Allow me, just this once, to indulge myself. I often write about bands on the basis of popular demand, but this week, since I’m in the process of a hard cranial training regimen to prepare for the upcoming release of a new Tool album, I decided to go on a mental vacation and choose some bands that have been pissing me off and offending my delicate sensibilities. Hey, it was either that or a Demo Roundup. Do you people realize how excruciating those are? So anyway, fuck these bands:

Avenged Sevenfold

Look at these ninnies.

Seriously, I can’t fathom these morons. They all have bitchin’ metal names like Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance and Bozo McMetal, they dress like a cross between garish metalcore clowns and hair-metal revivalists, and their signature sound seems to involve dual-guitar shred solos that are so toneless and compressed that they sound like they’re being playing on MIDI keyboards (these solos impress their idiot fans to no end, since the concept of counterpoint is an almost mystical revelation to people who have never heard anything approaching actual music before). In each of their videos, there’s bound to be a climactic moment when the two chickenhead lead guitarists situate themselves back-to-back and engage in a healthy round of homoerotic guitar horseplay while the singer flashes his mouthful of metal and some stripper they got from a Myspace casting call slinks by suggestively.

Apparently, they think they’re a serious metal band.

Ho ho! I saw these utterly loathsome painted-up titties complaining to the media about being on Total Request Live and in teeny magazines next to Aaron Carter and shit like that. Oh no, their Serious Badass Heavy Metal-lovin’ fans might feel alienated because a bunch of idiot kids love a band tarted up with heavy eyeliner and teased hair and painted nails and big ol’ platinum fucking grillz in their teeth. Guess what, Avenged Sevenfold: Warner Brothers wouldn’t touch you with a ten-foot pole if they didn’t think they could sell you to idiot kids. You’re custom designed to be sold to idiot kids. Idiot kids are your bread and goddamn butter, Avenged Sevenfold, so you’d better get on your knees and thank Pussy Satan or whoever the fuck you worship (I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Jesus; that’s how lame you are) that idiot kids are willing to give you the time of day.

I beckon thee to GAY GUITAR SOLO ORGY CAMP!

As for anyone who is male and over the age of fourteen who listens to these guys: what? Is there some kind of excuse? Did rock and roll kill your parents when you were a kid and you swore to get revenge by desecrating its memory? Are you writing a dissertation on the sexual dynamics of guitar solos? Even fratboy Bro-Magnons in pink polo shirts with popped collars wouldn’t be caught dead listening to this shit, and they’ll listen to anything, as long as it’ll get them laid via Myspace.

Whew. And for any 14-year-old girls who love Avenged Sevenfold who might be reading this: it’s not too late. You have until the age of seventeen to start liking real music, but after that you’re pretty much doomed to liking awful shit for the rest of your life, so straighten up now or you’ll eventually become a pregnant stripper, and you’d better hope against hope that Myspace is still around then so you can find a dad for your little sack of crap.

UPDATE: In the time since this article was written, Avenged Sevenfold's dead gay drummer has died, and is now gay and dead. Immediately following his gay demise, Avenged Sevenfold fans the world over have somehow stumbled drunkenly into this article and are now sending me tons of email about it, despite the fact that it was written years ago. In order to control the flow of email regarding this dead gay drummer, I'd ask any fans emailing me about this matter to use the subject line "AVENGED SEVENFOLD FANS ARE RETARDED AND I AM ONE OF THEM." Any email not bearing this subject line will be automatically deleted by my mail client. Thank you!

She Wants Revenge

How in the cavernous catacombs of high holy fuck is anyone stupid enough to fall for this garbage?

I’m no hippie. I’m not going to fault She Wants Revenge for trying to make money. It had been more than ten years since singer Justin Warfield made scarcely a ripple with his hip hop album, and he must have been getting itchy, because the “what’s hot right now?” accounting of She Wants Revenge is so explicitly money-grubbing that he might as well have slapped on a pair of tits and signed to Jive.

Nice hat, you look like you're from Star Wars.

Plenty of good bands, at their core, are little more than a calculated mixture of influences. With She Wants Revenge, however, the calculation rises so far above the influences that they wind up sounding like an over-the-top parody of a cash-in. In interviews, they bristle at the very notion that anyone could question their airtight credibility, which sort of hazily involves the fact that they’re five years older than you and used to like New Order.

Not Joy Division, mind you. They say they sound like New Order. They don’t sound that much like Joy Division, and I’m sure they just resent the fucking implication, especially with song titles like “Tear You Apart” and “Out of Control.” I have a little theory: She Wants Revenge is merely a ploy created by Interpol to deflect the “Joy Division rip-off” criticism onto a weaker target.

