The Best, The Good, The Bad, The Rest
by Iann Robinson
Hey there everybody, how goes it. I’ve been really swamped with new stuff so I’ve been doing a lot of listening to records, both good and bad, just to bring you this edition of The Best, The Good, The Bad & The Rest. I’ve been asked a lot about writing something other than reviews so I polished up an old article I’d written about the 50 things I hate most in the world, added 50 and put it at the top of this column. I heard from a friend that some loser took the old article, actually posted the list on his website and spent time writing insulting things about me under EACH LINE. I love that, I mean, I feel bad that this kid has never had sex and that his life is so pathetic he has to do this but it’s still a real honor to have made somebody that angry. Anyway, following the list are my reviews and after this edition it may take me a while to do more so please enjoy this.
All The Best
1. People who don’t like Black Flag, Motorhead, Misfits or Minor Threat
2. Women who think Sex In The City is the blueprint of how life should be
3. Spin and other hipster magazines that champion any band with a cool haircut and cool clothes, even if they suck.
4. Paris Hilton and the fact that anybody cares what this socialite bitch does with her free time
5. Anybody who thinks the hardcore/punk scene still exists
6. This insipid 50s Greaser, Rockabilly fashion trend?hey you want to dress like an icon from the past, grow some balls and dress up like a Viking or a pirate.
7. The fact that Metallica refers to themselves as ‘Tallica
8. People who think rap is art but metal is silly.
9. Any cast member of the Real World or America’s Top Model
10. The Olsen Twins, the fact that Jessica Simpson is famous for being stupid and YOUNG HOLLYWOOD
11. Anybody who pledges or is a member of a frat or sorority
12. Clear Channel
13. Film students and anyone who thinks the Sundance Film Festival is still relevant
14. Cunts who say I’m "not metal" because I don’t blow my load over every heavy album that comes out and cunts who say I’m racist because I don’t love everything about rap.
15. The fact that Spalding Grey killed himself but Fred Durst hasn’t.
16. The continued use of the irrelevant "Metal horns" and Juliya
17. White homeboys, suburban gangsters and wanna be tough guys
18. White Power, Black Power, Religious Power or any fucking militant group for that matter
19. That in this country it’s frowned upon to judge anybody by race, religion or sexual orientation but to target anybody who’s overweight is just fine.
20. Supposed "Underground" metal magazines that give any underground metal band a good review even if they suck
21. The fact that people between the ages of 18 and 25 think they have "Wisdom" and try to share it with me.
22. The fact that Maroon 5, Good Charlotte, Godsmack, Simple Plan, Scissor Sisters, etc continue to breathe in and out.
23. People who listen to jazz and the people who don’t give jazz a chance because of the people who listen to it
24. Men in America who wear sandals or flip flops (except to the beach)
25. People, Us, In Touch, all those shitty gossip rags and that fucking guy Cojo
26. The fact that the Lower East Side in Manhattan has become a hipster petting zoo for yuppies and that things my friends and I got beaten up for being into are now cool to like.
27. How years after I went to high school, nothings changed?if you’re different you’ll suffer and nobody will do shit about it. Maybe a few more Columbine’s will wake everybody the fuck up.
28. ANYBODY and I MEAN ANYBODY who rocks a fauxhawk or claims that the punk/hardcore scene still exists
29. The fact that models and the fashion world think they actually matter at ALL on any level.
30. The fact that this country is so busy boo-hooing drug addicts or championing reformed addicts that we lose sight of people who get through life either not using drugs or not becoming addicted.
31. Those fucking bands where one guy does his emo whine/singing and he’s backed up by another member of the band who screams.
32. Irony and the idiot kids who try to wield it and fail
33. Jocks, Yuppies, The Rich and trust fund starving artists
34. those stupid metal-ball necklaces, trucker hats, vintage band t-shirts, hipster ties, Von Dutch gear, visors worn to the side or upside down, buddy holly glasses, studded belts, bed-head, eyeliner, black fingernail polish, and tribal tattoos.
35. The fact that the word "artist" is handed out instead of earned.
36. The fact that hardcore now sounds like hardcore for girls or bad metal..
37. People who aren’t funny and don’t know it or refuse to accept it
38. Usher, R. Kelley and most all modern R&B.
39. The fact that as our government pillages Iraq and soldiers die so old rich white men can have more money, the American people can only concentrate on whatever mindless drivel some celebrity rag is selling them.
