Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Mag’s New Issue is in Vivid Living Colour
Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…
Our March issue is one of our weirdest. I’m not quite certain if that was by design or if it was just a perfect storm. What Hall of Fame could we possibly pair with a cover story on a one-man black metal isolationist making the transition from accused rapist to devoted father of an adorable baby girl? Oh, we know! Living Colour’s Vivid.
Let’s just put this here for you to watch while you get all the “black metal special issue” jokes out of your thought balloon.
First off, that lead riff. Goddamn, right? Your everyday dive bar karaoke machine (where I’ve far and away heard this song the most in the past 10 years) doesn’t do it justice. But Vernon Reid could bring it when he wanted to. The question is what else on Vivid makes it worthy of dB HOF induction—and that’s a good question because you may recall that fucking “Glamour Boys” was actually released as a single.
Well, our intrepid Nick Green (as always) has the answers. Four African-American musicians of impressive pedigree assembled in New York City at its late-’80s seediest to combine influences and render an eclectic, energetic classic. As Nick says in the intro, “Living Colour really excelled in a live context, where they were just as comfortable playing with Bad Brains and Circle Jerks as opening for Robert Palmer and the Rolling Stones. Hooks and melodies and universal themes abound on Vivid, from the crestfallen country swing of ‘Broken Hearts’ to stark sociopolitical commentary splayed out against a backdrop of funk-metal and power ballads, like ‘Funny Vibe’ and ‘Open Letter (to a Landlord).’” Ultimately, Vivid is a wildly ambitious, thought-provoking and somewhat unclassifiable touchstone in the metal canon. We’re happy to give its oddness a home in the Hall.
The March 2015 issue of Decibel also features Carcass, Venom, and Paradise Lost, and can be purchased here. But anyone don’t just get a full subscription is a total glamour boy.