or two songs about some kind of social injustice. For example, DRI's "Thrash Zone" has songs about lighthearted fare like moshing, but they also tackle meatier subjects like kidnapping ("Abduction") and that school sucks ("Beneath the Wheel"). That is the kind of effortless ambidexteriy that makes thrash what it is!
Examples: Laaz Rockit, Sepultura, Sacred Reich, Suicidal Tendencies

Sick guitars
You really aren't a thrash band unless you have the right axe. You definitely won't go wrong with trusty standbys like Charvel, Jackson and ESP, but they aren't your only options. If you want to mix it up a little, you can go with something a little more exotic like a Washburn, Karmer or even a Guild! As long as it has shark fin fret inlays, EMGs, a Floyd Rose, and a headstock that looks like it would take your finger off if you brushed up against it wrong, then you're good! Bonus points if the headstock is reversed.

This bad boy combines the oil painting and sick guitar items into one!

It's equally important to know what axes aren't ok. Basically, anything made by Fender or Gibson is off the list. Les Pauls are for punk rockers, and can you imagine Bloodcum jamming on fucking Stratocasters?! Hell no! That's like petting the cat backwards... it's just not done, you know? (By the way, please remind me to do a post on Bloodcum in the near future, I'm seriously shocked we haven't yet and "Death By Clotheshanger" is without a doubt one of the best thrash records ever made)
Examples: Slayer, Exodus, Vio-Lence, Megadeth
(Full disclosure: I stole some of the material in this item from an article KC from Himsa wrote in the zine Hardcore Maniacs back in 93 or so.. so KC, if you're reading, don't be mad!)

Wearing your own band's shirt
You can think of many reasons why thrash bands would wear their own shirts a lot: lack of self-respect/complete disregard for their dignity, being broke, and so forth. Maybe they're just too lazy to do laundry. I have my own theory, which is as follows: they secretly hope that someone will see them at 7-11 or whatever and be like, "Hey bro, sweet Hirax shirt, their shit is hella mass tight," Then the guy will be like, "Thanks dude, that's my band, I play guitar" all nonchalant as though it wasn't the best moment of his life. In his head, though, he is thinking "Fuck yes!! Dude I'm finally getting the fucking recognition I deserve. With any luck, we could even end up on the next Concrete Corner sampler cassette!" But whatever the reason, you simply can't be a thrash band without wearing your own band's shirts.
Examples: Literally every single thrash band ever

"Funny" song
The 80s were an intense decade. Everybody was scared of toxic waste, nuclear war, and the Russians. We had to let off some steam somehow, and in the case of thrash bands, they did it by including at least one goofy "funny" song on their album. I mean, you can only spend so much time screaming about Reagan, the Iran Contra scandal, and whatever other social ills were plaguing us back then (junk bonds, maybe??). At some point you have to let your hair down and party!!
Examples: Forced Entry "We're Dicks", Exodus "Low Rider", Anthrax "I'm The Man"

Anti-drug message
I was too young during the 80s to know anyone other than my parents and all their friends that actually used drugs, but from what I saw in movies and on TV, absolutely everybody was on drugs. Rich people celebrated their financial success by snorting cocaine with $1000 bills in the back of plush limos, and poor people tried to numb the pain of inescapable urban blight by smoking crack. As if that wasn't enough to convince me that everybody was on drugs, all my favorite thrash bands seemed very concerned about drugs use as well! They even went so far as to include the "Winners don't use drugs" seal on the j-card of their cassettes (the image above is from Bad Dudes, but you get the idea).
Examples: Believer, every band on Roadrunner

This awesome Wasted Youth video is perhaps the closest thing you'll get to thrash metal bingo!

What's missing?
We are pretty great at our jobs, but we also know the power of crowdsourcing and Web 2.0 because we read Fast Company and Wired. So we ask you, our loyal readers, to help us complete the checklist! What did we miss?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Moving Sale - Everything must go... into storage.