40. The fact that we’re all so PC that nothing is ever anybody’s fault.
41. 14 year old girls that dress like strippers
42. Movie Studio and Record Label Executives
43. The fact that somehow being "hot" equals being "talented"
44. Asshole guys who treat women like shit and the women who continue to date them
45. The term "playa hater" and the fact that it’s used as a loophole anytime you have a negative opinion about a celebrity
46. People who think DJs are musicians
47. The fact that more people will remember Ozzy for the Osbournes than for Black Sabbath
48. Those truth.com ads and the fact that you can’t smoke anywhere and the bullshit "second hand smoke" myth.
49. Anybody who watches Soaps and Sitcoms but has the gall to look down on wrestling
50. People who use last names as first name. Personal example: "Robinson, what’s up bro."
51. The fact that at this point anybody gives a rat fuck when the new Guns N Roses album comes out.
52. Magazines that say "Dude, write whatever you want." And then try to control what you write.
53. People who have no sense of humor about the genre of music they love (listen up Black Metal kids and teenage punkers I’m talking TO YOU)
54. People who don’t see comics as an art form.
55. Harry Fucking Knowles and his asskissing site
56. The fact that when you’re on hold they keep coming back on to say "You’ll be on hold just a little while longer". Just leave me with the hold music until I can talk to somebody.
57. The New York Yankees
58. Teenagers who give me shit about music. Listen up jr, I’ve forgotten more about music than you’ll probably ever know.
59. People who don’t like Joy Division, Swans, or Neurosis.
60. The fact that Hollywood keeps remaking movies for NO REASON e.g. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, The Poseidon Adventure, War Of The Worlds, The Fog, Amityville Horror, Etc?.
61. Lost In Translation and Garden State and the hipster dimwits who call those films "genius".
62. All the people who didn’t really know Dimebag that tried to use his death as a chance to jump into the spotlight by commenting on it.
63. The fact that Tupac went from rapper to prophet just cause he’s dead.
64. People who say I’m "Not Metal" because I love other forms of music (Uh, morons, your bus is leaving)
65. The fact that Courtney Love and Fred Durst haven’t met in a head-on-collision kind of way.
66. Anyone who thinks the Grammys or Oscars are still relevant
67. What’s happened to Metallica
68. The fact that America re-elected a fascist moron with a God complex.
69. People who refer to Green Day as a seminal punk band
70. The lack of respect hockey gets.
71. The fact that Competition has replaced Compassion in this country
72. The fact that they release a DVD of a movie and then a month later release the Super Duper Extended Suck Dick Awesome version.
73. People who carry water bottles around with them
74. The fact that NOBODY can seem to make a decent horror movie anymore
75. The very idea that anybody cares about whether Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston will get back together
76. Robin Williams
77. The idea that cultural vampirism is accepted today as a good thing
78. People who think the War in Iraq is about "Freedom"
79. People who are anti-war and anti-Bush who give the soldiers fighting the war shit, fuck you assholes, that’s how they feed their families.
80. Celebrities who make political statements?give me a fucking BREAK!!!
81. The Religious Right, those people are terrifying.
82. Anybody who kills "in the name of God"
83. The idea that "indie" is a music style, haircut and dress code?remember when it just meant a band came out on an independent label?
