When I was younger, my sister relayed this story to me of one of my Dad’s friends developing a fake band name, a fake album name, and an entire listing of fake track names for said fake album. “Punk” and “Hip-hop” are no longer terms that to me have any bearing. I performed hip-hop music as recently as Fall of 2013, but I dunno, I had to stop smoking pot, and also I was gonna die. This black dude was gonna punch me out.
And I have been to the outer throes of the horrendous, and its name is hardcore punk in the year 2014. It’s so lacking in moral integrity that each band should feature Adam Sandler on its album cover. The stuff is laughable to a loony extent, and the situation with punk today, amidst Cloud Nothings’ technically impressive but overly earnest/overly pointless ultimate effort, is typified by It’s Alive Records, an apparently thriving punk imprint of today. The band names are great, the interfaces on the website are written in a grippingly subversive font, but the music is a JOKE starting with For Science, great name yes, with its lead singer who sounds exactly like the guy from Lagwagon and is actually delivering a “punk” tirade on the microphone ABOUT THE WEATHER. Imagine Natalie Merchant in a frat with porn mags under his bed, and you get an idea of what this guy sounds like.
Back in my day, matey, at IU in 2005, we had a band called The Accidents, and they were somewhat prima donna-ish, sure, like they’d freak out if you moshed up to them, but I mean they had a KNACK, they actually sang about something. One of their songs was introduced with the following banter: “This song’s about bein’ hellbilly ‘til the day you die, and not givin’ it up just ‘cause you’re gettin’ old.” And then the lyrics of the song were like “How could you be so blind!” God, it was great. It wasn’t singing, it was yelling, but it was sporadic — rhythmic, but staggered, in coiled blips of punk subliminal ecstasy. I mean I felt freakin’ invincible at those shows, even too much so for the band’s liking, for that matter, and I remember they gave me a free 10-minute long CD one time, which sucked, true to punk form, but at least it was one or two-minute songs where the drummer was trying to outrace the rest of the band. And, elsewhere, you couldn’t understand the lyrics, which may be a good thing, who knows.