A rather different Tuesday Ten this week – rather than things I like, it is bands I dislike. Intensely. And the reasons why. Feel free to argue with me, and tell me why you love the bands I hate, and why I am wrong, but you won't change my mind. I would be far more intrigued to know which bands you dislike/irritate/annoy the hell out of you, though.
I first came across this band way back in 1999, when I saw them in the middle of bill at the then-LA2 with Leechwoman and Cubanate – Tanya and I had gone to see Cubanate, and were rather taken aback to see two men in black cycling gear pulling silly shapes – and with a crowd going batshit to them. Our view at the time: "It'll never catch on". Oops. (Oddly, I reckon this is a review of that very gig!)
The thing is, I never "got" them. While everyone else seems to see emotion and feeling in their songs, I see emptiness and boredom. Maybe it's just me, I don't know – and maybe it was the two years of hearing little but the pounding monotony of Praise The Fallen thanks to an ex-gf, and then most of Empires in clubs around the same time – but try as I might I have never got into it, and reviewing them at Infest this summer will for me, be just a job – not a chance to see a band I enjoy.
Talking of Infest performances, these guys provided the most jaw-droppingly bad headline set I have ever seen at Infest a few years back. Featuring a toe-curlingly bad (at "live" performance) frontman, semi-naked "vampire" girls, fake blood…and almost nothing live whatsoever. And don't even get me started on the dirge they call "tunes". Bad goth wannabes who are doing nothing original, noteworthy or good.
Still on the line of wannabes, Trivium really piss me off, too. Ripping off all the good thrash metal from eighties and nineties – and Metallica, of which more anon – and selling it to kids who don't know any better. "The Kids" would be far better served going back to the original stuff and listening to how it should be done, rather than inferior copyists.
Ah yes, Metallica. Probably nowadays the most pompous metal band of all, who despite their reputation have not released a single good song since The Black Album, which is now sixteen years old. And their boneheaded crusade against Napster and downloading did much to damage any chance of the music industry actually doing something positive with internet music. Oh, and Lars Ulrich is a twat.
The musical equivalent of Porkys, but without the humour. Famous for two really, really, fucking annoying songs – the New Order rip-off (just listen to the bassline) of The Bad Touch with the band becoming furries for the video, and the teenage softcore pr0n of The Ballad of Chasey Lain. They haven't had any more songs that ubiquitous, thankfully, and long may it remain so.
…and many other female-fronted "Gothic Metal" bands, who to me all sound annoyingly interchangeable, and are all also dreary as hell. The only exceptions to this are the dreamy, otherworldliness of The Gathering, and tense, barely disguised rage and spite of The Provenance. Points for Nightwish, though, in executing the best firing from a band ever.
An easy target, yes, but who cares. Apparently little more than a record executive's wet dream – five boyband-esque bandmembers, cannibalising Goth subculture fashion reference points and ripping off the worst parts of the Smashing Pumpkins, but with a vocalist who could strip paint. Another case of: listen to the originals, rather than the pale imitations. Of course, if Kerrang TV and MTV2 – and everyone else – didn't repeat their videos every five minutes they might be marginally less annoying. And they are not goth.
I can blame my dislike of this band on one song – Once In A Lifetime, that even to this day goth DJs still appear not to have bored of. I see it as whiny, anemic synthpop tosh, that sets my teeth on edge every time I hear it. Having heard other examples of their output, the rest appears to be little better.
One of those bands that are acclaimed for being 'trve black metal', by virtue of the fact the idea of production values are almost totally alien to them, they don't use keyboards and instead rely on guitars, bass, drums and howling. Well, they apparently use bass, but the production is so bad you can't hear it. I play them at Stormblast, but only because they are requested so often. While these guys were busy remaining 'trve', they were left far behind by the bands willing to expand their sound and develop – and Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Immortal and Mayhem, to name but four, all are hardly unpopular or no less influential for doing so.
Another band I have never, ever, liked. Something about their fey, shambling indie is just so…dull. To me their continued success is utterly mystifying, as they appear to have nothing that makes them stand out from the ever-crowded indie pack.