84. The fact that comic books are now hip.
85. Bands who ask for an honest review and then get pissed about it.
86. People who hold down their car horns, in traffic. Kill them ALL!!
87. Urban Outfitters: Why pay 15 bucks for T-shirt when you can pay 75!!
88. The atrocity that is Velvet Revolver
89. The fact that few people give Joe Jackson the respect he deserves
90. The fact that Robert Deniro has become a caricature of himself
91. Kids with money who dress in their cool punk rock gear and beg for change
92. The fact that Phil Anselmo can’t do a show without it turning into an hour long lecture
93. The complete lack of good Saturday morning cartoons
94. People who scoff at noise music because they don’t get it
95. People who wear Che shirts when they have no idea who he is.
96. The fucking cunts that did the shitheap remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre
97. Rich people who try and give me advice on life… seriously? fuck off.
98. Pretentious people.
99. People in their forties and fifties who use hip hop slang in their everyday conversations.
100. The fact that Basketball Season NEVER FUCKING ENDS!!!
Most bands get caught in a really bad situation when they re-form. Instead of being a band anymore, they just sound like a bunch of guys who used to play together. With that in mind I was wicked apprehensive of the new Unsane and my fears have been laid to rest. Blood Run is full on Unsane groove-meets-pain music with a dash of psychosis to make it all interesting. They aren’t trying to break new ground or re-invent the wheel, they stick to what they do best and that’s make you feel like you just got your head smashed open with a bottle. Sonically dense and yet somehow frenetic, Blood Run is a must have for those who enjoy music for the truly bitter.
Electric Eel Shock
My old band played with these dudes a while back in Texas and they fucking killed then and they kill now. Three Japanese youngsters who bust out bluesy rock jams that would make Jack White cry, John Lee Hooker proud and Black Keys go back to the drawing board. There’s something infectious about the vocals and the grooves can’t be denied. If you enjoy a good rocking?this is the album for you.
The End Of The Universe
You’re The Disease
Chainsaw Safety Records
With a title like this you’d expect this band to be heavy as it is dark and you’d be right. End Of The Universe combine great elements of thrash and death metal but there’s a serious Discharge style punk element to it as well. It’s violent, fast, noisy and it rocks.
Queens Of The Stone Age
Lullabies To Paralyze
After all the shit that QOTSA went through since the release of "Songs For The Deaf" I figured the new album might just all out suck. Grohl was gone, Oliveri was 86’d and so the whole record was left to Josh Homme who?while I dig him and his playing?tends to get too look-at-me-I’m-arty for his own good. I was pleasantly surprised that Lullabies actually kinda rocks. It takes a couple of listens but you really start to get into the groove that Josh is laying down. The drumming isn’t nearly as good as Grohl’s and you can feel where Oliveri might have made it more rock and less dreamy but it’s definitely a keeper. In my humble opinion not as good as Songs For The Deaf but better than Rated R.
Gito Gito Galore
A lot of people would accuse me of liking this just because this girl punk band is all Japanese, and maybe they’re right. This album pushes no envelopes but it’s dirtier than shit like Simple Plan and has a purity of heart that you can’t help but love. GitoGito Hustler aren’t as good as Thug Murder but I really do love this album. It’s just raw-produced poppy punk tunes but it has a lot more soul than 90% of the "punk" out there right now.
The Black Hand
Chainsaw Safety Records
With so much crappy metal and bad post-hardcore out there, it’s nice when a record comes along you can really dig. Black Hand have a great punk/grindcore feel with solid if not a bit boring growl vocals. There are serious bits of Slayer and Discharge in the music and the mood the album sets is really great. It may not be the most groundbreaking thing ever but The Black Hand get a big thumbs up from me.
Action Heights Records
Man, it’s too bad this album starts out with this amazing instrumental intro and then BAM disintegrates into painful-to-listen-to bullshit Emocore crap. Think Taking Back Sunday or whatever new band the sensitive kids are whining to and maybe add one more guitar and you have Faultlines. Even in LA people would want these Faultlines to crack.
The Phoenix Rising
Action Heights Records
Jesus, when did all the kids becoming fucking wimps, Christ on a fucking crutch!! Phoenix Rising is more heavyesque but still whiney Emo bullshit that makes my ears bleed. It’s not that I don’t get it, or that I need everything to be heavy but come on, this shit SUCKS!!! What’s worse is that the vocals are awful, in a serious I can’t sing way. Just dreck!!
Nice Guy Records
Once again my ears have to be insulted by the world of "Snotty Pop Punk" a genre where kids who can’t sing or play fumble their way through songs but try and pretend "Hey, that’s punk". FUCK these guys and their bullshit scene. Bottom Line serve up nothing that you couldn’t find in the latest Good Charlotte or Simple Plan shit heap so why even bother. If you like this type of music and your older than 17, time to see somebody about your issues.