Joy Division was interesting by virtue of the fact that, at the time, nobody else sounded like Joy Division. She Wants Revenge have no such luck, since they’re the dregs of a crowded field and haven’t a single shred of originality to fall back on. Musically, they’re not just nothing new, they’re nothing. Monotone vocals, trite and often overtly moronic lyrics, phony krautrock canned drums, and guitar playing that someone more generous than myself might call “minimalist” (i.e.: about as many chords as a wireless phone).

Much as I like to harp on about bands that suck, my beef this time isn’t with the band. They’re nobody, nothing, non-entities, a total non-factor. My beef is with anyone who likes the band. There is no excuse.

Oh dearie me, I forgot not to suck.

I’ve encountered two types of people who like She Wants Revenge: the ignorant and the misguided. Perhaps I pity the ignorant more: they like She Wants Revenge because to their tin ears and their lack of context, the band fits in somewhere in an imaginary revival of post-punk. I say “imaginary” because not even a single one of the so-called post-punk revival bands have exhibited any of the qualities that made post-punk what it was: originality, political sophistication and interesting guitar playing.

In fact, they’ve utterly exorcised them. Bands like Interpol, Bloc Party, and to some degree Franz Ferdinand have taken the superficial trappings of post-punk and re-fabricated them from an assembly line of poseurism and bullshit hipness, creating a smarmy bastardization based on Gang of Four beats and harebrained phony aloofness. It says a lot for the gullibility of the record-buying public that bands like this have managed to become cool merely by pretending to be cool.

So a certain category of She Wants Revenge fans may see them as an important part of an important revivalist movement, as torch-bearers of a chic new wave of post-punk. In fact, they’re the flotsam in a crap-brown slosh of soulless, ball-less, and magnificently stupid post-punk repackaging and imitation. Anyone who thinks She Wants Revenge (or even any of their slightly-better peers) can hold even the puniest, dimmest candle to actual post-punk deserves to have their fucking face laughed in. And real post-punk involved ugly, mopey shit like Joy Division and The Cure, histrionic faux-intellectualism like Bauhaus, and effete Marxist art-school bunk like Gang of Four. She Wants Revenge, in effect, is a shitty imitation of a shitty imitation of something that was, in retrospect, kinda shitty in the first place.

There are also those who have little interest in any post-punk pedigree who might like She Wants Revenge merely because, as I have heard repeatedly, “they sound good.” No, they don’t sound good; the singer is nasal and monotonous and their music is slick, polished garbage. You like them because they sound cool. They have meticulously crafted an image that fits with the current advertiser-friendly, media-approved, MTV2-sanctioned vision of what’s subversively hip: tight pants, goofy hair, and riffs that the stupidest fucking idiots in the world might refer to as “angular.” Ooh, and coolly detached lyrics about being in hip dingy clubs at 2AM and spying a foxy lady across the room and maybe even, GASP, fucking. You like them because you’d like to be able to relate to them (but you can’t, you pathetic loser). Just listen to Warrant, that’s about fucking too, and looking like an outdated metal fan or a lame ironist is a lot better than looking like some idiot who listens to She Wants Revenge.

Bonus Material - The System of a Down Saga Continues:

From: Set Anubis
Subject: E-MAIL FROM A RETARD, PLEASE IGNORE

Hello, dear Dr. David Thorpe

Dear David, I just read your article about System of a Down, and I want you to read my email like an adult as you hold yourself, and not some kind of an immature swine, because I want to talk you normally and calmly, as a person, not an enemy (even though the subject line might .

Your article was not better than your pictures. I believe in your ambitions, but you should think over the fact that you are a doctor (as I presume from your name) and doctors are great people who value tolerance. The pictures you posted and the words you wrote are not the words that I thought you would say. When I first saw your website and you, being the critic, I was interested how a respectful doctor would comment today's metal music. Somehow I didn't memorize the fact that your website contained words like "sucks", which are seriously not the words a doctor would say. I thought that you would say something with a meaning, not just "shit", "whiner", etc. I will not tease of cuss you, because that would only drop me to your current level. I would like you to remove Dr. from your name. The words you say make you one of those people, who bring war, not one of those people who make it stop.

I am sorry if this line from my religious education book will be an incorrect translation:

"...When I put my opinion everywhere and ignore everyone else's opinions, like my way is the only one, that is right, I am spreading strife. But God, please help me spread peace."

