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Friday, 27 September 2013

Not happy. Not happy at all.

I'm very much a live and let live kind of chap when it comes to music and fashion; clearly I have my preferences with either, as I believe those who listen to Jack Johnson or wear oh-so trendy ill-fitting clothing in East London to be complete tits. But every now and again my goat is well and truly got.

Earlier this week, source of much web-based merriment Buzzfeed published an article on why punk is dead (http://www.buzzfeed.com/alexnaidus/pieces-of-evidence-that-punk-is-dead) and continued to cite 23 instances of popular starlets wearing classic punk-style regalia or having their merchandise plagiarise famous punk imagery. To be honest, it really shouldn't have pissed me off as much as it did. I know that a tonne of alternative music sites are nonplussed by the whole affair but I cannot help but be filled with a monumental rage.

Seeing r'n'b bellend Chris Brown bowling around in a studded leather jacket with The Exploited and Cro-Mags written on it is not cool. The man who famously beat the shit out of his missus is not worthy of the punk world. Operation Ivy t-shirts being sold for multiple hundreds of dollars is NOT punk. And fucking One Direction wearing Top Shop Ramones shirts makes me want to be permanently sedated...THAT'S A RAMONES REFERENCE YOU BASTARDS!

Things like Taylor Swift dressing a bit punky can't really annoy anyone but to have iconic bands ripped off or adorning the millionaire frame of individuals who are clearly doing nothing more than tapping into a high street trend riles me. There are of course counter arguments, which it shall now rebuff:

1. Punk is a trend, it always has been, so why should it be different now?

Because punk had a sound and punks had a look. Yes, it is/was a trend, but it's something adopted by people who love the bands and don't want to (I hate to use this phrase) conform to the perception of 'normal'. By pop stars and major celebs wearing punk garments they're destroying the very meaning of punk.

2. How can you be elitist about what people wear? They might really love the bands

In which case, why are they fucking ruining their legacy? I have no doubt in my mind that I give more of a shit than the remaining Ramones about One Direction using their logo, but if you were doing it genuinely and not just following trends why haven't you always dressed like this? Why hasn't your merchandise always looked like this?

3. Punk clothing has often ripped off the mainstream, why can't it be vice versa?

Because the point of punk is that it is anti-mainstream. The point of the mainstream is not to be anti punk, you knob.

4. Isn't it a good thing that these celebs are raising awareness of bands that younger generations may never have heard of?

No.

5. Punk and alternative imagery has always had some presence in the mainstream, why does it matter now?

Look, 'that' Rolling Stones t-shirt and H&M selling AC/DC tops is a different thing altogether. These are multi-million selling crossover bands; they could sell out any arena anywhere in the world. The irritation comes from celebs who, in their quest to be edgy and left field, festoon themselves in images of bands they probably know nothing about, and a scene they know nothing about. Simply put, If I see someone with a tidy beard, skinny jeans, Ray Ban wayfarers and a diamant√© Leatherface t-shirt I will kill myself.

I appreciate that this opinion is not shared by everyone, but it is mine, and it is right.

M
\m/

Friday, 13 September 2013

Headlining things

Is anyone else bored of seeing Cara Delavigne's face? Everywhere I look there's a pout and a pair of thick eyebrows. It's thoroughly annoying.

Anyway, I digress. Avenged Sevenfold; what a return. Following on from the tragic loss of founder member and drummer Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan in 2011 it's fair to say A7X's future was uncertain. However, the release of Hail to the King at the beginning of September saw them enter the UK album charts at number 1. Not the rock chart, not the alternative chart; the actual chart. M Shadows et al are currently sharing musical real estate with the likes of Ellie Goulding and feeble dribblers Passenger.

I've never been a huge fan of Avenged. Don't get me wrong, their back catalogue contains some absolute bangers but they're not a band that has ever caused my metal scrotum to tighten. I saw them support Maiden in 2008 and remember thinking they were pretty decent but my adulation goes no further than that.

This being said, I'm clearly in a minority. The hoards of former Tweens who inevitably bought Hail to the King will think I'm an idiot, as will the bookers who have Avenged Sevenfold headlining at Wembley Arena in November. Plus, the Huntingdon Beach mob are widely regarded as a shoe-in for a headline slot at Download 2014.

It seems that we are finally seeing the next wave of 'that big' metal bands. Slipknot blazed the trail to join the likes of Metallica and Iron Maiden as 'nothing other than a headliner' at festivals, and there's every chance that A7X will follow. 

Who else can get there? My ponderings on some of the popular names banded about are as follows:

Trivium?
They looked like they would do it but their insanely fast rise to the almost-top was ultimately their downfall. Despite Shogun and In Waves proving the Floridians are still major metal contenders, they're unlikely to reach the levels of popularity experienced around the Ascendency era. 

