Hola, amigos. I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I’ve been busy with the daily grind, and I don’t mean coffee! Speaking of grind, I’ve been on this music kick for a while mostly facilitated by Pandora, listening to a lot of grindcore and stuff that’s apparently called mathcore (the genre distinctions get confusing and probably silly). It’s probably because I’ve been feeling stressed and unpleasant, but I think listening to stressful unpleasant music actually makes me pleasanter and more relaxed.

Here’s what I like in the stuff I like (not all of it has to be present in each song but these are the qualities). Frenetic convulsive guitar often involving noises like pick scrapes and harmonics, minor key and dissonant, very very fast drums (preferably blast beats), screamy vocals, stops and starts and time changes are a bonus, all played in a way that has a quality I don’t know how to describe other than by saying the musicians have a sort of athleticism. Oh yeah and the sound is angry. Maybe aggressive.

I like everything I’ve heard by Botch. Daughters. Psyopus. I like a lot of Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge. Along different lines (some people might say the differences are microscopic), I’m totally in love with this band Nasum. They’re one of my favorite bands right now. They sound more heavy metally, less weird sounding, more propulsive. I’m not sure if this is really it, but those other hands strike me as having more of a punk and hardcore quality, with an arty and technically metal kind of quality. Nasum and the other more properly grindcore bands often have more distinct riffs in a heavy metal kind of way.

All of that said, while I like a lot of stuff I’ve heard that sounds similar to Nasum, there are certain qualities and trappings to the music that I like once in a while in very small doses but that I usually just find silly.

And there’s other pieces of the genre that I find off-putting or offensive. Especially since my wife miscarried there are some bands whose names or song names make me incredibly upset and then angry, like I’d really like for them to crash their vans or get beaten up or something.

It’s like… I find the extremity of the music attractive as an aesthetic of the sound, but I find a lot of the anti-social and hateful trappings distasteful at best. Some of it just sounds like juvenile male nonsense, even if that’s all it is I have limited patience with that, at least in public settings and in products for sale. I can’t get – have no interest in getting – away from my own moralism. My basic response to a lot of it is “you must be a bad human being” with the implication being that bad human beings need … well, sorting out. My wife sometimes says I have a conservative or authoritarian streak, maybe that’s part of this. I dunno. I can’t help it that I’m right and that wrongdoers should be punished, those are just part of the moral order of the universe…. 🙂 I mean, sometimes rock and rollness may actually trump human decency, but rarely, and never in terms of lyrical content.

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