Apparently these guys were "Immersed" in mediocre juice because that’s what they’ve given us on this album. Here we have 12 tracks of Hatebreed style metal/hardcore. I don’t know why everybody just decides to rip off Jamey and the boys and pretend like it’s some new movement in music. For those who love this kind of growly vocals, and badly played metal posing as hardcore you might love this, me, I don’t care at all.
John Butler Trio
Sunrise Over Sea
God, please, spare me anymore College Rock. That soulless, slightly pretentious sound of a bunch of guys who decided to join a band during Pledge Week?or at least that’s what it sounds like. John Butler and his band croon out a bunch of flat, bland songs that are trying to fool you into thinking they’re deep or "really musical" in the same way the Dave Matthews Band does. Guess what guys, adding an Upright Bass DOESN’T MAKE YOU JAZZY OR DEEP!!
So Pale Is The Light
Yet another entry into the world of Folk Metal. Cadacross take super triumphant Conan style power metal and try to fuse it with a Black Metal feel, only to fail miserably. The band basically writes the background music for any Fantasy book involving Dragons or Wizards. It’s not dark, it’s not scary it’s laughable.
How The Great Have Fallen
When Raging Speedhorn’s first album came out I thought they were going to turn the music world on it’s ear, and it really did look that way. Unfortunately along the way they took some bad turns and even worse advice and their music suffered. Still, I was excited to get the new album because I figure, hey, it might crush my skull. Sadly it didn’t, it just bored me. The music is extreme, violent and heavy but man?it’s fucking boring as shit. I was making deals with god to get through it and by the end I didn’t care to the point of almost hating the band.
The Rising Tide Of Oblivion
Blackmetalish, kinda thrashy, screamy vocals Christ who gives a fuck, seriously.
Pick Your Patterns
The Perpetual Motion Machine
This is your basic noisy Dillinger Escape Plan/Converge posthardcore album but with this oddball Emo feel it. This isn’t awful, it just isn’t very good. The music actually rocks, and it sounds brutal and heavy. The problem here are the rambling vocals that sound like a bad night at a poetry reading. They get annoying quickly and just ruin the whole album.
The Red Chord
Here we have fear of piracy gone berserk. The folks over at Metalblade Records were so terrified that somebody might pirate the Red Chord album that they split 11 songs into 99 tracks. First of all is anybody really THAT hungry for the new Red Chord album? All due respect these guys make decent grindcore metal and that’s about it. Nothing here seems so amazing that they need to do this but I guess maybe I just don’t know the die-hard Red Chord audience.
Guapo get full kudos on their attempts here, this is a ballsy record. Lots of folks make heavy music or pop or country or what have you, but few have the sack to make circus music. It’s all instrumental rock with the circus feel to it and while I appreciate what they’re doing, the music itself tries way to hard to be "kooky" and ultimately becomes boring. Like I said though, big Kudos on the attempt.
Strength In Numbers
This is definitely a genre specific album. What I mean by that is these guys do a great job of busting out Unearth/Shadows Fall style thrash metal but if you’ve heard this stuff once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Not good, not bad, just kinda there. I also don’t think they need two singers to do what they do.
Don’t get me wrong, I applaud anybody who tries to write one song for 45 minutes but Orthrelm never rise above the look-at-us-we’re-noisy-and-experimental phase of this album, so for all it’s intense noise and creativity, the record is simply boring and repetitive. Thus far no current bands have been able to dethrone Sleep when it comes to writing the ultimate one song jam and Orthrelm sure as hell ain’t gonna do it.
The Perfect Moment
You know me, I love noisy, Extremenoiseterror-esque bands and Losa definitely have that going for them. These guys combine a love of Slayer and Dillinger Escape Plan to create a tense, moody and really well done noisemetal album (some call it Battlecore, which I don’t get). The problem here is that it never rises above it’s genre, it just kind of lays there and does it’s thing. Not a bad album, but at no point did I really care about it at all.
"Thirsty and Miserable" is Iann Robinson’s very own column here at Metal Sludge! Whenever he feels like it, Iann will write about whatever it is that’s on his mind. Much like us, Iann is never one to mince words or hide his feelings, so he’s a welcome addition to our Sludge Family!
To send Iann mail, demos or stuff you want reviewed, write to:
PO Box 381563
Cambridge, MA 02238-1563