Ah!! It's good to be back! This is my first post since 9/24/08. As some of you may know my life has been a total pile of dog shit since. As we have said many times before, MI staffers are reluctant to reveal too much our personal lives, but I'm gonna make an exception and tell you that my wife fucking left me. The details aren't important, but what matters here is that we are selling our place and I have to move out. I'm selling a lot of my stuff, but not all. I have no idea what shithole in Bed-Stuy I'm gonna end up into, so I'm moving what I'm not selling into storage. As I'm packing, I'll share with you a few things I run into that may be of interest to our readers. Today: some awesome T-shirts.

Crappy art by Stevo

It's no secret I love Impetigo. You can read about my obsession on this post from last year. This sweet Impetigo T-shirt was given to me as a gift by Richard C. of Wild Rags himself, outside the Eagles Auditorium in Milwaukee, WI on July 30th, 1993. It serves as the only piece of hard evidence and proof that I was present during Impetigo's good bye show later that evening. I also wore this T-shirt proudly as we visited Jeffrey Dahmer's place the next day. I was wearing an Impetigo shirt as I stood in front of apartment 213.

This is one of my favorite T-shirts ever. It's pretty bizarre. I traded this shirt with this guy I knew named Brian. I can't remember what I gave him for it, but I know he got ripped off. This shirt is the cat's pajamas! I've only worn this tee a handful of times, since acquiring it in '92. It's spent most of the last 10 years in a plastic bag as demonstrated by its wrinkled appearance. The art is not by Stevo, as Impetigo shirts usually displayed, but it's just as shitty. It looks like it was hand done, not silk screened and the back glows in the dark. That's fucking right bitches, I have an Impetigo shirt that glows in the motherfucking dark. That's how I roll, son!

Kreator 1993 Coma of Souls tour T-shirt. I think the sleeves were removed a few years after that. Not much to say about this one, really. Just that, as you can see, this shirt has been washed a shitload of times and it's so wide it can only be worn by George Costanza.

I don't know WTF I was thinking. Why did I cut the sleeves off on all these T-shirts? I weighed 117lbs up until 1999. My arms were the size of toothpicks, yet I felt my tiny guns needed to be displayed?

This is my favorite T-shirt of this bunch. If I remember correctly, I got this classic tee at a comic book store in Miami. My friend Camilo was waiting just outside in his white Grand Am. I grabbed the thing off the rack and bailed. I wore it at least twice a week since the summer of 1991 until 1998 or so. I'm wearing it in half of our band photos during that time. Many of the scars on the tee are pretty fucking metal, too. A few of the rips came in the pit and all the small holes at the bottom are from the spikes on my belt. The big chunk missing from the bottom happened after a patch I had sown to cover another hole, ripped off during a show in Dee-troit.

Once again, the sleeves were removed at some point. This time, the sleeves ripped and I've had this safety pin holding the thing together for years. I actually still wear this thing once in a while. I usually wear a Harmony Corruption long sleeve under it.

There's a whole box of these things. Every one of them filled with memories and stories.

Alright, like I said, it's good to be back and I hope to get back in the groove and start posting regularly again. Thanks to all the fans that cared enough to realize I hadn't been around. You all need to get a life. Stay metal.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dan Lilker-The Renee Zellweger of the metal world?

We're all friends here right? At least I hope we are, because I've already admitted to our readers in previous posts that I've been known to browse through the pages of US Weekly. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that two of my passions in life, (celebrity gossip AND metal) have finally collided. Who could have predicted this? Not me.

Here's how it all happened. As part of my usual Saturday routine, I was browsing through the internet looking for pictures of Dan Lilker's tiny, baby-like teeth. Is it weird that I do that as part of my Saturday routine? What do you guys do on Saturday afternoons?

As we've discussed before, Dan's tiny teeth are just one of the facial features that make him look almost exactly like swimmer Michael Phelps, who also looks like he's severely retarded.

