Architects – For Those Who Wish To Exist (2020)

On this site, we have always used the term “metalcore” to apply to any rock, metal, and punk hybrid, since they all converge on what they have in common, which is rock. Currently Architects are widely praised by the media, which makes sense because this empty gesture of an album is Clown World fodder.

You can tell quickly why industry loved emo and metalcore: they represent a continuation of the spectrum from pop country to lounge blues and suburban jazz which emphasizes the human vocal over a backdrop of a catchy rhythm and a nominal, relatively random guitar accompaniment.

When you make music about the singing, as Motown found out, just about anyone will produce it, and you can trim out the extraneous bits in the studio, use some digital polish, and make a hit out of whatever raw material wanders your way.

Architects sing their way through this one like a gospel album or Beyonce track, then add churning MTV metal riffs and late hardcore breakdowns, but the essence of this album is the same boring normie rock that drove people to metal in the first place.

At this point in time, we can simply admit that metal became assimilated and is now another flavor of rock, something that it resisted until it encountered a generation so socially controlled that it would do anything to make even its edgy rebellion acceptable to its Boomer grandparents.

Albums like this show us music that is an aggregate, or compilation of everything that sold, rather than an idea, which means a notion questing for expression based on its own value to the process of existence. Metalcore and hipsters are associated because they are leftovers, not innovation.

Remember this glorious takedown of hipster anti-culture:

Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that have energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade of the post-war era has seen it smash social standards, riot and fight to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and civil society.

But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

The doomed shallowness of mainstream society invades through cynical artists and producers who take bog-standard radio rock, deck it out with a dozen meaningless sub-genres, add some metal riffs in a hardcore context (i.e. no phrasal/narrative use) and then present it to us as something “new” when it is the exact opposite.

Ironically, the same oil-on-water effect that blighted both progressive death metal and nü-metal strikes this album: the metal riffs drive the vocals into the background, so the song has to break into a jazzy, funky, folksy, or pop part in order to have “contrast.”

Empty as an hour of television commercials but as pretentious as a year of New York Times climate editorials, For Those Who Wish To Exist is peak Clown World: seemingly a big concept and ambitious theory, but at its heart, the same old product, just marked up for novelty.

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13 thoughts on “Architects – For Those Who Wish To Exist (2020)”

  1. Spaniard says:

    “But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.””

    These lines immediately brought the films of Harmony Korine to mind. I remember the first time I saw Kids, something about it left me unsettled. It wasn’t the drugs or sex, (at the time I was getting baked and fooling around myself) rather it was the mishmash of disparate cultures and tastes that jarred my senses. Larry Clark may have directed it, but Korine wrote the screenplay and was the impetus driving the film. Hell, he was banging Chloë Sevigny at the time who played the role of Jennie in the film. For those who haven’t seen it, Jennie was an HIV infected teenager that was on a mission to stop Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) from infecting anyone else with the virus. The term “hipster” didn’t exist back then, but Korine was definitely a proto-hipster and early purveyor of hipsterdumb.

  2. Ted Cruz Nuclear Warfare 93666 says:

    Please review the new Empyrium album. I have covid and aids.

    1. Fckk Godl says:

      No, the new Phantom. I also have rabies and dementia.

      1. Can we get someone with Ebola please?

  3. frozenlake says:

    Thanks Brett for bringing this garbage to my attention. It would be useful to analyse once and for all why this stuff is so appealing to the multitude, why people lose their minds over this shit and believe that “50% Headbanging, 100% Crying” is actually a good thing. Surrendering to sentimentality is more than weakness, it is a fatal flaw, one that seems to have infected 90% of the populace. Why is that? How has it come about? Is it because people are regressing to an infantile stage? They need to weep and be cuddled into submission? More importantly, how do we motivate people to take control of their lives in a life-affirming way? How do we stop only criticizing what they love and show them what there is to love instead? It is an uphill battle, and yet it is worth trying. We cannot just stand there and feel we are “better tha them” and do nothing about it. If we are indeed better, then we should be inspiring them beyond the crybaby shit that they are so enamoured with. Then again, why would we even bother? Let me offer that it would simply make the world a better place… What do you think?

    1. The Crowd likes the simplistic, so showing them “better” simply gives them a chance to ignore or reject it.

    2. helotlove says:

      Dude, you’ve been outbred by peasants. Don’t fight the inevitable, just spread those ass cheeks!

      1. Gay R2D2 says:

        As a robot without butt cheeks, what should I do?

        I anxiously await your response and penetration if such a thing is possible.

        1. If you use a Raspberry Pi, a Fleshlight with the “butt” attachment, and some friction detectors from a Roomba, you can make an anorectal peripheral and learn to parse the signals of violent sodomy as pleasure.

    3. Doug says:

      Ah yes, “better.” Whether or not a thing is altogether better is a separate issue. It must only be perceived as better (which in most cases means it is indeed better, or at least in that region) by the inverted masses for it to be either sodomized or smeared and quarantined such that its goodness can more readily be characterized as weak/bad. Subsequent iterations far removed from sanity neuter themselves so as to not suffer the envious eyes/ears. Anyone noticing this gets the “u b trippin” treatment and suffers the same fate, so no ones does, then eventually you’re living in a self-perpetuating 24/7 fever dream like 2021. This is not to somehow say that musicians are ruined by their fans as they all seem to have a finite amount of creative impetus.

  4. Butt Stephens says:

    Yawn. Another blogpost about new music prozak doesn’t like.

  5. A dick says:

    This sounds like Linkin Park with more anal rape and Ebola.

  6. Nuclear Whore says:

    Astronaut: check
    Inane band name: check
    Effeminate disc title: check

    RIP LG Petrov

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