Maybe you are not a believer (however, I tend to believe that you are a believer, because you wrote Holy Ghost), but you cannot possibly be totally evil. I believe there IS a little spot in your soul. A spot, that will hopefully change you one day. It is normal for people to act that way. I was different as well. But I have changed, and I am proud of it now.

I am, however, lithuanian. A citizen of a forgotten country, that has kept it's traditions for years. Dear David, my country's culture has fallen into small pieces because of people, that spread non-tolerance. In June, I saw a family of three people. Both the mother and the father were about 26 years old, and they were cussing in front of their child, they were smoking and drinking. They were calling everyone around in all sorts of horrible names, too. David, I believe you understand that actions like that are not the way that a child must see the world. But these are the results of non-tolerance. I may dislike children, I may have anger management problems from time to time (and that is why I am writing you right now and not tomorrow), but I also believe, that everyone was a child and that children are the future. But the future will be shatterred by disorder, if this is how we are treating the present.

System of a Down are people, who took off the shades of gentle dreams about perfect worlds. I might not like CIGARO'S lyrics and some of B.Y.O.B parts, but this is better, than singing about an endless party, wich is only real in the rich world. Daron creates lyrics about the reality, that we see, not someone who makes ten thousand dollars by just brushing her teeth. He creates lyrics about the way that everything is - Violent Pornography is the very face of media itself - sex, pornography, prostitution and trafficking are the results of the egoistic pleasure, that we even sometimes referto as "divine".

Civilization has driven itself to oblivion by their own inventions like money. Of course, money is the way that we give, and not only take. But if we would share everything we have, if we would stop thinking about ourselves and concentrate on balance, children wouldn't starve, and I believe AIDS could be cured if the world's brightest minds would work together. Now there is war, and enemies might be the people that could help us. I know that five minutes after I will send this email, you will either delete it or laugh at me, and I forgive you for that. Make fun of me as a 13 year old. Because I AM a 13 year old girl in real life. You will probably post some picture of a geek and quote my words as stupid, but there is many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip, dear David. People like me may just be right. And I despite myself for the way I wanted to diss you. All thanks to dear Serj Tankian, who, to my mind, is a person of many wonderful qualities, able to connect metal and peace in himself - if you haven't read his essay yet ("Understanding Oil"), you should. Maybe you would learn a thing or two about controling yourself and trying to make the world a better place. Just as Daron showed me the world, Serj gave me the wish to change it. My parents didn't tell me half as much as System of a Down did. Maybe they wanted to, but Daron was the only one who spoke in my words. I think they have wonderful, unique voices, extraordinary talents, gorgeous looks and that they are in the road to admiration and fortune, not neccessarily to be supreme fame or money. My family despites Daron's words as something unexplanable and idiotic and the music as something that will hypnotize me to follow their path, wich is a "bad path" for them. My parents do not believe in reincarnation, as one of them just might be a reincarnation of someone incredible - maybe even such entities, that you cannot even start to imagine. Someone that can connect everyone. Another thing - System of a Down is not a political band, but it has a lot to do with politics. Of course, they sing about a big number of different things. However, politics is the topic that they accent most. They have done a lot for their country, and also - a lot for the world. For example - Serj Tankian co-founded Axis of Justice, along with Tom Morello (of Audioslave). System of a Down is NOT a political band. They are a POLITICALLY ACTIVE band. A lot of people say, that System of a Down "kicks ass". So are they all idiots? No. Anyway, I would like to know the motive, that made you write articles about such amazing artists as them...

As you see, I am a helpless, religious, dreaming jerkface, as you say. I always referred to doctors as someone who I can reffer to. Don't pay attention to my gramatical mistakes, I write from my heart, not from my mind, when it comes to saying what I feel. I also do research in a lot of ways. I have read your article so many times, that I think I can retell it better than some of the easiest lithuanian child poems, so I have written an essay for in a similar way that you wrote your article. My teacher was extraordinarily surprised, how low my grade was. Here in Lithuania, our grades are from 2 (lowest) to 10 (highest). My teacher said that this was not an essay for school. She said it was shallow and had no sense of creativity whatsoever. I didn't tell her about your article, however. She graded my essay by 6 points, because there were no mistakes there. I remember her telling that an essay like this would of left me in the remedial program, if I would of written something like that in 12th grade. So you see David, you DID spit, not only in the face of doctorship, but also to the face of religion.

Another thing - if you want to become a doctor, please take an anatomy book and read it closely. You should also read the part about the ability to hear, as well. Sound is not recieved through the skull. It is recieved through the ears. The skull has nothing to do with it, unless you are talking about some kind of a science-fiction movie. But all skulls are the same - I don't think anyone has been born with a skull made of steel or iron. So please, David - if you are becoming a doctor, please turn off all those science-fiction movies, alright?

