Hey, it’s time for another installment of The World-Famous Demo Roundup! Yeah, that’s right, it’s World-Famous now. No, I don’t actually have any realistic basis for calling it World-Famous, but confound it, I deserve to have something of my own that I can call World-Famous, and the Demo Roundup is probably as close as I’m going to get. I’ve spent the past few days packing my ears with gauze, hiding all my sharp objects, and dehydrating myself so that my weeping wouldn’t damage any electronics, so I’m all prepared! Now, without further ado…

Actually, wait, I have some further ado! Don’t worry, it’s fun ado.

I’m still getting tons of responses from angry System of a Down fans. One industrious little beaver took it upon himself to send me 6,000 e-mails at once, an attack which crippled me with mild nuisance for upwards of three minutes. Each of his many messages contained this joyous message of hope:

From: satan@satan.com (not a real address, obviously)
Subject: You are a fucking motherfucker

I will fucking kill you if you say anything else against System of a Down.
Keep that in mind, motherfucker!

Jeez, he’s serious enough to say it 6,000 times, so he must be really, really serious! So if I say even one more thing against System of a Down, surely he will rob me of my life! For example, if I accused Serj Tankian of having a silly little beard, would that get me killed? It hardly seems like a pretty tame insult, but I stand by it. Serj Tankian has a silly, silly little goatish beard. He looks like a silly goat, and his music sounds like the music of a silly goat. Furthermore, Daron Malakian has tiny little ears like a child.

And hey, remember Yannick? He didn’t just threaten me, he actually swore that he would kill me. I pointed out that if he did not kill me, he would be breaking a solemn oath, and it would be an affront to god. Little did I know, Yannick is bound by no such forces. Observe.

From: Yannick Denzer (heavyraptor@yahoo.com)

Subject: hey fuck-bag, one more thing
hey david motherfucker, the shit of "swear" in your hate-mail aricle is fuckin shit. I don't even belive in that motherfucker called "god"!!! You and god are two motherfucking fuckers!! Die!!!

Satan loves me!!!

Now that’s two morons in league with Satan condemning me to death. The world is a scary place when you insult System of a Down. For example, imagine what they would do to me if I said that Serj Tankian suckled at the teat of his mother until he was fifteen years old, or if I accused Daron of being a chronic bedwetter whose vitriolic music is his way of lashing out at his bladder’s constant, embarrassing betrayals.

Okay, now without further ado:

Naturally Aspirated - Dead Souls
Click here for an mp3 sample

Joy Division got pretty lucky. That sounds like a mean thing to say since the lead singer offed himself, but hear me out: they managed to enjoy (well, maybe not enjoy) a great deal of critical success and have an enduring cult following despite the fact that their music was dull, dour, and poorly performed. We start off this week's Demo Roundup, maybe the most depressing one yet, with a cover of a Joy Division song that manages to strip away everything even moderately tolerable about Joy Division and leave us with a grotesque magnification of everything that made them bad.

The dullness and dourness are definitely present and accounted for, but the real hero in this woefully unskilled cover is the poor performance. It's not as if Joy Division had a drummer who could keep time in the first place, but Naturally Apirated (who I'm assuming is just one guy) ups the ante with a "drum" intro that sounds like somebody arrhythmically tapping on a coffee can with his fingertips. From there, we move into gothic Casiotone territory for a flaccid muzak parody of Joy Division's minimal melody, but the fun is just beginning. Soon, we're treated to a guitar riff which uses a tin can full of gravel as an amplifier, followed by vocals that make the tone-deaf Ian Curtis sound like Barbara Streisand by comparison.

This track is the most completely unmitigated insult to music ever featured in the Demo Roundup. Usually, awful bands who send me awful mp3s are at least playing their own awful songs, but Naturally Aspirated go so far as to add "insulting the deceased" into their extremely robust shittiness résumé. Maybe the most pathetic thing about this sad affair is that he's covering a band with only the most modest of musical abilities; if someone covered a 20-minute Rush song and fucked it up a little, sure, that's understandable. But this is Joy Division, for fuck's sake.

Unborn - The Girl Who'd Never Love Me
Click here for an mp3 sample

Hey, guess what, Unborn, there was already a Smashing Pumpkins, and they were way better than you, and they already wrote 1979, which was way better than this. I never thought I'd say this to any human being, and it certainly pains me to do so, but Billy Corgan's voice was way better than yours. Your band is entirely superfluous, redundant, and unnecessary, and I'll thank you to immediately disband.

People who seem so heavily and obviously influenced by a certain band always confuse me. For example, I’ve heard dozens of demos in which the singers did their damndest to sound as much like Maynard James Keenan as possible. What are they thinking? Raise your hand if you want to hear a band that’s just like your favorite band, but shitty. Really? No takers?

D.O.M. – Nowe Powietrze Niepotrzebne Miasto
Click here for an mp3 sample

Polish shit like this is why the Demo Roundup is World Famous now. I guess it’s pretty unfair for me to judge them, though, because they’re put in a position where this song represents all of Poland to me, because it’s the only Polish song I’ve ever heard (as far as I know). But I have to do my job, so here goes: Poland seems to be pleasant enough, and Poland is definitely good at what it does, but it’s just the slightest bit dull. Poland is nice and everything, but four minutes of Poland seems to last eight minutes.

So anyway, maybe this is a little slow (actually, there’s no maybe about it), but at least it's miles ahead of most of the other garbage this week. Way to go, Poland. I've heard one Polish song, and it didn't suck.

