i hate when rock music takes itself super seriously and tries to sell listeners on the music being an experience. it’s childish. it reminds me of a grade 10 metalhead playing a shitty riff for you on their out-of-tune guitar but prefacing it with a supremely confident introduction like “i call this one ‘deathtrooper incursion’ because it’s so heavy and complex that it completely destroys you.” buzz, buzz-buzz, twang, weedly twang twang. it is the moments following the end of the riff — the ones when you stand there not just undestroyed, not just unimpressed, but thoroughly disappointed and shocked at the sub-amateur skill and lack of integrity, and you must then either lie to the ‘artist’ about how great deathtrooper incursion is, or tell them the honest truth that they should quit playing music altogether right now and focus on learning a trade sooner than later — that are among my least favourite of all time. the awkwardness, the embarrassment, is too much to take.
i first noticed this kind of ridiculous rock confidence long ago when reading the back of an iron butterfly vinyl album. back in the heyday of vinyl, the back side of the record sleeve would often have a biography about the artist(s), and laud the hell out of them. i understand they were trying to sell records but it was corny as fuck, even back then. it went on and on about the band member’s classical and jazz training and how these styles mixed together in iron butterfly to form something so unique and crazy that blah blah blah. even as a kid, i thought, this is dumb. even i know that iron butterfly sucks and people only like in-gadda-da-vida as a novelty.
fast forward to today, when i read about the new album called trinidad scorpion hallucinations by the bass player from six feet under, jeff hughell. the press release he sent out tells us that he’s made some mind-melting music. here is an excerpt.
Just like the scorching pepper the album is named after, these songs are not for the faint of heart. The record takes the listener on a roller coaster of extreme highs and lows which parallel the emotions one would experience after having the misfortune of inhaling one of the world’s hottest chilies.
The first track, “Burn The Soul”, scorches ear holes with blistering bass and drums as capsaicin burns the throat. An ice-cold glass of water in the form of track number two, titled “Relief”, quenches a sweltering pallet, but only momentarily. The smolder continues as delusions ensue on the title track, “Trinidad Scorpion Hallucinations”. “Brief Lapse of Clarity” provides a false sense of comfort in the form of a mellow harmony. Realization that nothing can halt the heat happens in the next song “The Crown Won’t Cool It Down”. As science demonstrates, what goes in must come out: “The Other Side” provides a climatic close to a wild ride.
wow, it must be good!
now the thing is, i can almost forgive the grade 10 metalhead for this kind of thing — he’s just a dumb kid. but an adult? no way. this is so stupid, it’s unforgivable.
jeff hughell’s press release makes me puke and it has nothing to do with hot peppers.