I’ve seen it way to often. Good rock or metal starts out great when the band lacks maturity. Then, with popularity (and some years of maturity) that Good stuff goes away from what made it great. This isn’t always a horrible thing. U2 comes to mind here. They started with a very underground, rough rock sound that was emotional and seeping with passion. Then, took various turns through po(o)p rock – almost to the point of contemporary. Although I like all their stuff I tend to believe that it is just the band that I like, and not necessarily the music. Metallica is another band that went linearly the opposite direction with their quality as popularity rose. Though I think Metallica’s path is a bit different (but, that’s another story). The Police to Sting transition over the years is probably the same too. The Police were awesome, and Sting by himself is just a good Jazz artist.
The reason that I’m actually writing this post is that I’m totally bummed by the state of U.S.-based metal/rock. There’s just very little that is original, and anything good just gets ruined by radio airplay. (Don’t get me wrong I know there IS good stuff out there, I’m definitely speaking in generalities – especially with an eye on what gets publicity). I am glad to see a return of the modern-rock/alternative scene – there is some good stuff there. But, nothing in the heavy area. Even though I like some Slipknot and Mudvayne’s stuff – snore. I really miss the angst and emotion of early 90’s grunge and stoner rock (Kyuss). Maybe, and this is definitely likely, I’m just not tuned into the right scenes to get the good stuff.
The recent spat between Chris Cornell and Trent Reznor has me completely baffled. I’ve never been a NIN fan, and think they’ve sucked hard since “Head”. So to hear Trent dissin’ Cornell for his “strange” shift to in production with his Scream album is a bit irritating. This “twitter” stupidity is just annoying. I suppose it was good publicity because I went out and grabbed the Scream album. Guess what it is just more of the good rock gone soft crap. Cornell’s voice laid over dubbed beats is OK, and some of the tracks are decent (and I actually like it, contrary to most of the reviews). But, I just don’t understand how we’ve gone from Soundgarden to Cornell/Timbaland. Is it really just Cornell getting older? I can’t imagine it is about the money. If he came out and just admitted it was an experiment – cool. There have been a lot of really cool experiments, that didn’t require an entire album.
Maybe it isn’t the music that is getting soft? Maybe the rise of Rock Band and Guitar Hero have removed the edge? I remember the first time Caiden was playing Slayer in Guitar Here I kept waiting for my wife to blow up. The relationship between the “heaviness” and the lyrically content just isn’t there anymore, which is good. I suppose if she knew what was actually being said in the lyrics it’d be a different story. I definitely believe there’s been a desensitization of music (especially the stuff on the edge) – and maybe that’s partially to blame for the lack of quality in the heavy realms. Perhaps it is a quantity problem, and not a quality one.
However, there’s a lot of really good stuff coming out of Scandinavia and Europe in general. I just wish it would have an opportunity for airplay in the U.S. Then again I kinda don’t. Although I’d love for these bands to get recognition I don’t want them to have an opportunity to get spoiled.
Now that I’m thinking about it…a lot of the stuff that I like has been ruined by lead singers dieing. Snot comes to mind. Blind Melon, Alice in Chains. Then there’s guitarist like Dimebag who’ve left us.
Ok, enough of this rant…
And…what is up with RapCore – Yuck!
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