Kelley Vice - Get it On
Click here for an mp3 sample

Here's a little trip down memory lane: in the last Demo Roundup, there was a band called Fireweed who sounded sort of like Mr. Big, and I advised the guitarist and falsetto backup singer to start a band and make a really sincere power-ballad with a black and white "More Than Words"-style video. I was delighted to get this e-mail:

Sinbad: your ticket to failure.
"I am both the guitarist AND the backup vocalist on Fireweed's 'Exodus', which you reviewed in Demo Roundup: Part 6. I have formed my own band (me) and am currently looking for a black-and-white videographer."

Awesome, right? Well, unfortunately, he drops the ballad ball. This sounds like it should be the theme song to a sitcom pilot that'll probably never get picked up. I'm not sure if you're picking exactly what I'm saying, but I'm trying to express the idea that not only does this song sound like a TV theme song, it also reeks of failure. Maybe Kelley Vice should give Sinbad a call and see if he's up for it. "Gettin' it On with Sinbad." If Kelley and his pal Sinbad are super-duper lucky, maybe the show will get picked up as a last-minute midseason replacement (they'll have to get a new theme song, though, because this one sucks).

Spiral Suns - Boy in the Bubble
Click here for an mp3 sample

This song track features passable pop guitar playing in certain sections, but unfortunately it also contains the couplet "oh how I long to be kissed by the sun today/oh how I long to be kissed by anyone today." Eew. That’s positively Morrisseyesque. Speaking of Morrissey, he’s got a new album in the works called “Ringleader of the Tormentors.” Isn’t that just a positively Morrisseyesque title? It makes me want to strangle him with his own wispy, flaccid pompadour.

The Vanity Project – Alive
Click here for an mp3 sample

This is the first time I’ve been faced with such Jesus Jonesey dance-rock riffery in the history of the Demo Roundup, and I’m not sure how I’m going to take it. I think that I’ll probably take it very, very poorly. It might not be such a problem if the song had a tune, but it seems to be half shouting and half extremely embarrassing pseudo-rapping reminiscent of Debbie Harry’s misguided “eating cars” rhymes in “Rapture.” As if the song could get any less cool, the vocalist namedrops Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, and the Manic Street Preachers, giving him all the cutting edge street-cred of a snap bracelet and a Hypercolor t-shirt.

Moonmen – Monster Bash!
Click here for an mp3 sample

God, every time I do one of these I get at least one really lame novelty comedy crap song. This is one of the most frustrating, because it’s a lame novelty song about monsters having a party. Guess what, retards, there’s already a lame novelty song about monsters having a party, it’s one letter off from the title of your song. and it sounds like Mozart compared to yours. I would like to extend a plea for anyone lame enough to record a song like this to stop reading Something Awful now and forever.

The Bluefish – Down the Stairs
Click here for an mp3 sample

This song is downright terrible. The singer is one hundred percent tone-deaf, it plods along on two chords, and the guitarist is constantly getting either ahead of or behind the drummer. It’s a complete wreck. Even if they played it entirely with their feet, it wouldn’t be impressive. It would be a pitiful disaster even for a foot-song.

You know what, though? I keep listening to this fucking thing. It’s cute in a funny, stupid way. Some people might say it’s cute like a three-legged dog, but that kind of suggests a badass Tom Waits sort of vibe, and this is far from that kind of achievement. This is cute like my old cat Swimp was cute. That cat was the dumbest pile of hair ever to walk the earth. One time, my brother opened the fridge and Swimp came trotting out like it weren’t no thing. Lord knows how long he’d been in there, the poor old fool. This song is cute because it has no idea that it’s in the fridge.

Vatic - The Dark Room
Click here for an mp3 sample

I don't know if anyone reading this gets MTV2, but if you watch it late at night you'll see all these commercials for low-rent hard rock/post-hardcore bands. They all have this really bombastic announcer going "THE NEW ALBUM BY VAAAATIIIIC, FEEL THE SUCCULENT RAGE! FEATURING THE NERVE-CHEWING SMASH HIT SINGLE 'THE DARK ROOM.'" I know this is kind of a backhanded compliment, but Vatic is definitely good enough to be one of those bands. Keep your eyes peeled, because next time you're drifting through a Pimp My Ride marathon at 3AM, the commercial that makes you hurriedly mash the mute button may be for Vatic!

I would also like to point out that I visited Vatic's website, www.scienceofsilence.com, and the CD's cover art looks like a bitchin' computer render from 1992. Maybe if we all buy three copies of their album when it comes out, they'll have enough money to upgrade their processor, so their next album cover can have a wicked chrome ball floating over a checkerboard. Furthermore, check out the band bios. They all list their sexual preference as heterosexual except for the bassist, who conspicuously declines to comment. What are you hiding, Eric D. Wertman?

Well, that’s all I have the patience for this week, but since I have a never-ending supply of these things, I’m sure The World Famous Demo Roundup will resume in a couple of months. Since people are going to keep sending me stuff no matter what I say, I might as well make things easier on myself by posting these simple submission guidelines:

Please mail your demos to davidthorpe@somethingawful.com with the subject “DEMO ROUNDUP.” Give me the name of your band, where you’re from, and what the song is called, as well as a link to an mp3. You have no idea how many people just sent a link to an mp3 file and expected me to magically guess the name of their band using nothing but my internet fame. The rule is: if it takes me more than ten seconds to determine the basic fundamental information, I’m not going to bother. If you tell me that your song sucks, I won’t listen to it.




New rule: bands with “hilarious” names like SEX BASTARD JESUS NINJA will not be listened to by me ever, ever, ever again. Nothing spells inept white kids screwing around in a bedroom like a “hilarious” band name. Get a real name.

Don’t link me to your Myspace profile. Yousendit links are useless, because they expire after seven days and I don’t download every single demo as it’s sent to me, I download them all at once every few weeks. Soundclick, purevolume, and its ilk will also likely be ignored. The best way to get me to listen to something is to make it easy for me to download it, because I’m lazy and I owe you nothing!


– Dr. David Thorpe (@Arr)

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