Anyway, while searching through images I suddenly realized something....something amazing....something I simply had to share with the world. As it turns out, much in the same way that Dan is a musical one-trick-pony (his trick being mostly playing in bands that suck), he is also a one-trick-pony when it comes to posing for pictures. It's true! Dan has one default pose that he loves, which was probably developed in his Anthrax days. Now that he has mastered this pose, he sticks to it like stink on a monkey. What does this have to do with Renee Zellweger you ask? Lots! Not only is she also really annoying and ugly, but she also has a standard pose. I'm sure her publicist or stylist told her she looked best in this very unusual pose (who turns their back to the camera and looks over their shoulder?), and now she seems to only pose in this way for photographers. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I'd also like to suggest that based on their level of ugliness, there may be a tighter connection between the two. You be the judge:

Guy who looks like he has Down Syndrome, and has tiny teeth with huge gums:

Annoying, squinty actress who always does that awful fake British accent:

Before you make fun of me for noticing this, or point out how this is a useless post...please consider that I've just given you a great conversation starter for awkward situations at work. I've already tried it with some pretty important people at work, and they ate this up! Try it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wigger slam update, winter edition

There's a new dance craze that's sweeping the nation. It's called wigger slam and it's causing devastation!

It's been a while since we made a wigger slam post, which is a tragedy that makes Darfur look quaint by comparison. I would trade the lives of every single Romanian orphan for a single chance to play the Repudilation discography on my iPod while I'm in line at Starbucks. Seriously, fuck those kids, they're as good as dead anyway. In any case, there have been some exciting developments in the wigger slam scene that need to be mentioned.

Composted's SLAMBULANCE shirt
While it is disappointing to see that brutal death band Composted don't appreciate wigger slam like we do, we are still excited to see them raise awareness for the genre with the shirts you see below. The band is only mediocre (even to someone like me who has extremely low standards for slam metal- I mean I listen to fucking Artery Eruption!), but you might think about paying their MySpace a visit anyway. I'm sure it would make their day, since they probably spend all day bagging groceries or something to scrape together a pittance that pays the rent on the room they share with 8 other disgusting creeps at the local dirtbag metal flophouse. I'm sure glad I was never stupid enough to be in a band.

Entorturement vocalist drops some science
We have some insights on the origins of wigger slam from none other than the originators of the genre, Entorturement (and also the band who can legitimate claim to the worst name ever). He chimes in on the comments to an older post of ours, "The Facts About Wigger Slam":
LOL! This is Tim (former vocalist for entorturement). This is funny shit. Ok, yes Repudilation was the first to actually infuse a bit of Jazz into Death Metal. brian, their drummer, joined us and we wanted to do something different. So we went all out combining internal bleeding and suffocation with jazz,NYHC and Hip Hop. Growing up where we were you listened to Hip Hop. That was just how it was, mainly just NYC groups like Wu-Tang,Nas, Jay Z. It was like you are death metal (or deadhead,or jock) and you listened to hip hop. I am sorry for people taking it wayyyyyy out of hand. All the "thuggery" was taking the NYHC attitude at the time and multiplying 10 fold. In general, making fun of them.
Note that New Yorkment left them a nice comment on their page:
Amazon opens a wigger slam store
MI reader Matt Smith from Relapse tipped us off to Amazon's new wigger slam store. I'll be honest, the selection is a bit lacking (currently just a few Dying Fetus and Devourment shirts), but I'm happy to see that a big company like Amazon sees the potential for developing this market. I am sure that once they start producing Katalepsy and Abominable Putridity arctic camo parkas they'll have trouble keeping them in stock. MAKE IT RAIN!! I'm hoping they can hook up with Paul Wall and make some Soils of Fate grills. That shit would be HOT, and I'm sure all the European wiggers would eat it up. As anyone who ever sold anything metal-related in the 90s know, Europeans will buy anything!! I mean, without them, Joey DeMaio would have been out on the streets decades ago, picking cigarette butts out of the trash and selling Diet Mountain Dew cans for food.

See the store here!

Frogkill: World's first self-identified wigger slam band??

