We’re all getting old. The bands we grew up idolizing are slowing down, retired or making geriatric mockeries of themselves. And sometimes we unfairly and harshly lash out at the newest crop of musicians for not being as heavy or “tough” as we were. I was one of those young, doe-eyed metal kids once, who feared a hulking longhair would take me down in the pit with his tattooed elbow. But I was accepted and never openly judged, and many times I’ve tried to offer the same tolerance to the younger generation.
This is not one of those times.
I guess you could consider me a “hater,” because that word is used (still) to describe whomever thinks this current gaggle of tear-stained metalcore phonies need to crawl back up the dainty, opportunistic asshole they slamdanced out of.
Now this is far from a comprehensive expose because YouTube is fucking filled with this shit. Head down the rabbit hole and you’ll barely escape alive without blond highlights. But I tried to be slightly discerning. Many of these bands are simply new Ratts or Poisons (or more like Faster Pussycats), dumbfucks who realized this kind of music was the easiest way to a music video and 19 different shirt designs.
For example, a band like Oceans Ate Alaska are some real whiny turds, but they’re just your normal dress-wearing boy band screamo. They are essentially our control — any band listed below, you can guarantee are really pushing the pansy factor to degrees you may have to see and hear to believe. So, here they are in no particular order:
CLAPS FOR CAROLINE
Two things have never been metal: Limos and retirement homes. These guys disagree. They scream and Auto-Tune themselves next to a pool while a glistening sparkle, almost like Tinkerbell, floats around them, blessing the band with pixie dust that, when the dance beats kick in, we realize is just blow. Listen, I’m glad you got a bunch of slutty chicks to swig marshmallow vodka with you, but here’s the problem: Jocks can sniff that shit out, you still weigh 60 pounds, and when they show up, those Tigerbeat vokills aren’t gonna save that pretty face of yours.
FEAR FROM THE HATE
“Party” screamo kids are worse than the fully sensitive ones because they combine everything you hate about sissies with everything you hate about spring break. These guys go completely bananas with it by renting out a dance hall filled with fancy shots, balloons, glowsticks, streamers… this is a metal video we’re talking about, remember. I mean, as much as these bedazzled, vest-wearing nancies might like to dance under the disco ball of life, they still make sure there are plenty of breakdowns to express aggression over their cellphone having shitty service. (Note: These guys are Japanese and so much stuff over there is weird and uncomfortable, but this is clearly a reflection of America’s shameful taste for garbage.)
NEVER MEANS MAYBE
My favorite thing is how these songs have evolved into their inverse. While before it would be a full-on metal song until the tear-soaked bridge, now bands just gush and wallow about their heartbreak until a quarter of the way through, when their Metal Zone pedals get some time on the field. Seriously, this band starts full-on Hoobastank, but if you stick with it long enough, they finally do the absolute minimum that’s required to still somehow wedge themselves into this sham scene before it’s straight back to the Massengill commercial.
CAPTURE THE CROWN
These crabcore dummies get a mention because they refer to an ex-girlfriend as a “bitch,” “slut” and a “filthy fucking cunt” along with some other demeaning shit while they get water poured all over them and run in place to house music. These chumps wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight.
(Also, I’ve touched on this before, but every person from YouTube or any commenting section: When you start defending this tripe because “people like all kinds of things and it’s just music,” the music doesn’t actually get better– you just come off as a little kid with pitiful insecurities about your own judgment.)
EYES SET TO KILL
This is the band that actually inspired my editors to suggest writing this article. This is the only entry with female members (two, in fact), but the singer… Okay, It’s one thing to croon like a beautiful flower on a summer’s day with a shallow popcore band, but this guy just does occasional screams and is such a lightweight he can’t even play an instrument. That means that while the ladies are faux-shredding or taking center stage to sing, he just has to stand there with his youth medium skull shirt and hope no one notices that he’s essentially just cute boy eye candy. I would almost feel bad for him if he clearly wasn’t willing to sell his cock and balls to the devil for a couple years of hollow fame.
I’m not actually trying to indict the entire genre or this generation. In fact, I’m asking for solidarity — can’t all of us come together and hate these preening, talent-bereft attention whores? Can’t we push for some sense of credibility and true aggression from music if it chooses to drape itself in this banner? Because no matter how progressive, book-learning or indie-rock-dressing some of us may be, we’re polishing our elbows in case any of these pussies happen to waltz by the pit.