Kerrang! Awards 2012 – a critique
Alternative title ‘any excuse for a rant’
Pretty much the same as my Axl Rose – Rock n Roll Hall of Fame rant – beating a once glorious but now pretty rotten horse.
I used to read Kerrang!, hell, it was my gateway into metal. Thankfully Fate ordained that I would not fall for the bands the magazine lauded, but soon found myself graduating to Metal Hammer, and when that magazine in turn proved mediocre, on to Terrorizer. Both Kerrang! and Metal Hammer used to be worthwhile magazines, and while Metal Hammer still retains vestiges of its spirit of old, Kerrang! has sold its artistic soul to the devil of commerce many times in its existence. First hair metal, then grunge, then nu metal, then metalcore, now whatever the current trend du jour is. Whether it leads or is led is moot – it stinks regardless. Would I recommend Kerrang! to a kid looking to get into metal? Fuck no! For me, it is no longer a metal magazine, but to be fair it doesn’t go hell bent in selling itself as such these days. Even so, I argue that the magazine does a massive disservice to the metal genre as a whole through its mis-selling of shite bands.
Anyway, it should be obvious by now that I have a problem with Kerrang!, and thus quite likely have a problem with its awards. So here goes!
As for my ‘research’ into the bands, I listened to the first song I found from them on youtube for as long as I could physically cope. Some were aenemic, some downright abhorrent.
To begin with an aenemic, we turn to Paramore:
Woo powerpop! Paramore have been around for a few years (since I read Kerrang, actually), but really, would you start a nascent metalhead on a band like this? Nightwish have 100x the balls that this does. That video is down for best video, btw.
Holy Hell where do you begin!?! This is like Panic! at the Disco meets Avenged Sevenfold. Its certainly ‘heavy’, but any heft is deflated by recourse to crappy chorus every 40 seconds, the whiny lead vocalist and the token ‘hardcore’ screamer. If they put as much time into their music as they put into their appearance…
Also, there are literally DOZENS of bands just like Yashin out there.
The above were mediocre, sure, but what follows is rather more offensive:
I have to say that I actually rather like some elements of the video – I love the UV filtering that brings out the day-glo teeth of the singer. Actually, that’s about it, bar Dee Snider as the whipmaster, lulz.
The vocalist produces an apologia in the notes for the video, explaining that the Passion imagery used is used as an analogy to his own ‘suffering’ under ‘persecution’ from the unthinking Christian mob.
Material like this is passable in proper black metal, but in this shit? Fuck no! Mosh boxes, keyboards, pussy clean vocals, breakdowns, triggers, you name it, they mar it. Crab-core stylings, vocal effects, scene-tastic! This is basically some kid whining about people making fun of his band being shit. No shits given. Leave intelligent thought to the real metal bands.
you me at six – bite my tongue feat Oli!!11
More ‘impassioned’ rock, aimed squarely at the trainer bra audience. Oli adds so much though, such an inspired lyricist, what a throat… How this sh1t has come to be one of Kerrang!’s favourites I do not know.
Bring Me the Horizon – Alligator blood
Oli time! Yet more inspired angsty metalcore, what else…? Bring Me the Horizon aren’t bad, I guess, just utterly uninspiring. Far too overproduced, far too image conscious, far too angsty and damn teenage. But that is what they deliver, and they deliver well, and Kerrang loves them for it.
And now, the comedy option:
Falling in Reverse – The drug in me is you
Hair metal but with an awful vocalist. Sound familiar? Actually, make that hair metal infused with the worst nauseating elements of pop punk.
This is probably the best song here, mind, mainly on the merit of the lead.
I Could go on but I already feel sick to death with this music, and thoroughly depressed at the crap Kerrang! is touting these days to the kids. Shameless…
The next post will actually be interesting, promise!