Saturday, 8 March 2014

Dark Review - Have Metal TV Channels lost their balls?


This is a review/rant/thinking aloud type piece. I may sound like a hating bastard by the end but it's just something I've been feeling for awhile now. It might not look at every angle, such as the metal scene itself, or make much sense by the end. It also draws heavily on my own experience of channel surfing (at all times of day/night). Night is marginally better but still ends up coming down to the same old faces. Maybe I am just unlucky always finding the same bands being shown, but I doubt it. My opinion is formed by what I find at random, but the consistency of what I see, for me at least, is what I talk about here.

I used to enjoy watching MTV2, Kerrang! and Scuzz, but all I see now is the endless repetition of safe established music. There might be the odd exception here and there but if you flick to those channels, chances are you will see Foo Fighters or Bullet for my Valentine or whatever else is on a loop. I used to enjoy finding new music by watching these channels, even sitting through the ad-breaks that come after every two fucking songs. The last time I found something new and genuinely different was over three years ago! So with that in mind, I wanted to link to a couple of the music videos that last resonated with me.

The first is Animal Alpha, a band that now no longer exists. A Norwegian group who formed in 2002, fronted by the rustic voice of Agnete Maria Kjolsrud. I love their sound and their zany videos. You can tell that they were very much doing their own thing and having fun.

From the ashes of the Animal Alpha, Djerv emerged, and whilst the videos are less mad-hat, the sound is in the same vein as Animal Alpha's. And yes, I'm fine with the irony of starting a post titled in a way that questions the lack of balls, with a female fronted band.

The other band that I wanted to mention are The Cumshots. It's not a name you would feel that comfortable asking for in a music shop but damn it they know how to rock.

Another Norwegian band fronted by the fucking tall and distinctively voiced singer, Kristopher Schau. Classed as a death'n'roll band, as you can imagine, the lyrics and chords are melancholy and soul-searing. This isn't "oh-no-the-pretty-girl-won't-go-to-the-prom-with-me" angst, this is the "scraping-the-depths-and-wondering-if-you-will-see-another-day" type of despair. Emotion. Presence. A pretty unique sound, at least when compared with the usual fodder.

I'm not bashing other bands by the way. I'm just so fucking tired of metal channels which rarely seem to deviate from the same bands. I know this is because they are popular, megastars or just good retro headbangers, but give the smaller unknowns more of a billing too at times!

I admit that I don't watch these channels 24/7, so they may well have small indie segments or new music here and there. It just seems that every time I switch channel to them, it's the same old thing. Red Hot Chilli Peppers Vs. Bullet for my Valentine and stuff like that, over and over and over. Or later at night it always seems to be Metallica, Pantera, and Slayer. On the rare occasion that I have seen a new band, they just sound and look like the others that came out the week before. Either androgynous pasty faced goth-a-likes or clean-cut/mildly tattoo'd moody looking people in black t-shirts. For fuck sake!

That probably sounds like a grumpy old man thing to say, especially about them all sounding the same. I agree and if I listened to them more carefully I'm sure I would pick up on their own unique flavour. Not all of them though, some will be scum-suckers made in a test tube boy band type way I'm sure.

That's about it. The days of hoping that I will find something interesting to listen to via this route seem to be over. I don't expect the channels to cover everything, just to maybe widen their scope a little more and not fall back on the usual suspects so often. I don't think that is being unreasonable.

I`ll end with a linked video of the song I've been listening to the most lately. I go through phases of liking Korn and not being bothered, but at the moment, I'm loving this one, especially the chorus: