Have you ever read a press release from a band hyping their new album, and thought “Wow, this is going to be goddamn terrible. No question about it. Just terrible.”
Yes, you have.
The press release itself will be innocuous, packed full of buzzwords and fake hype. But as you read it, your body will start to react. Your palms will sweat. Your spine will tingle. Your spleen will rumba with your kidneys. Your epidermis will hitchhike to Patagonia.
Why is this?
It’s because metal band press releases are written in code. Yes, it’s true. Years ago, CIA analysts worked with John Peel and Earache label reps to develop a secret method of communication called “Subliminal Hype Curtailment.” SHC is necessary due to the confluence of two factors. 1) Bands must lie in order to sell albums, and 2) they are fundamentally good blokes who don’t want to deceive you. So they lie and tell the truth in the same paragraph. To the neophyte, it seems like the album will rule. However, the coded SHC will tell the initiated a different story.
What they say: “the album is live/raw”
What they mean: “…it’s an underproduced rush job”
What they say: “the album is experimental/diverse”
What they mean: “we’ve traded out our old style for whatever’s trendy at the moment. If it was 2001, that would mean rapping and record scratches. But it’s 2014, so we’re all about djent, breakdowns, and EDM. We’ve got to follow our artistic yearnings, and it’s just our good fortunes that those artistic yearnings always seem to point to whatever’s selling records.”
What they say: “you can’t pidgeonhole the new album into a genre.”
What they mean: “you almost certainly CAN pidgeonhole the new album into a genre.”
What they say: “we’re consistent.”
What they mean:: “we’re in a creative rut so deep that it extends right the way through the earth and is a hill in China.”
What they say: “…dedicated fans.”
What they mean: “if I may brag, the drummer’s mum thinks we’re hot shit.”
What they say: “the new album has something for everyone.”
What they mean: “we’re confused, unfocused, and lack identity.”
What they say: “this is an amicable split, and we wish [insert member] all the best with his future projects”
What they mean: “I will commit a stabbing if I ever see that fuckhead again”
What they say: “underground legends”
What they mean: “nobody’s heard of us, nobody attends our shows, nobody gives us any money, and we just ate the bassist’s amp to avoid starvation”
What they say: “our heaviest album yet”
What they mean: “not our heaviest album yet.”
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