Stuff You Will Hate III: Hell on Earth
Sgt. D writes for Metal Inquisition. Also, he runs Stuff You Will Hate. And, most importantly, once a month he collaborates with me, and by "collaborates," I mean we fling piles of shit at each other like aggravated monkeys.
Bionic Ghost Kids, "Wrapped in Plastic"
GD: I'm all for terrible bands attempting to distract and disorient their audiences with costumes and other chicanery, but these guys just look like normal metalcore scenetards in cheap phantom masks. It's like Kansas State's bullshit attempt at a mascot, except at least the dude inside that giant mutant mouse head knows how to play a guitar solo.
Given that they didn't put in any effort, I'm going devote my energy to mocking people in the crowd, like this guy. He's old enough to grow facial hair, so he's definitely old enough to know better than to listen to this garbage, let alone to look so goddamn humbled and honored when the singer hands him the microphone, as though he were being knighted for some heroic achievement instead of being rewarded for being to the only person pathetic enough to know the words. Maybe this was the high point of his life, a second of recognition as the most enthusiastic fan of a children's novelty band with "kids" in its fucking name. Regardless, I think it's safe to say it's all downhill from here.
Also, "Wrapped in Plastic" establishes that if there's anything stupider-looking than hardcore kids dancing, it's hardcore kids dancing in slow motion, unless it's hardcore kids conga-dancing in slow motion. This video has it all!
The Almost, "Southern Weather"
Sgt. D: Even if I didn't recognize this band's vocalist as the ugly, emaciated ginger who plays drums in Underoath, I could have told you these guys are Christian in a second. They have all the telltale signs: Truth drums, vocals that alternate between girlish shrieks and gay singing, and an enormous, rabid fanbase despite the fact you've never heard of them. This is because Jesuscore acts don't play normal venues, they play churches.
It might sound weird to have a metalcore show at a church, but trust me, it fucking rules -- at least for the bands. They get to do all the stuff normal band dudes do, only it's way easier because Christians are braindead morons who think these guys aren't rapey creeps like every other idiot with a guitar. Getting hot scene tail must be like taking candy from a baby. Band: "Hey Pastor Cody, we're gonna go study Leviticus on the bus with xX_Lindsay_Lollipop_Xx. Be back in half an hour to sign that stack of Bibles for you!" Clueless authority figures: "Praise Christ!"
Anyway, this band is actually pretty good musically, with a Quicksand-meets-Taking Back Sunday kind of vibe. The Jesus thing is kind of a dealbreaker for me, though. Also, the ginger singer holds the microphone with his fingertips like Bob Barker did on The Price Is Right, and when he takes his shirt off, I feel like I'm looking at child porn.
Wish For Wings, "Mister Evening"
Sgt. D: This is a great example of what happens when foreigners try to do things they don't understand, like playing breakdowns or putting slutty-looking chicks in their videos. I am not sure how they do it down there in Australia, but here in the states we treat the hot chicks in our videos like sex objects, not criminals. Back in 2002, Eighteen Visions pioneered the concept in "You Broke Like Glass," and that video is still a boner factory. By contrast, these dirty Aussies go all Wolf Creek on the hottie, leaving viewers as flaccid as some snake Crocodile Dundee just strangled.
Speaking of poor choices, when it comes to tattoos, don't think of it as "a race to see who can destroy their future/become unpresentable as quickly as possible for the least money." (Props to Eyelicker.) Scratch that: DO think of it that way. It's really funny to see 20 year olds with neck, face, and hand tattoos, because even fucking McDonald's won't hire someone with such spectacular empirical evidence of horrible decision-making skills. I love laughing at your dumb asses waiting for the bus in the cold when I'm driving home from work in my Acura, listening to Avenged Sevenfold and enjoying the heated leather seats.
Floral Terrace, "Buildings Burn Up"
GD: Like Wish for Wings, Floral Terrace has decided to graphically depict the type of violence against women previously confined to the undercurrents of metalcore's overtly misogynist "why don't you love me anymore YOU BITCH" lyrics. With Wish for Wings, the video brainstorming clearly went like this: Band: "Here's our concept for the video -- beating a skank to death with a hammer! Fuck yeah, bro!" Director: "Um, let me see what I can do with that."
With Floral Terrace, the process was a little more complicated, due to creative differences. Band member 1: "Can we do a video where a guy, like, sneaks up behind a woman and cuts off her face? Boo-yah!" Band member 2: "I don't know, why can't we make the whole thing really literal, like when the song says 'sitting in a doctor's office, counting tiles," we show someone doing just that!" Director: "Please, don't fight, you beautiful angels, I have a way to bring both of your visions to life while simultaneously desecrating a classy old horror movie!"
Eyes Without A Face, this clip's unwitting muse, was pretty creepy, especially the long face-removal surgery scene. However, I must admit that I never cringed during the film the way I did as soon as the Floral Terrace singer unleashed his whiny squeal. Also, I'm confused about how filmmakers were able to construct a realistic flesh mask for an actress back in 1960, while Floral Terrace had to settle for making her look like a Hollywood Undead reject. Between this and Bionic Ghost Kids, it seems mask-making might be a dying art. Also, music-making.