Hipsters invading metal

All the world is rock ‘n’ roll.

The West used it during the Cold War to seduce the Eastern Bloc population, making them want a Western lifestyle and pressure their governments in myriad ways.

You can’t go more than ten feet in public without hearing it, in stores, from cars, in commercials, hummed by other people.

Metal is not rock ‘n’ roll. Where rock relies on static riffs and returns, metal is narrative music shaped together out of interlocking riffs, much like soundtrack music or Scandinavian folk.

The problem is that when you mix the two, you cannot reconcile those extremes, so you end up with one flavored with the other. The result is a lack of focus.

For their upcoming album, out this fall on Century Media, the Twilight lineup will consist of Moore, Judd, producer Sanford Parker, Stavros Giannopoulos from the Atlas Moth, Wrest of Leviathan, and Imperial from Krieg. Judd told the 1st Five that he hopes to get Isis’ Aaron Turner, Lichens’ Rob Lowe, and Malefic of Xasthur to also contribute. – Pitchfork

I have owned Sonic Youth albums in the past, and think more highly than average of them than of your regular ol’ rock band. Nonetheless, what Thurston Moore does is create indie rock, and indie rock is incompatible with metal.

There are many things in this world, but few are unique. Metal is a truly unique perspective. Outsiders see in it only rebellion and taboo-breaking. Inside, it’s more complex.

When you replace unique things with hybrids of the norm and that unique thing, you destroy the uniqueness and replace it with conformity.

Indie rock is still rock music. Much as the music of 1968 was rebellious in its day, but now is mainstream enough to show up in blue chip commercials, the indie rock of the 1990s is mainstream at this point.

That isn’t an insult or a moral judgment, but a fact of history.

Do you want to be assimilated into the same stuff as everything else, or keep a unique viewpoint that because it is not the same, may have a perspective others have lost?

That’s the dilemma before metal right now.

2 thoughts on “Hipsters invading metal”

  1. fallot says:

    The dilemma seems to have come and gone, with the decision falling ultimately towards assimilation; a process that was underway from the heyday of metal music. I don’t think even some of the luminaries of the “golden age” of metal truly understood the ramifications of their art (others did). It was their frame of mind while attacking these topics that let us glimpse their transcendent meaning and logic.

    Metal is “pseudo-reactionary” in that it is a rejection of modernity, but has its exoteric origin from rock music, carrying with it the same poorly formed ideas of rebellion (i.e. conformity + cool). That some of it became Romantic art at the same time is almost a miracle.

  2. Once upon a time you could pick up any band on their label and be guaranteed a decent album, but that changed the first time the money was taken out of metal when Grunge hit. Ever since then they’ve been “hedging their bets” by signing crap and moving away from extreme metal.

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