Music That Inspired The Movie (Halo8/DHR)
by Scott Hefflon
Yeah, this needed to be done, just to show “The New Wave of American Metal” just how straight-forward and traditional their music is. Before we begin, a couple sentences of background: Threat is an indie movie about a day-in-the-life of NY hardcore kids. White, black, mindlessly violent, homeless, fuck the system, philosophically opposed, etc. Anyone who’s hung out with lifers, not mall punks, will find familiar anger, their own “this place is fucked” ideas amidst the tirades. A fist to a wall is a timeless sentiment, ya know?
Anyway, while I’m a casual fan of “metal” like Most Precious Blood, Killswitch Engage, Bleeding Through, and others not included here, it’s always kinda bugged me how they swaggered mightily, but really don’t challenge the listener or standard music structures. Hey, nothing wrong with a pop song you can sing along to, in standard 4/4 time, and monster production can make a fart sound big and glorious, but it’s no revolution, it’s commodified rebellion, safe and prepackaged for easy and mindless consumption. It’s not until you hear one of these digital hardcore artists rip apart a metalcore song, string it back together with horror movie screams, bong water bubble, and skittering breakbeats that ya realize how dull it was to begin with. Even me. I caved to the “well, yeah, Bleeding Through got a lot better, I guess” pressure. Hard to stand your ground against the overwhelming tide of mediocrity. Eventually, you lower yer standards, cuz the bar has been lowered so as to not challenge and lose fans in these desperate times, cuz otherwise, you’d only buy the two or three life-altering CDs a year, cuz the world is filled with decent opening bands, but not a lot to really get overly excited about.
So yeah, Music That Inspired The Movie isn’t going to show the world how it’s done, because the world is pretty darn content not challenging itself, yet casually complaining about it, because idle complaining is the more the Great American Pastime than baseball. No stats to follow, no team jerseys to buy, just the general sport of vague griping.
Admittedly, depending on your threshold for annoyance, some mash-ups on Music That Inspired The Movie will cross the line from “artistic clusterfuck” to “pointless, annoying noise.” Also, there are plenty of times “skittering breakbeat, with periodic snippet of the song throw in” is about the gist of what’s presented, but then again, listen to the original, observe its structure, and see if the verse, verse, chorus, breakdown formula doesn’t start to numb your mind as well. At least these version have Matrix echo, crackhead drumming, and baby gurgle layered amidst slaughterhouse fear, all “juxtaposed” and “making a statement” about shit while pounding and howling and crashing cars through plate glass windows.
There are grooves here, like grooves in the better songs of the metalcore genre, that transcend the actual notes. Ya don’t know why this or that groove sinks its teeth into you, makes your body move, your head nod, but it happens here, it happens in some of the originals, and if you can catch a groove, well, hang onto it, fucker.
Might as well just list the pairings, cuz that says more than a 500 word review could, if ya know jack shit about this stuff: Most Precious Blood vs. Alec Empire, Agnostic Front vs. Schizoid, Inside Out vs. Oktopus from Dalek, Killswitch Engage vs. Edgey, Terror vs. Enduser, Eighteen Visions vs. Otto Von Schirach, Gorilla Biscuits vs. Defragmentation, The Icarus Line vs. The End, V.O.D. vs. The Tyrant, Judge vs. Bill Youngman, Youth Of Today vs. Edgey, Bleeding Through vs. Hecate, Today Is The Day vs. darph/nadeR, Glassjaw vs. Enduser, Minor Threat vs. Holocaust.