Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Metalcore Column

November 27, 2004

Is Metalcore the New Emo?

I’m really getting ticked at all these metalcore/hardcore bands that are suddenly getting press just for screaming and thrashing on a guitar and drum set. These guys all say that they are pulling away from their influences and making a new sound while all they are doing is duplicating the sound of Tool, Shadows Fall, Dillinger Escape Plan, and past names in metalcore. Bands like Bury Your Dead and A Perfect Murder are running around saying they will change the face of metalcore/hardcore- and the worst part is that the labels are falling for it.

Labels like Victory and Ferret that had been signing actual melodic hardcore and post-hardcore bands such as Atreyu, A Static Lullaby and Every Time I Die are now turning around and signing bands such as A Perfect Murder (Victory), A Life Once Lost (Ferret) and Remembering Never that have nothing new to bring to the table. I love Dillinger Escape Plan enough that they are one of my favorite bands- but I don’t need to hear 20 bands playing the same thing.

It’s the same situation that so many people complain about with “emo”. Bands like Thursday, Thrice and Cursive set the stage and hundreds followed. Now we are stuck with horrible bands such as Allister, Action Action, and Dashboard Confessional ruling the “emo scene”- bands that put out half-thought-out music for the masses, ignoring their loyal followers from their indie days.

Dashboard is the worst of all. Chris Carrabba cries, longs for lost love, puts together the most basic of chords, calls himself emo, then expects to sell hundreds of thousands of records on Vagrant- and the worst part is that the kids are falling for it.. This screws over everyone from Thursday to Cursive to any Indie “emo” band that is trying to make it because the fringe kids (kids who hate the trends but don’t know the independent scene yet) ignore anyone called “emo”.

I’m worried that this same situation is brewing for metalcore/ hardcore. The scene is being over saturated with bad bands giving the genre a bad name, leaving the good bands so buried that many listeners give up before they find them. Bands like Fear Before the March of Flames and Poison the Well are still out there. You just have to look a little harder for them. And don’t believe the hype.

-Scott Landis

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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