Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ironically Metal

Given that we here at Death Race are increasingly straddling (with all the subtlety of a Cadel Evans attack) the subgenres of metal and punk rock, we find it difficult not to compare the differing views espoused by both groups.

One thing that comes up a lot though is the view within the punk community that metal fans are a bunch of glue sniffing, doltish people with no capacity for irony or subtlety. Personal offence aside, and while i do admit that permanent markers do smell nice, i think this is a little unfair.

When punks refer to metal as lacking in irony, they always pick out the obvious choices. Maiden, Priest, Twisted Sister. It's all big hair and big makeup. What punks forget is that this is just a small subset of metal.

If Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' and Slayer's 'Angel of Death' isn't dripping in ironic sentiment, i'll eat my glue pot.

But perhaps what makes me most uncomfortable is the underlying implication in metal heads being described as slow and doltish, glue sniffers and fuck ups or, to put it another way, working class.

Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys makes the point that, there is a reason why, amongst the poorer countries in the world, especially in South America, punk is seen as aloof and abstract, and death metal is considered the sound that speaks to the kids. Kids don't have time to ponder over animal rights, anarchic philosophies and the evils of large corperations when all they see around them is death and decay.

The real pity here is that, given that punk so often has its heart in the right place, its message is undermined by its inability to communicate with those who stand to benefit the most from its message.

However, whatever punks attributes, i think metal deserves more accolades than it receives in how it shapes and influences millions of peoples lives. If some kid gets a kick out of Sepultura, rather than the Dead Kennedys, then this is all to the good. Inspiration to lead a better life can come from any music, so long as the urge to think for oneself is there.

I think it's there in metal too. Ideally, if we could just combine metal and punk it would al....

wait a minute...

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