Perhaps I'm tooting our own horn here, but it seems that our influence has spread as far as Germany. We have been singing the praises of wigger slam for a while now, but it has so far been a externally-applied label. And to be honest, bands are generally not that stoked when we call them wigger slam (like these comments from that butthurt pussy in the Virginia-based wigger slam band Short Bus Pileup). A new one-man band named Frogkill is the first band we are aware of to call itself wigger slam, which is an amazing thing to behold! Congratulations, my friend! You are blazing new trails!We especially liked this statement on their MySpace:

And God said, "Let there be guttural slamming sickness!",
And there was guttural slamming sickness.
And God saw that it was good.

Now here comes the sad part. This poor kid is probably 19 or 20, and instead of sowing his wild oats banging hot German scene girls, he's spending his free time trying to impress internet metal nerds by making a one-man wigger slam band! Kid, you are going to look back on this part of your life and cry your eyes out at the way you pissed away the best years of your life. But congratulations on amusing a bunch of jaded metal dorks in their 30s at the expense of your youth! tags up 182%
Finally, thanks to everyone who has been dilligently using the wigger slam tag on! If you haven't already, please tag all the relevant tracks you can. Fight the good fight! I'm not sure how Fall Silent got in there, but that's pretty funny.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Retroview: Ripping Corpse / Dim Mak

In case it wasn't obvious from my gushing about bands like Forced Entry and Believer, I have a real soft spot for technical thrash that's progressive without being prog. There is perhaps no better example of that style than New Jersey's finest, Ripping Corpse (and their sister band Dim Mak).

Ripping Corpse - "Dreaming With The Dead" (1991)
I am going to skip the demos because (as I recall) the songs are all on this album. I'm sure some "I ONLY LIKE THE DEMO!!" idiot will correct me on that, and of course tell me that the demos are better than the full length. Well, that's what the comments are for.

In any case, this is a masterpiece of offbeat, unique thrash. The thing that really sets Ripping Corpse apart is the way that they always seem to accent the parts you don't expect. So if you were trying to dance to it, you would always end up on the wrong foot. Maybe one of you tards can tell me the musical term for this, it could just be syncopation. For example, the second riff in the song above, "Anti-god," is all herky jerky and fucked up like there are extra beats here and there. "Chugging Pus" is another really good example of those strange accents. Shaune Kelley also has a very unique style of lead that reminds me a lot of James Murphy, only I think this predates anything James Murphy did?

The only weak spot is the cover, which is rather unfortunate. I appreciate the fact that it doesn't have an oil painting of a monster or an evil politician (with toxic waste behind him, naturally), but to me it's just an indicator of Scott Ruth being a big weirdo. I'm imagining him trying to articulate some bizarre, pseudo-metaphysical concept to the poor shmuck who had to paint the cover, who is only halfway listening and already doodling up this image of a vaguely Central American temple with some guy sitting in the middle of the floor. It makes about as much sense as the bloody saw on the cover of "Human Waste" hacking away at a single femur bone (see "Great moments in art history: Suffocation").

8/10 bloody axes

Dim Mak - "Enter The Dragon" (1999)
This will probably be controversial, but I think this Dim Mak record is what Ripping Corpse meant to be. It continues with the weird, meandering leads, off-kilter accents, and barking vocals, but adds much, much more polished drumming courtesy of Mr. Brandon Thomas and generally more interesting, complex songwriting. Sadly I can't find any of their studio songs on YouTube, so you'll have to settle for this live stuff. The quality isn't the best, but you can definitely hear the drums really well which will tell you a lot about why this record is so awesome. You should definitely download it to give it a chance with nice production. The only possible negative is that this band clearly inspired infamous merchants of Jersey shore slamming groove Waking the Cadaver, who pretty much directly ripped off the winding leads of Shaune Kelley.

Most of the lyrics are about Bruce Lee movies and other martial arts-related stuff like courage, "royal ass whippings," and dragons. Um yeah... that's a little too close to anime tentacle-rape snuff porn territory for me, but whatever. I think there's something in the water down there in the Jersey shore area that breeds nerds- just ask Kevin Smith. I went to the Woodbridge Mall once and it was full of weirdos trading Pokemon in the food court so I left in a hurry.