I am a hopeless fan of System of a Down. My brain is helplessly mutated to recieve their signal, but I am not feeling hate to myself. I would like you to reply me and add your opinion about my email. However, I am telling my opinion, just like you did. My opinion is not neccessarily right, but it is sincere and it beats within my heart. My goal is not to be loved, however, it is a wonderful thing that I would like to feel, but my goal would be to bring love. They say that you can't see good without seeing evil. Well, we have seen enough hate, now let's open our eyes for love, dear David. As I see, you are still blind with hate and disrespect, but it is a virtue to admit you have been wrong. Who knows - maybe I am your guardian angel, who is giving you the last chance to change. You NEVER know what is on the next step, David, so take life not as a game.

Hovever, Dear Doctor Thorpe, I wish you the best of luck in finding the way to tolerance, peace, and most importantly, God.

Sincerely,
Benita

Fucking whoa there, Benita. All that literal-mindedness is going to collapse your skull one day. That thing must be longer than my article was, and I bet you put twice as much thought into it. Ouch. Please forgive me if that was boring, I only read a few words of it before filing it in the “CRAZY” bin.

Moving on to greener pastures:

From: SigrXn Emilia
Subject: hi

you stupit motherfucker system of a down are the best i will fucking kill you
i will come at your place and kill you when you’re sleeping!..evil
motherfucker!...stop saying that about them or i will fucking kill you!!!and
if you won’t take This out of that website OR i will fucking KILL YOU!...

From: SigrXn Emilia
Subject: sorry

I WAS JUST KIDDING ABOUT THE SORRY THINK JUST WANTED YOU TO READ THIS
Hey again you little shit i’m not done with you!!if you will fucking hurt
their hearts again i will fucking Kill you!!with a gun! and i don’t care if
i wut go too prison!cause it’s wourth it!system of a down are my life so
you little fuckface!!fuck off!!!and if you will talk bad about daron i will
fucking rape you and kill you and wake you up from death and kill you again
and fucking send you to hell!!you and your friend are fags!and if you will
HURT DARONS FEELINGS I WILL KILL YOU I SWEAR!I WILL FIND YOU
AND KILL YOU I
LOVE DARON MORE THAN ANYTHING! I LOVE HIM MORE THAN MY
FAMILY!HE IS MY LIFE!
NOT YOU fucking asshole!

F
U
C
K
F
A
C
E

-EMELIA MALAKIAN

From: SigrXn Emilia
Subject: hey


yeah Daron does not sing well then sing for us you can’t sing! you little
fucker! if you say those things about daron i will so fucking kill you! he
was writing songs about his feeling and yes maybe he feels like this my cock
is much bigger than yours! not his fold! this is his feelings not yours!why
system of a down why don’t slipknot! they are good to! you hate music and
pepole who listens to music!all pepole listens to music so you hate all
pepole in the world!!hhmmm.. thats not fucking Normal!
say somone else how you feel about them not the fucking internet!and i will
kill you if you will talk like this about daron i love daron so you are sad
retarted! asshole!just jump in your mothers asshole!!
you computernerd!not our fold you don’t have friends!thats to fucking sad
daron haves friends john,serj,shavo,casey chaos, and lots and lots of
fucking more!!and how old are you 64 years i think that:/ fucking idiot!i
hate you so fucking much!and i wanna kill you so fucking much! ..i live in
iceland so i can’t come and Kill you:/ and i can’t fly cause i am fucking
14-15 years old!i swear i will kill you somehow!

From: SigrXn Emilia
Subject: ugly motherfucke

hey you little fuckface !i sait you never talk like this about my boy! i
love daron and you wont talk bad about him! you little fucker!ohh i just
wanna kill you! ur such a idiot!and system of a down are not assholes you
are an asshole you little fucking Hooker!
you whore!
i so wanna kill you and say me were you live cause i am getting over to you
and Kill you!ARRRG I AM SO FUCKING ANGRY!YOU MANIAC! FUCK YOU
AND IT ALL
GOES AWAY! AND YOU DON´T HAVE COCK SO STOP MAKING FUN OF
CIGARO YOU ARE
JUST jealous cause you don’´t have a cock daron has cock not you so get over
it!!!yeah and daron wut be proud of me if he wut se this e-mail i am sending
you he wut be so fucking proud of me!i hate you and i have given you a
warnig!i will fucking rape you when you are sleeping!
so long sucker

-emelia malakian

Jesus Christ.

– Dr. David Thorpe (@Arr)

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