• Kip Wingerschmidt

village_voice_logoNow I’m not saying I agree with all, most, or even any of the points made in Stewert Voegtlin’s recent bitter-tastic Village Voice article (aptly entitled “Sketchy Metal”), but holy jeez a voice of dissension should be appreciated, welcome, and even necessary at times, especially when certain bands are so blindly revered by so many…..and furthermore anybody who can bring such a well-worded subtly sardonic taste to their Hateology (free album title!) a la our own Gary Suarez deserves a complimentary bong hit.

The article starts out with an analysis on Pelican’s sound (or lack thereof), positing that the Chicago band’s thang never crystallizes into anything approaching authentic emotion, but that some bands that Pelican derives influence from (Trans Am, in particular) have made plenty of music worth veneration, especially back in the day.  Hmm……agreed.

I almost joined the Train of Descent (free band name!) recently myself when I was considering writing an article — which was to be called MASTODON EVOLVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THEIR SOUND ON CRACK THE SKYE….EXCEPT FOR THE LYRICS — about the many cliches held within several of the lyrics on Crack the Skye. However, after listening to the album a few more times to get a clearer context of the lyrics to the piece as a whole, I cleaned my shorts off and reconsidered libeling the best modern progressive metal band of the decade.

But Voegtlin? This guy ain’t takin no prisoners (pls disregard double negative)……my favorite gem of haterade enclosed within the article definitely has to be Voegtlin’s response to Baroness’ John Baizley’s claim that his band’s music is influenced by “fine art, cinema, and literature”:

[This is] as stiltedly silly as name-dropping higher mathematics, physics, or philosophy, when what the band really peddles is exactly the everything-and-nothing Hallmark heft so many claim to uncover in Pelican’s wordless, aimless songs. While Baizely’s predilection to hawk such High Times erudition makes him sound more puerile than he likely is, it’s difficult to imagine him honestly striving to disseminate meta-emotional discourse through music as transparently commercial as his band’s stoner-metal-meets-Ford-truck-jingle approach.


More insightful dissin’ and the link to the actual article afterthejump.

Agree or disagree, dude has some interesting things to say that are refreshingly disparaging towards a quartet of bands that most folks in the metal community concur are pretty awesome (aside from Pelican — their bombastic hit-or-miss instru-bore music’s actual quality has been debated forever).

One more killer quote:

There’s little reward in puzzling out such meandering song structures—a trope utilized by Pelican and practically weaponized by Georgian Baroness neighbors Mastodon, whose songs follow a lock-step pattern of pelting the wall with red-handed swipes from prog touchstones like Yes’ Close to the Edge and King Crimson’s Red, just to see what sticks. Of course, nothing does: The listener is left ultimately with a pointless technical pissing match. The same goes doubly for Florida’s Torche, which often sounds like Looney Tunes composer Carl Stallings tearing through Helmet’s late oeuvre in double-time. Baroness can’t begin to approach the shut-in chops of those other bands, but there’s something to be said for aspiration.

Thems fightin wordzzz!!! Or…..are they?

Read the article first, and then offer your two (or more) cents in the comments section below.



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