9/10 bloody axes

Dim Mak - "Intercepting Fist" (2002)
This record pretty much picks up where "Enter the Dragon" left off, only it's a little more stripped down and fast. Personally I like the first album better because the riffs are a little meatier, the drumming is a little more nuanced, and the songs groove better, but they're both excellent. There's not much else to say about this other than the absolutely dreadful cover art.

8/10 bloody axes

Dim Mak - "Knives of Ice" (2006)
Every one of these retroviews seems to end the same way: I say that their last album isn't that good, but I forgive them for it because the other ones are so good. Well, this is no exception. The big thing here is that Origin's John Longstreth plays drums on this, and he is one of the most boring drummers on the face of the earth. Obviously he can play fast as shit, but that's not what Dim Mak is about. They are about groove, and that's something Mr. Longstreth has a hard time with.

6/10 bloody axes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Screamo crunk: A cultural primer

Navigating the choppy, uncharted waters of today's pop culture landscape can be a daunting task, especially for old people like us who grew up in simpler times. Fortunately for all of you, I am here to be your guide to the changing face of metal culture. Think of me as your sherpa, taking you by the hand and carefully leading you to the summit of Mt. Awesome. After we are done, you will no longer be scared and confused by contemporary youth culture!

Damn son, what you know about some MySpace hair??

Screamo crunk = express train to awesome town!
Just when you thought you had seen everything, along comes something new that reminds you that you haven't. For example, I recently discovered the strange and amazing world of screamo crunk! Who knew that there was a whole genre of music in which skinny white kids with scene hair alternately scream and rap over beats that are somewhere between indie dance and Southern bounce? I didn't until the other day, and now you do too!

FTSK poppin and lockin

Screamo crunk is the very post-modern intersection of trends in several, unrelated genres of music, all mashed up into something new. Depending on how you want to look at it, that either makes it all kinds of awesome or a giant shit sandwich- I will let you be the judge of that, though!

Back in my day (the 90s), screamo was Gravity Records fall-on-the-floor-and-freak-out stuff like Heroin, Second Story Window, and John Henry West. Emo was its much poppier cousin, best embodied by bands like Promise Ring and Texas Is The Reason or whatever. The important thing to note here is that these bands were the first to start attracting pretty girls to shows. Naturally I thought they were completely gay at the time, but in retrospect I should have thanked them profusely! To his credit, Lucho Metales was way more into this stuff at the time than I was. But we also both liked Shelter, so what the fuck did we know?

18 Visions = eyeliner + leather pants + mosh

In the hardcore scene, bands like Unbroken and Undertow introduced moshcore kids to the idea of paying attention to your appearance, with their pompodores, creepers and tight jeans. It's easy to see how they started us down the road that gave us bands like Eighteen Visions and Bleeding Through, who pretty much took what they started and made it even more awesome!

Forever The Sickest Kids, my favorite nu-punk band!

The trend toward more polished, accessible songs continued, yielding a new crop of "nu-punk" bands that basically sound like Miley Cyrus with MySpace hair. Good examples are Cash Cash, Kill Paradise, Metro Station, Hellogoodbye, and other stuff your little sister probably listens to. I am pretty sure that our readers will be not even a little surprised that I love this shit! The big thing to note here is the incorporation of dance elements into the familiar powerpop/pop punk formula.

I'm your idol, the highest title, numero uno

Before I ever listened to punk, hardcore, or metal, I was into rap. This was in the late 80s, which was a pretty awesome time that brought us legends like Rakim, Special Ed, Gangstarr, Too $hort, and tons more that aren't necessarily legends but are at the very least good for lulz: K-Solo, King Sun, Lakim Shabazz, and Chub Rock. I still love that shit, but as we all know, rap is very different now. It's all about Southern party rap now, which is fine by me because there is honestly nowhere I'd rather be than drunk off my ass at the club with a girl and cutting a rug to some T-Pain, Akon, or Baby Bash.

