The Webernets


  • Axl Rosenberg

WELL, NOW THEY DONE N’ DID IT: J. BENNETT DEFENDS CELTIC FROST’S COLD LAKEEven this little kid can’t believe this shit.

Ever since The Deciblog started their weekly “Justify Your Shitty Taste” column — in which writers and musicians attempt to defend the indefensible — we’ve been joking that it was only a matter of time until someone stood up for Celtic Frost’s Cold Lake.

Ladies and germs, that time has arrived.

I mean, even Tom G. Warrior hates this fucking record. Speaking to MetalSucks’ own D.X. Ferris last year, he called the album “terrible,” “the absolute lower limit of whatever can come from my mind,” and “the worst album ever created in heavy music,” and proclaimed that “no matter how much I’m going to fail in the future, I will never sink that low again.”

And yet, we have to at least TRY to take this defense of Cold Lake seriously, since it was written by J. Bennett, whose regular (and routinely hilarious) “Cry Now Cry Later” column in Decibel is, at least as far as I’m concerned, reason enough to read the magazine every month.

So here’s a sampling of Mr. Bennett’s pro-Lake argument:

“Change the lyrics and the band photo, and Cold Lake wouldn’t have got shit on nearly as hard as it did (and does). Admittedly, the album goes down a lot smoother if you happen to like cock rock—not Firehouse- or Warrant-style (incidentally, Cold Lake preceded the debuts of both bands), but of the completely righteous speed ‘n’ spikes variety found on the first two Mötley Crüe albums. Let’s face it: Despite any perceived attempts to the contrary, it’s not like Cold Lake contained anything even remotely as bubblegum as Poison’s Open Up and Say… Ahh!, which was the top-selling cock-rock album released that year.”

Which is fair enough — speaking as a hair metal fan, I can testify to the fact that there were way, way, WAY worse releases in that genre than this one.

I think the problem with Cold Lake, though, ultimately lies in its complete lack of sincerity. I know that’s a weird thing to say about cock rock, a genre literally built on style over substance, but it’s not like C.C. DeVille turned around and joined a black metal band after leaving Poison — in other words, you want to believe, and can believe, that the Hollywood Strip crowd legitimately thought what they were doing was awesome. Whereas Mr. Warrior has admitted (again, in our interview) that during the making of Cold Lake, he “didn’t care what happened in the studio” and consequently “let other people run the show.”

In other words: there’s no evidence to suggest that Cold Lake was born of any artistic desire to explore that sound. It was trend hopping, pure and simple, and it’s difficult, for me at least, to listen to the album and not think about that fact.

Read the rest of Bennett’s defense here, then come back and let us know what you think. I’m sure at least one of you agrees with him… right?


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