Green Eggs and Slam


  • Sergeant D


A tried-and-true route to musical innovation is to combine two genres which had never previously come into contact. While we’ve yet to find anybody with the balls to create sub-genres like rapabilly or industrial funeral ska, there’s a burgeoning crop of bands playing something almost as funny and great: TRANCECORE. Put simply, trancecore is Rise Records-style metalcore (e.g., The Devil Wears Prada) with the addition of trancey synth elements (like you’d hear on a Cascada record).

Enter Shikari “Mothership”– this is the first example of trancecore that I’ve been able to find. It’s not bad, but newer bands have done a better job with the genre IMO

E Type “True Believer”– not a trancecore band, but an early example of cross-pollination between metal and shitty dance music (courtesy of the best/worst label ever, All Around The World). I especially love how the backing band in this video pretends to play their instruments, which are obviously not present in the actual song.

As far as I can tell, Britain’s Enter Shikari were the first band to do this style on their 2007 debut album “Take To the Skies.” They seem to be pretty popular — my bros in Fight Fair shared a tour bus with them and said they draw really well, and Wikipedia says they’ve sold over 250,000 records. It makes sense that this style would have its roots across the pond, because dance music in general is much more popular there, and also Europeans are weird and stupid and will pretty much buy anything (the fact that Danny Dyer is a big star in the UK proves this theory).

While I don’t think Eskimo Callboy are a great band, I do salute them for coming up with a simple yet memorable gimmick: novelty moustaches. More bands should think like this!

Fail Emotions amusingly-titled song “Makes Bad” is actually pretty solid trancecore

A quick tour of MySpace and YouTube reveals a bunch of up-and-coming DIY trancecore bands from across Europe — Fail Emotions (from Russia) and Eskimo Callboy (Germany) are two of the better ones. It’s tempting to write the subgenre off as some niche phenomenon that only has currency among weird Euros from obscure countries whose only modest claim to fame is excelling at freestyle wrestling (the proud people of Kazakhstan, Chechnya, and Dagestan may have been shamed by Borat, but they’ll reclaim their honor in 2012 in London), but the truth is that it’s pretty big business here in the states as well.

Abandon All Ships aren’t huge (yet), but I’d say they’re second only to Attack Attack! in terms of talent when it comes to trancecore

Asking Alexandria have some crazy charisma/stage presence, look for big things from these kids soon– album just dropped on Sumerian

Attack Attack!’s “Smokahontas” — my favorite track from their new album, which is actually pretty fucking good. I’d go so far as to say that Attack Attack! are probably the best current metalcore/trancecore band — this shit slaps! I know the guitarist’s parents, and I can vouch for them — good kids, and very talented musicians. Were YOU writing anything this polished and tight when you were 20 years old, let alone creating a subgenre that hundreds of bands tried to copy?

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that trancecore is close to becoming the dominant style for metalcore bands, especially those of the Rise Records/Warped Tour variety. Pretty much all of them are starting to integrate synth parts, and it makes sense: those parts are perfect for a little non-hardcore dancing, and they make make the genre much more accessible to girls, emo kids, and other people who are too mentally weak for deathcore. I went to the Attack Attack! record release show a couple months ago, and the kids went batshit crazy for the synth parts and the dubstep tracks they played between song s– so if you’re not on the trancecore bandwagon, hop on or get out of the way!

-Sergeant D.

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