Fashion doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you are one of those people that work in marketing that can promote a look or style of music to teens, a bit like Don Draper in skinny jeans, then you can pretty much name your price. Emo, for example, is a genre which I never understood. Take My Chemical Romance. I can’t get my head around them. It’s essentially a group of middle aged men moaning about personal problems. However they are now massive, and saw an influx of bands signed up following their success, eg Panic At the Disco, 30 Seconds To Mars, Angels and Airwaves etc. With stuff like X-Factor et al, I can see the appeal. Good looking people signing catchy pop favroiutes. Now I hate it, but I can see how others would like it. With MCR though, not a clue. Each their own however, and they have an iota of musical ability, and if others like it, so be it.
The latest genre to leave me a spin in metalcore.
On paper, this should be ideal for me. It’s described on Wiki as ‘a punk metal fusion genre combining heavy metal and hardcore punk’. Love metal, love hardcore punk; and these guys are bringing the volume in spades. Their look is alright as well. Massive fan of Body art, and most of these guys look like they’re running out of skin to print positive mantras and block coloured eagles on.
So after hearing all the hype about metalcore, I decided to listen to the de facto purveyors of the genre; Bring me the Horizon.
This is ‘There Is A Hell, Believe me I’ve seen it. There is a Heaven, let’s keep it a secret’, it is the name of their 2010 album, and am I quite serious when I say that it is one of the most appalling pieces of rubbish I have ever heard in my life.
The problems with the album are endemic. Essentially, these guys are not a band. They are 5 sessions musicians all battling over each other to be heard. There is no rhythm to any of the music, it’s just; ‘smash your instrument as hard as you can and play the wackiest shit you know’. Opening track Crucify Me opens with a sea of noise, not too bad, but as soon as singer Olly Sykes starts bellowing at the top of his lungs, all hell breaks loose. The drummer cannot seem to keep the same rhythm going for longer for more than 5 seconds, various guitars riffs are lost in the mess. It’s like playing every sample available on a Yamaha keyboard at once. Then, for no apparent reason, all instruments drop and we hear something resembling a female Stephen Hawking in a wind-tunnel mouthing inaudible rubbish. Surprise, surprise; none of it fucking works. So we have these two different strands going on at different times of the song. How to take this to the next level? Play it all at once of course! So wiTH Sykes and Mrs.Hawking battling for vocal supremacy and a backing band playing like they’ve never met before, i sit here pondering the longest 6 minuets of my life; and upset that there’s 11 more tracks of this.
Second track Anthem is a carbon copy of the first. Generic shredding on guitars, Double-bass peddling like drummer Matt Nicholls life depends on it. The worst part of this band BY SOME STRECH though, is singer Olly Sykes. What he doesn’t seem to realise is there is a skill in monotone screeching. Rollins had it. He doesn’t. He voice continually creaks and cracks, and he cannot hold key for longer than a few notes. His low notes sound like feedback and high notes sound like a cat with his tail stuck in a door. Utterly abysmal.
It Never Ends opens with a string accompaniment which doesn’t fit at all with the rhythm section, and makes it sound like someone is playing Beethoven too loud in the other room. 4th track Fuck, is more of the same fare, and it becomes glaringly apparent that this utterly limited band know one style; just go mental. Yeah, fuck rhythm, fuck artistic merit, just play the craziest, most complicated shit you know, and fans will lap it up.
On track 5, Don’t Go, the band attempt a ballad, but clearly Sykes didn’t get the memo, as he keeps bellowing away like an exhaust pipe. The rest of the album continues in the same vein of unwavering mediocrity. Honestly, I could listen to this album 100 times in a row, and would still struggle to differentiate any of the songs from each other.
Here’s the deal. You’ve heard Black Flag, yeah? You’ve heard Minor Threat, yeah? You’ve heard Deftones, yeah? You’ve heard Iron Maiden, yeah? You’ve heard Killswitch Engage, Disturbed, Slayer, fuck it, any alt-band in the last 20 years, yeah? Well would like to hear then all played at the same time, but with all artistic merit, uniqueness and creativity taken out, yeah? No, or course you bloody wouldn’t.
What you have hear is not a band, it’s a look. You have to latest way for a record label to make a shitload of quick cash. You have a prat with a trendy haircut, loads of tattoos who is apparently a fashion designer in his spare time. You have 4 half decent sessions musician with not a brain cell between them, and together you have the latest thing that kids will go wild at. It’s loud enough for them to get fucked up and listen to, with the kicker being they don’t have attentions spans long enough to twig how basic and how devoid of skill it is.
These guys need to go back to their music collection, listen to it and realise that it wasn’t volume that made metal and hardcore-punk bands good, it was musical talent and the ability to form a tune. They didn’t just roll up to gig one night and say ‘right, get stuck in, have fun’. What you’ve essentially got here is ‘Slayer does Elevator music’.
Kerrang readers voted BMTH ‘Worst band of 2008’ and ‘Worst band of 2010’, and if these guys haven’t got Kerrang on their side, they may as well give up.
Going back to the point I made at the start, although I didn’t like emo music, it had a style. I may not have liked it, but it WAS something. This is just BAD music. Regardless of your preferences.