Skip to main content

We'll be at the drive-in

Emo, to me, is the hair metal of now

--John Congleton

I heard many great quotes from the Paper Chase's John Congleton when I interviewed him for POST. He knows what he's talking about, and he knows how to articulate it extremely well. Thinking about his quote above, then watching the video for Poison's "Talk Dirty to Me" again, and then thinking about the shouty mall emo/screamo bands I've come across in the last six years, I wonder how this collison of emo, goth, hardcore, metal, the Warped Tour, Pro-Tools, and eyeliner will age. I think it's safe to say it will not age well. At all.

If you just go off of sound, a song like "Talk Dirty to Me" is simply a glossy, almost power pop version of a number of Sex Pistols songs like "EMI" and "Pretty Vacant." There is no screaming or whining vocals -- just the epitome of 80s hair metal meant to be played in stadiums. The song itself is very much of its time, and while there's better glossy power pop out there (start with the Raspberries and Cheap Trick for starters), this song is not bad at all. To my ears, this kind of stuff has aged decently.

Now I turn to exhibit B: a video by A Skylit Drive called "All it Takes for Your Dreams to Come True." Yes, this song is upbeat and energetic, but it is filled with very teenager-like, angsty vibes. Of course this is perfect when you're pissed at the world, but is it really something you can sing along to? Sorry, screaming along to is not the same thing as singing along. Besides, who the hell can really sing along to vocals that high-pitched?

There's nothing wrong with angst in poppy songs. Some of the greatest songs of all time that made the world unite have angst in them. The deal is, I highly, highly doubt any song from the catalog of Chiodos, Hawthorne Heights, or Bring Me the Horizon will be seriously considered on par or better than songs by Nirvana, the Clash, Dylan, the Stones, or Hendrix.

So this all makes me wonder: what could possibly deflate this beast that is a train wreck considered "post-hardcore" for an audience that doesn't like to be called emo? Or have we just laid that hope to rest since it seems the Internet has more of an impact than even Nevermind did in 1991?


Popular posts from this blog

It's a Long Way Down

There was a time when I listened to Ryan Adams' music practically all the time. Back in 2001, as I finished college and tried to navigate post-college life, the double dose of Whiskeytown’s Pneumonia and Adams’ Gold led me to everything else he had made before. It was countrified rock music that spoke to me in a deep way, mainly on the musical front. I don’t tend to really pay attention to lyrics, but I connected with Adams’ lyrics about being young and perpetually heartbroken. I thought some self-inflicted mental pain about awkward and failed attempts at relationships put me in the headspace to relate to songs by Adams, as well as Bright Eyes. There was so much time and energy spent on anger and sadness directed at myself for things not working out, so I found solace in songs like “Harder Now That It’s Over” and “The Rescue Blues.” As it turned out, there was a pattern in my life: if I had a little taste of a feeling of sadness or anger, I could relate to those who had it

I ain't got no crystal ball

I've never been a big fan of Sublime's reggae-punk-ska, but I feel bad for their hardcore fans. Billboard reports that a four-disc box set featuring previously released and unreleased material is on the way. How is this a bad thing? Well, the number of posthumous vault-raiding collections greatly outnumber the band's proper releases. That usually isn't a problem, but the quality of them is very suspect. When they were together, the band recorded three proper albums, Robbin' the Hood , 40 Oz. to Freedom and Sublime . Sublime would be the band's breakthrough record with the mainstream, but that success was very bittersweet. Shortly before its release, frontman/guitarist/songwriter Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose. In the following years, the effects of apparently a bad record deal have yielded compilation after compilation. Here's the rundown so far: Second Hand Smoke (1997) Stand By Your Van -- Sublime Live in Concert (1998) Sublime Acoustic: Br

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J