If you meet a girl at Urban Outfitters, she secretly loves this song

Here is a little secret for all you single dudes out there: Indie girls who are 20-25 years old all love getting down to some commercial rap. Take her to the club, make sure both of you have a few drinks in you, and when Flo-Rida or Lil Wayne come on, I guarantee you she will be getting down and you will be getting lucky when you come home. The only tricky part is talking them into going to the club in the first place because they have to pretend like they don't want to go, in order to maintain their indie coolness. It can always be "ironic" if that's what it takes, like "Hey let's go to this club, but just for a joke so we can laugh at all the lame douchelords there." It won't be ironic anymore after you buy her a couple rounds.


This is pretty much the epitome of screamo crunk and these kids are fucking awesome. I am 100% certain that the majority of MI readers will vomit with hatred when they watch this video, but I am pretty into it. Range Rovers, hot emo chicks in Forever 21 dresses, and alcohol?! What's not to fucking like?! They are on Kottonmouth Kings' label, Suburban Noize, which is pretty funny, although not as funny as Doug Carrion from Descendents being in KMK. Also, don't miss their Waking The Cadaver-inspired song "Bree Bree"! Also, these motherfuckers have 25 million plays on MySpace!

Hollywood Undead
MySpace phenoms Hollywood Undead round out the screamo crunk scene by filling out the scummier end of the spectrum. I mean, I think most of the people in this scene are pretty scummy (and I mean that in a good way), but these dudes seem particularly sketchy. Maybe not in the same league as Necro or Ezec/Danny Diablo, but who is?? Anyway this video is awesome, full of skanky strippers and alcohol. I'm pretty into it and it definitely reminds me of "the good old days" of hanging out at shady graffiti parties. Note the "Crazy Train" bassline in the song above.

Attack Attack
I love Katy Perry and I love mosh parts. This band combines the two into something impossibly sweet. Back in the dizzay when I was reading Metal Maniacs and Maximum Rock and Roll I would have never dreamed of a day when something like this would be possible, but guess what: it just happened, son!

These two douchebags from Colorado know how to spit some lyrics: "Shh girl, shut your lips. Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips" is great, but "X's on the back of your hands, wash them off in the bathroom to drink with the bands" is even better! Before you get your panties in a bind and call these guys homos, take 1 second to ask yourself how much hot indie ass they get, and repeat after me: DON'T HATE, CONGRATULATE!

DO WANT (note gold American Apparel tube top and awesome hair)

The main thing is, it makes me really angry that this scene didn't exist when I was a kid. Back in the suffocatingly PC 90s hardcore scene that I grew up in, our idea of fun was going to a vegan bake sale in some motherfucker's basement in Indianapolis or whatever (Guav, are you reading this)! Either that or go see Disembodied with Day of Suffering and get punched in the face by some asshole in a Brother's Keeper basketball jersey.

I'm seriously pissed off that I spent my 20s on hardcore and graffiti instead of getting drunk with hot girls who have awesome hair, and I wish there was fun shit like screamo crunk back then to give me a venue for fun. You see, in the 90s hardcore scene, we took everything very seriously- having fun was the worst sin you could ever commit!

As always, if you think I'm joking when I say that I love this shit, I promise you that I'm not. Look at my charts if you want proof!

Monday, January 19, 2009

What will they think of next?

I am sometimes hesitant to include much information about my private life here at Metal Inquisition. Why? Because I feel that my opinion as an authority in all things metal could be harmed should the masses know more about me, and how I roll. You may have heard that this is one of the key criticisms about The Economist that many people have. Most articles are not credited in that magazine, so no one knows who wrote them. Similarly, for all you know, I may live in a trailer park and drive a Delorean.

I could also be a fatty, emo, gangsta', goth, gender neutral never know.

