• Gary Suarez

NO, METAL FANS SHOULD NOT BE OFFENDED THAT OCEANO GAVE AWAY AN IPADAs Oceano’s resident defender here at Tha ‘Sucks, I often have to sit idly and bite my tongue as my fellow writers take frequent potshots at these princes of men. However, I felt compelled to respond after reading Axl’s post this morning about Shane Mehling at The Deciblog, who thinks Earache Records’ Pre-order-the-new-album-you-could-win-a-fucking-iPad contest is “incredibly antithetical to… metal.” Apparently, Mehling has some beef with the beef bringers!

See, to promote their new album, Contagion, they had a contest. What could the winner look forward to? A free cd and shirt? Maybe a signed guitar? Nope, a motherfucking iPad. Now I’m not typing this on a Smith-Corona, nor am I calling my parents on rotary phone, but come on, what in the fuck does a $500 Scarlet Letter of yuppie scum have to do with extreme metal? Why not just let the lucky winner flip through the latest copy of Sky Mall and pick out their favorite bluetooth foot massager?

Like that chick at Marie Claire who got in trouble for writing that “I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything”, it’s time that Master Mehling get a potent dose of reality. Earache — like all independent record labels –need to come up with ways to encourage physical sales of their albums. The mindshare at Earache obviously saw a $499 investment (the iPad) that could encourage a significant number of pre-orders to potentially offset that expense. They tried it out for the new Oceano record and made it a point to promote this contest on their website and in press materials. Apparently, this update on a rather standard idea was too much for The Deciblog’s l33t3st m3talh3ad to bear!

If metal labels staying afloat in these tumultuous times isn’t “extreme” enough or “metal” enough for Mehling, let’s see how he feels when Earache (or Relapse or any other big metal indie) goes out of business. That means fewer metal releases in big box retailers and record stores, which means a decrease in sales in the metal category, which hurts all the other labels’ chances of getting their content into stores other than small specialty outlets (which too would suffer from the loss of a label like Earache). Now, some people are fine with shaking up the status quo in this business, but last I checked, Decibel and other print publications need these labels to pay for the advertising that pays the bills that allow said publication to cut Mehling’s checks. The phrase “Don’t shit where you eat” applies, methinks.

As an aside, I’m not saying that print music publications should sacrifice their journalistic integrity and credibility in the interests of pandering to record labels. What I’m saying is that they already have — and continue to do so on a regular basis. I’m not singling out Decibel specifically on this point, but I stopped reading music magazines years ago, after growing frustrated with regurgitated press releases, zealously fawning band coverage, and a lack of acknowledgment of the actual Hit-to-Shit ratio that exists in any type of music. It’s why I read (and write for) blogs.

In summation, Oceano’s new album, Contagion is now available from Earache Records.


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