Lamb of God?
Not yet, but in time. Years of graft, tune upon tune and a legendary frontman tick a lot of boxes, plus a headline slot at Bloodstock 2013 means Randy and the boys are definitely on the ladder.

Bullet For My Valentine?
Probably, but it won't be a popular choice. The early days of metalcore-meets-thrash with a pretty frontman means that BFMV were the ones to watch a three or four years ago. However, a couple of weak releases later, they're becoming a bit of an also-ran.

Bring Me The Horizon?
Nowhere near ready to take on 80,000 from the main stage but this mob have been improving and improving over the last three albums, culminating in this year's fucking excellent Sempiternal. Another couple of albums of this level and its difficult to see how BMTH can't reach the top of the game.

30 Seconds to Mars?
It would be a popular choice with teenage girls but other than that, fuck right off.

Right, I need to try and find a way to listen to the new Crossfaith album whilst at work. Without even hearing it I can almost guarantee it'll be in my top ten of the year.

M
\m/

Headlining things

Is anyone else bored of seeing Cara Delavigne's face? Everywhere I look there's a pout and a pair of thick eyebrows. It's thoroughly annoying.

Anyway, I digress. Avenged Sevenfold; what a return. Following on from the tragic loss of founder member and drummer Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan in 2011 it's fair to say A7X's future was uncertain. However, the release of Hail to the King at the beginning of September saw them enter the UK album charts at number 1. Not the rock chart, not the alternative chart; the actual chart. M Shadows et al are currently sharing musical real estate with the likes of Ellie Goulding and feeble dribblers Passenger.

I've never been a huge fan of Avenged. Don't get me wrong, their back catalogue contains some absolute bangers but they're not a band that has ever caused my metal scrotum to tighten. I saw them support Maiden in 2008 and remember thinking they were pretty decent but my adulation goes no further than that.

This being said, I'm clearly in a minority. The hoards of former Tweens who inevitably bought Hail to the King will think I'm an idiot, as will the bookers who have Avenged Sevenfold headlining at Wembley Arena in November. Plus, the Huntingdon Beach mob are widely regarded as a shoe-in for a headline slot at Download 2014.

It seems that we are finally seeing the next wave of 'that big' metal bands. Slipknot blazed the trail to join the likes of Metallica and Iron Maiden as 'nothing other than a headliner' at festivals, and there's every chance that A7X will follow. 

Who else can get there? My ponderings on some of the popular names banded about are as follows:

Trivium?
They looked like they would do it but their insanely fast rise to the almost-top was ultimately their downfall. Despite Shogun and In Waves proving the Floridians are still major metal contenders, they're unlikely to reach the levels of popularity experienced around the Ascendency era. 

Lamb of God?
Not yet, but in time. Years of graft, tune upon tune and a legendary frontman tick a lot of boxes, plus a headline slot at Bloodstock 2013 means Randy and the boys are definitely on the ladder.

Bullet For My Valentine?
Probably, but it won't be a popular choice. The early days of metalcore-meets-thrash with a pretty frontman means that BFMV were the ones to watch a three or four years ago. However, a couple of weak releases later, they're becoming a bit of an also-ran.

Bring Me The Horizon?
Nowhere near ready to take on 80,000 from the main stage but this mob have been improving and improving over the last three albums, culminating in this year's fucking excellent Sempiternal. Another couple of albums of this level and its difficult to see how BMTH can't reach the top of the game.

30 Seconds to Mars?
It would be a popular choice with teenage girls but other than that, fuck right off.

Right, I need to try and find a way to listen to the new Crossfaith album whilst at work. Without even hearing it I can almost guarantee it'll be in my top ten of the year.

M
\m/

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Where have I been?

Regulars may have noticed that I've been absent for the last few weeks. Irregular readers probably don't care. 

The truth is, I've taken a break from metal. The actual truth is, Iron Maiden at The O2 was a bit of a moment for me. I got so into the music I ended up belting a security guard and was unceremoniously removed and handed over to plod before I could enjoy the encore. Needless to say, this is a personal low as far as gigging goes.

For the last two weeks, I haven't listened to any serious metal. Obviously the odd tune has come my way and I still worship at the altar of Planet Rock whilst doing the Sunday roast but the staple diet of multitudinous 'cores' and bastard riffs has been replaced by silence. 

Today though, I plugged the earphones in and hit random; the latest Pathology album beat the living shit out of my ears, followed by Terror, followed by Firenote, and I realise how much I've missed this. I feel happy. I am aware of my fallibility when it comes to over exuberance at gigs but fuck it. That's just me.

A life without double kick and distortion is no life at all. My hiatus is over, and I'm back. 

Here's to metal, motherfuckers.

M
\m/