Hipsters Out Of Metal!

A LOVE/LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH LOVE/HATE

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We all hear how the metal was murdered by grunge, with the newly grave listening public as its willing accomplice. A competing theory is that metal essentially committed suicide, or at any rate fell into disrepair, enabling a transfer of power to guys who moan about their unyielding feelings of injustice and unhappiness. Either way, it’s sad, especially for people who think rock radio should like be fun and shit, instead of being packed with nominally tuneful inventories of jock neuroses.

Its role in metal’s commercial coma is accepted fact, but can we talk about the grunge movement’s second crime? See, I’d argue that the no-tuning flannel types not only subsumed post-Van Halen rock, but they also derailed alternative music itself, once ably represented by L.A.’s finest funk-punk-art rockers: Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Fishbone. Now, two of the preceding succumbed to commerce-minded tepidity, and the third did the same but only after a lot of drugs and break-ups. But for a while, alternative rock could be bright, musical, and – gasp! – well-performed, while bearing a message that individuality and piles of drugs are the antidote to repression. The attitude was I’m Weird and OK/You’re Weird and OK, not I’m A Tumorous Growth On The Anus Of Love/You’re The Source of All Oppression. Despite the fact that there’s no struggle to find good tunes on either side of the divide, the freak power alternative bands seemed to fade and make way for more Candlebox-Soul Asylum bleating.

I wonder if somehow we had better nurtured our L.A. pioneers, the popular music path may have veered away from this victim rock, and by extension away from Counting Crows, The Promise Ring, Coldplay, Jon and Kate, and George W. Bush. Plus, maybe then even the minor but riotous L.A. players like Celebrity Skin and Love/Hate would have a place in history. Sure, you’re thinking Hey asshole, Love/Hate is a hair rock band not an alternative band, and you’re correct, fuckface, but spend a weekend with sophomore Epic album Wasted In America and be met with songs that could fit on great records by any of the funky, off-kilter, technicolor L.A. alt-rock bands mentioned above. Oh, oh wait – but first, spend the week with Love/Hate’s flawless debut, Blackout In The Red Room, and you’ll see where they fit with the glammy Sunset Strip sleaze rockers. Then spend a minute in the comments section praising us for doing rock radio’s job of pumping awesome party rock music into your face.

Download Love/Hate’s classic records here. Free and legal.

-ADF

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