Monday, August 17, 2009

Motorhead Case

As a teen of the eighties, I was a big fan of MTV's Headbanger's Ball. I still occasionally watch it- the occasion being when I'm hammered on a Saturday night and accidentally find it while channel-surfing. Long gone are the Aqua-Netted bands of my horny teen years, replaced by the screaming Hot Topic bands du jour of my horny adult years. Sure, they still throw up a respectful nod to the show's history with the occasional Iron Maiden or Pantera track, but most of the 21st century metallurgists- who grew up memorizing the riffs of those aforementioned bands- are melding styles that seem more schizophrenic than groundbreaking. Spending a few minutes with the show this past weekend yielded me a video from The Devil Wears Prada, an Ohio band straddling the line between metal and "screamo". Now, I know inspiration can come from anywhere and every artist is influenced by something- but, really? The Devil Wears Prada? If your musical worldview can be summed up by appropriating the name of a shitty Meryl Streep movie, I've already tuned out. (What, another band had already taken Sophie's Choice?) I stuck around for the song, which was emblematic of a band trying to mix too many styles, without wholly understanding any of them. As genres go, metalheads like their music pretty simple. Deicide and New Order never went on tour together, so why any band would think that sounding like both of them would be a winning combination is a mystery. At the risk of being cranky, I'll take the lunkhead simplicity of Judas Priest over the uninspired machine gun nonsense of Kramer vs. Kramer...or whatever that band was called.

No comments: