2012 STATE OF THE SCENE ADDRESS: It’s cool to be tr00
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A bunch of people asked me why I didn’t do a Best Of 2011 list, and the answer is simple: I am a futurist! I don’t care about the past because I’m a lot more interested in what’s coming next. If you have to know what the best progressive djentstep cassette-only release of the year was, I’m sure there is a 200+ comment post that will give you more than enough detail on it. But if you want to know what the Next Big Thing will be, keep reading for my 2012 STATE OF THE SCENE ADDRESS!
In a nutshell, there is nothing more trendy this year than being tr00. MySpace is long dead, and while some of the bands that flourished on the site are still around, they’re dying along with the scene that surrounds them. Neon merch, generic deathcore and crabcore are out; ‘real hardcore,’ old-school death metal, and djent are in. Yesterday’s scene kid is today’s hipster/metal nerd, and in what should be welcome news to MS readers, it’s cool to be an elitist snob!
That said, scene isn’t quite dead. There are still plenty of kids in skinny jeans who love Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides are still moving units, and you can still spot the odd pair of ice cream DC high tops here and there. Expect 2012 to be an awkward transition year where new meets old, sort of like 1992 when Nirvana, Ugly Kid Joe and Kriss Kross all charted.
After the break: a scientific model of the scene, and what to expect from music, fashion, and media in 2011!
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Exhibit 1: Scientific model of the scene since 1985
The scene is cyclical, alternating between periods where it’s cool to be fun and periods where it’s cool to be a ‘srs artist.’ We’ve gone back and forth over the years, with the most recent inflection point being the MySpace era of 2006-2008 or so, best exemplified by bands like Suicide Silence, Hollywood Undead, Escape The Fate, etc. It was all about partying, acting like rockstars, and playing semi-ironic covers of top 40 pop songs (so much easier than writing your own catchy songs)- a far cry from the previous generation of self-pitying, crybaby screamo bands like Hawthorne Heights, MCR, and The Used. Much like grunge was a reaction against the pop and hair metal of the 80s, the scene is in an anti-fun phase, a reaction against the “we DGAF we just came to party” attitude of the MySpace era.
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Exhibit 2: Image, then and now
On the left is The Devil Wears Prada circa 2006 looking scene as fuck: Nikki Sixx hair, neon Rockett shirts, and posing like “yeahhhh our lives are rad it’s pretty much one big party (for Christ)!!!” They probably all have a Sidekick in their back pocket, too. On the right is TDWP today: grey sweaters have taken the place of the neon shirts, they have 1950s dad haircuts, and they are standing around like “sry guise can’t talk rite now we have a lot of important issues on our minds g2g”
Exhibit 3: Attack Attack! are a djent/radio rock band now
Whether you like the new Attack Attack! song or not, it’s obvious that their crabcore days are behind them. No more mildly-racist Lil Jon crunk samples, zany songs titles like “What Happens If I Can’t Check My MySpace When We Get There?” or jogging in place; now they sound like half-assed djent with boring radio rock choruses.
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Exhibit 4: Angsty imagery, then and now
Teenage girls still spend approximately 90% of their time on the internet, pining after boys they like, gossiping about girls they are jealous of, talking about stuff they want to buy, and/or whining about life in general. In that respect nothing has changed in the past few years, but instead of doing it in the form of glittery, neon stuff on MySpace, now they do it via “meaningful, authentic” black-and-white stuff on Tumblr (see also “Let’s talk about teenage girls and Tumblr“). SO SRS!!
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Exhibit 5: Fangirls, then and now
Still annoying, attention-hungry teenagers who take pictures of themselves in the mirror, only instead of wearing merch from generic metalcore/deathcore bands with cute singers, they jock old school death metal, hardcore and other “credible” genres. U mirin that Incantation shirt and bullet belt, or mad that 18 year old scene girls are appropriating ‘your’ culture? (And as you might have noticed, the girl on the right is Mexican– see my earlier post “Are Latinos Born 2 Mosh??” for more on how this will shape 2012)
Exhibit 6: SRSCORE is the new Risecore
The little girls on Tumblr who were sweating Blessthefall, We Came As Romans and Suiside Silence two years have mostly moved on to what I call SRSCORE (basically, metallic hardcore that sounds like Terror but with melody). Srscore isn’t exactly Madball, but it’s certainly a lot closer to ‘real hardcore’ than Christian metalcore ala Underoath, Of Mice & Men, etc. If THE GHOST INSIDE don’t blow up, expect another band like them to do it big in the 2k12.
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Obviously pop-punk isn’t directly relevant to the world of metal, but I’m including this popular Man Overboard shirt because of what it says about Kids These Days. They’re trying so hard to be the tr00est kid on the block that they get super serious about inherently un-credible, superficial genres like pop-punk and dubstep! Imagine how annoying they’ll be when they discover drone, djent, and post-rock… it will make the Great Hipster Invasion Of Black Metal seem like a blip on the radar :/ (see also “Is tr00 Pop Punk the next big scene trend??“)
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Exhibit 8: Merch, then and now
For those who don’t know, Drop Dead is the successful clothing line owned by Bring Me The Horizon singer Oli Sykes. Once known for its colorful illustrations of cartoon cats, they’ve moved on to tr00er pastures such as these mass-produced, black metal-style denim vests (lol @ the identically placed patches). Oh, and BMTH announced that their next album will be ‘post-rock’ (srs).
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Why is it so cool to be a tr00er-than-thou butthole?? Will you get mad when former crabcore kids start going to legit metal shows, even though you told them to stop listening to metalcore and start getting into ‘real music’??? How long until a band refers to itself as ‘old school deathcore’??? What do you expect out of 2012??
Sergeant D. looks ahead to the future every day on Stuff You Will Hate.