So, against my better judgment I will now let you into my private life. I will now tell you something about myself, and here it is: I own a dog. My dog is a fantastic part of my life, and I love her very much. I usually behave rather idiotically when I'm around her, and some people probably get embarrassed and cringe when they see how I talk to her. Now that you have a clearer picture as to just how big of douchebag I am, I can share this new line of products that recently surfaced on the interweb. I can also tell you that even though I'm an asshole, and I like my dog way too much...I still think this is an idiotic line of products...and anyone who buys these deserves a long, painful death. What am I talking about? Garmutt, metal clothing for dogs of course!

The company is owned by one of the guys from Dillinger Escape Plan, apparently. Good for him, I guess he's trying to come up with some sort of back up plan for his failed musical gravy train, but this project will fail also. How can it not? I'm probably one of about eight people on earth who is a total idiot about their dog AND likes Metallica (kinda'), and I'm not willing to buy this crap...that means that a grand total of seven people worldwide are left as potential customers.

Look at that dog's face, that's how I looked after having heard the newest Metallica album too.

On a similar note, there's also metal clothing for kids and babies now. Why? Think back to when you were a kid, would you have liked it if your parents made you wear ABBA, Rod Stewart or Engelbert Humperdinck clothing? Personally, I would have hated it, and rightfully so. That was their musical taste, not mine. Why on earth do metal individuals think its any different for them now that they're parents or pet owners? Your dog may hate Metallica (he/she probably does actually), and your kid probably hates them also. You know how you hated it when your mom made you dress up, and take off your Maiden shirt back in the day? I know I did. Every metal kid I knew back then swore up and down that they would never become the opressor. Now we're all older, and look what's happening. Damn it all to hell.

Okay I get it, you're a hip, cool dad and you feel that you want to dress your kid accordingly. You're way different from the lame suburban dads with Volvo and Subaru station wagons. You're not a yuppie who drinks Starbucks coffee ans shops at REI. Well good for you, but here's a's a baby, not a godamn doll for you to dress up you stupid asshole. Babies should dress like babies, for the same reason that as adults we don't dress as babies, and for the same reason that a 5 year old girl in high heels would look creepy and depressing. Stop pushing your beliefs, particularly your musical beliefs onto poor defenseless creatures. As if the horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantamo weren't enough, now Americans have found a new way to distinguish themselves by acting like jerkoffs in a whole new way.

To all of our readers who are lucky enough to live outside the U.S., I hope you don't have this type of stupidity going in in your countries. If you don't, however, I must warn you. Brace yourself, because it's coming. Just like Baywatch, other places around the world will first write it off as a lowbrow American invention with no value...and then every country will buy into it. If anyone thinks I'm going overboard, and that this is just clothing for babies and dogs, you're wrong. Think of me as the first person that spoke out when the holocaust began. Now who feels like an asshole? Not me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Metal Inquisition is one year old!

Who would have thought that a blog which started largely as an afterthought would grow to be the behemoth Metal Inquisition has become? With over 400 posts, and a staff of 86 (plus 22 sub-contractors and consultants working at our Innovation Center), Metal Inquisition has grown to be considered an absolute authority in subjects as wide ranging as: Blue Grape Merchandise, Wigger Slam, and heavy metal real estate. Thanks to all the readers for making this possible.

At the risk of being accused of trying to rehash old content (like those Who's The Boss episodes where they would just use clips by having Tony or Mona say: "remember when..."), I urge you to go back through our early posts. While some may not be up to the standard that we are now known for, I assure you that there are some real gems in there. Back then, many posts got one or two comments, if we were lucky. I guess that's how Bill Gates feels about the days back when he only made one or two million a year.

Early on, we brought you such gems as a fat guy nearly having an aneurysm, David Vincent talking about cake and lemon pie, some sweet vocal exercises, we told you about how Glen Benton has a webcam, we discussed David Vincent's muffin top, we compared thrash revival to civil war re-enactments, we showed you Joey DeMaio wearing a man-thong, Helloween's artwork was discussed at great length. There are lots more posts worth mentioning, but you should really go back and look around for yourself.

