5/23/10

Music: The Noise People Adore, and the Message They Ignore.

Over the past couple of months I've been diving deep into the realms of music with the suffix of '-core'.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Metalcore
  • Hardcore (and its many, many, manyyyyyyyyy subgenres)
  • Deathcore
  • Mathcore
  • Grindcore
  • Noisecore
  • Beardcore (lol, it's more of a lifestyle than it is music at all, but nonetheless AWESOME)
And the number of bands behind them is so huge I think the all the songs of these bands put together would equal several human lives in length. With large numbers, there's huge amounts of variety so I won't bother to post a list of bands to have you dive into. If you comment on this post I can point you in the right direction for bands of these genres!

But I digress...
The big thing about these bands are numerous: Breakdowns, double bass, wailing guitars, and most unique of all, screaming. *****THIS DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE SCREAMO, THAT IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STYLE OF MUSIC AND CULTURE*****


The screaming is what I wish to address in this blog.


I L-O-V-E the screaming, growling, squealing, shrieking.... all of it! I think it's so passionate and powerful and commanding, such an intense and driving vocal style that NOTHING can compare to. Period.
But however awesome it may be, there is always one standing issue with it for many people, and I'm starting to realize that it's a real problem... You cannot understand what they're saying 80-90% of the time unless you read the lyrics along with the song... And even for deathcore and grindcore sometimes you just straight up cannot tell if they're using words!

Now I know exactly what you're thinking if you're like most fans of these styles of vocals, "So what?! It's awesome and it's good music, who cares?"

Let me give you an audio-visual example of why the words matter.
This is metalcore group A Plea for Purging's song "Malevolence"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT2TnwpsMa8

Hilarious right? I cried from laughing the first time I saw it haha.
But you get the point the video made fun of how bands write songs to get fame and money and glory. The lyrics for the song line up with the video (though are no where near as funny)

Here they are, listen again to the video and read along, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to interpret those bellows from Dozer (the lead singer):

Who do you think you are? 
And what have you become?
I have barely recognized your face for so long.
What do you think they see?
And what have you portrayed?
I can barely recognize your face.

It started with just a taste. 
It was just a game. 
But you bought your lies
with the soul you once had. 
You've created a monster. 
A modern day Jekyll and Hyde. 
You're not the same as you once were.
Still not sure you're even inside. 
Do you even know your own name now?

Satisfy or be satisfied. 
Eat it up now
'cause you've dug yourself in too deep. 
Does it taste good? Do they taste good?
Was it worth it? Are they worth it now?

You've created a monster. 
OH GOD WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!
We've created a monster. 

Look at what you've become.
A monster. 



See? Yet almost no one who would hear that song would initially care of its lyrical significance unless you were an avid fan of the band or some other reason. I think that "core" bands are cheated out of their verbal message because of the difficulty found in interpretation. Some more examples include The Devil Wears Prada, who have a very powerful and profound message in their words (Christian as well), yet hardly ANYONE will know this message or their religious origins unless you do a little research.


Now, being a musician myself, when I write my songs, I want to people to hear me out when it comes to my music because if I didn't I would have kept the songs to stay instrumental or I would've just written garbage lyrics (pop music anyone?). But I share this trait with majority of the world's musical talent (so I'd like to think, maybe exclude radio stars, MTV icons, 95% of rappers [jk jk!...ish], etc.), WE HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY, and we want to ADVOCATE CHANGE.


The problem isn't necessarily with the type of music or how it's made, I rather support the genres who go all out with brutality because they're among the most dedicated and passionate ones, and they most definitely have something on their hearts worth communicating. Albeit, I definitely think that these bands should try to emphasize what they sing about so that no one is left in the dark. But I think the solution to this problem lies within those who support these musicians to do what they do.


And that solution is: TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN AND PROCESS WHAT THESE MUSICIANS ARE SAYING TO YOU. 


Because they ARE talking to YOU. Otherwise they'd keep the words to themselves... I encourage this so strongly because if these people are not heard, they're nothing more than mindless, circus side-shows in a world where purpose is secondary and entertainment and satisfaction are priority. Don't belittle their carefully crafted art into pointless noise. If you can find it in yourself to make this change, think a bit more critically, and hopefully encourage others to do the same, I GUARANTEE you will find the world of music to be expanded into a much deeper realm of thought then you would've ever imagined before.

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