It's been a great year. Cheers to ya'll.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tommy Victor Disease: A Pathology

Sometime back, Metal Inquisition introduced the world to the concept of Rob Flynn's Disease. As many of you know, this severe illness has struck many aging metalers, and Metal Inquisition simply had to inform the world in order to stop the madness. For those who may have missed our ongoing coverage of this disease, here's some background information:

R.F.D. (named after Robb Flynn, previously of the band Vio-Lence, now of Machine Head) usually strikes aging, out of step metal fossils. The disease usually hits hardest when the victim was originally (and only slightly) known for being in one band which is no longer around, and more than likely played a style that has fallen out of favor with today's audiences. Though most of those who suffer from this disease are musicians who are broke and desperate, some partial mutations of the disease have also struck somewhat successful musicians such as Kerry King and Scott Ian.


Individuals dealing with the disease will take on certain characteristics best suited for 15 year old ravers in Kansas, in a pathetic, last ditch effort to remain somewhat relevant and "with it". Often seen as a crucial part of any last ditch effort in the musical arena, R.F.D. is often seen by those who suffer from it as a new lease on life. Think of it as the metal equivalent of automotive oil that is especially formulated for high millage cars.

As purveyors of truth in the world of metal, we felt it would be irresponsible to not fill everyone in on a recent mutation of R.F.D. That mutation, as the title of this post clearly states is: Tommy Victor Disease. Just as the lunch lady in your high school managed to make today's burgers into tomorrow's sloppy joes, so too diseases mutate and change in order to survive one more day.

Like other eponymous diseases (diseases named after the first person to have or describe the condition) such as Lou Gehring's disease and Alzheimer disease, T.V.D. (Tommy Victor Disease) can take over quickly, and render an aging rocker even more useless than he was previously.

What's the difference between RFD and TVD?
When RFD first took hold, the fashion of choice for teenage douchebags was big pants, skateboarding brand tshirts, and skate shoes. Times have changed. As such, Tommy Victor (who must be roughly 59 now) has chosen to take on the fashion choices of today's teenage douchebags. I'm talking of course, about Affliction clothing, mixed in with a little Urban Outfitters for good measure.

For Tommy Victor, it all started after Prong. I remember seeing him when he played with Danzig, parading through the audience while wearing a clear plastic shirt and rubber pants, hitting on old ladies. It all went downhill from there.

Keep in mind that although TVD is not exclusive to the east coast, residents of the New Jersey/New York area (Long Island in particular) have an acute tendency towards the disease. In most cases, TVD begins when the aging metaler starts to look to teenage members of his audience for fashion ideas. This is usually compounded with the the individual starting to look at websites like for fashion ideas.

The evidence

Man-tits and a tight shirt meant for a 19 year old. That's a good luck for any 59 year old. You can say that the guy on the right is dressed like an aging, fat idiot...but at least his attire is age appropriate.

In a horrible nightmare that I've had many times in the last two years I find myself face to face with these two...I have a gun but only one bullet. Which one do you take out? In my dream, I always kill myself instead.

Here we see Tommy and his stylist trying to plug in the Nocturnus time machine, in order to transport Tommy back to a time when the music he made was half-way relevant.

Here's a little shopping tip...once you are twice the age and twice the weight of the people who work at Urban Outfitters, it's time to stop buying hats there. Also, I'm sure that 38 year old waitress was stoked to meet you.

Great use of the Myspace style of photography. Who says 59 year olds can't stay current? Nice lip-ring by the way, I'm sure lots of 10th graders are impressed.

Myspace photography stance again. Look at that chain. You can take the guido out of Queens, but you can't take the Queens out of the guido.

Nothing says aging guido like a good Affliction-style t-shirt.

You know you have bad fashion sense when you put on a shinny green football jersey, and most people consider it an improvement over your normal attire. This picture finally settles the argument regarding which member of Prong really pushed Blue Grape merchandise to make the famed Prong hockey jersey.