Thursday, 16 July 2009
Of course, I don’t actually care if a bunch of dribbling mongos think I’m an idiot for preferring one band to another. Neither do I care that some people have no sense of humour and are thus incapable of spotting a joke when it’s blasted into their eyeballs from point blank range. But I do find it rather depressing that so many imbeciles are permitted to use the internet. Shouldn’t there be a rule against that? Couldn’t there be some sort of intelligence/humour test that people have to take before they’re allowed broadband? Couldn’t all the hopelessly humourless twattery that makes me want to go on a remorseless and deranged killing spree just be automatically deleted by some super-sophisticated robot? Because, really, I seldom meet people that stupid in real life. I don’t see why I should have to put up with them on here. It rather spoils things, don’t you think?
So you disagree with me. So what? I’m not your dad. Stop having a strop and chill out. This is heavy metal. We’re all friends here. Except you. You smell of piss.
Anyway, the good thing is that most people seemed to dig it. And they discussed it on Norwegian radio! Mental. What a crazy world we live in. Dio bless you all. Night night!
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Yeah, that’s right. You heard. Megadeth are better than Metallica. Always have been, always will be. It’s not a matter of opinion. It’s a fact. A big, shiny, copper-plated fact that I’m about to shove right up the arse of your consciousness, while shrieking the chorus from Train Of Consequences through my nose. I might even dye my hair ginger to emphasise the point. Yeah, that’s right. Megadeth are better than Metallica. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Just read it and shut up, you idiot.
- CLASSIC ALBUMS
Let’s do this using the powers of maths. Ignoring live albums and compilations (which I’ll get back to later on), Metallica have released a grand total of nine studio albums. The first four are, I think we can all agree, absolutely fucking awesome. Anyone who wants to argue the toss about that little nugget of truth can quietly leave the room with the sound of shame and hatred ringing in their ears of cloth. Die. We don’t need you. It gets a little bit trickier when we reach Metallica, the Black Album, but since it’s mainly really good and has Enter Sandman on it, I’ll happily ignore the fact that it was overproduced and nowhere near as good as the first four albums and accept that it’s a classic. So far, so awesome. What’s next? Load. Fucking rubbish. Reload. Also fucking rubbish. There are a handful of good songs in there somewhere, of course, but overall we’re talking a pair of crippled turkeys with cancerous beaks. So that leaves us with
Okay, so let’s have a little look at the Megadeth back catalogue. Again, they got off to a pretty heroic start. Killing Is My Business, Peace Sells, So Far So Good, Rust In Peace…every single one, a stone-cold classic. In fact, Killing Is My Business is easily the best of the debuts made by thrash metal’s Big Four. I love Kill ‘Em All more than I love most of my family, but it’s a lot less groundbreaking and only really hinted at what Metallica were capable of. The same goes for Fistful Of Metal and Show No Mercy. Killing Is My Business, on the other hand, ripped my pre-teen face off and used it as chamois leather on Mustaine’s offal-splattered muscle car (I may have imagined that last bit). After Rust In Peace, of course, Megadeth made Countdown To Extinction. I realise that there will be lots of people who think that Countdown was “too commercial” and “not thrash” and “lots of other stuff that only morons ever mention”. All these people are fools and should be killed. Meanwhile, Countdown To Extinction is a masterpiece. Agreed? Good. So, moving on to slightly more contentious records, what about Youthanasia? I didn’t like it that much at the time, but now I love it. Even so, it’s not quite on a par with the first five Megadeth records, so because I’m being fair (and because I know what happens at the end) I’ll discount it as a true classic. Cryptic Writings? Well, I really like it…perhaps a bit more than I should…and it has got Trust on it…but…but…no, you’re right. Not a classic. Risk? Fuck off. The World Needs A Hero? When did you last listen to it? The case rests. The System Has Failed? A false dawn, if you ask me. It sounded like a super-gnarly Megadeth album and had some amazing riffs and solos on it, but ultimately the songs just weren’t there. So that leaves United Abominations. I gave it 9/10 in Metal Hammer and I stand by that score. It’s a superb record; the perfect blend of Countdown-style shiny crunch and Youthanasia-style songy-songsville behaviour. It even has some proper, balls-out thrash bits, and Mustaine’s voice has never sounded better. So there you have it…even before I tell you that Endgame is the best Megadeth album since (at the very least) Countdown To Extinction, we’ve already reached the not-entirely-surprising conclusion that Megadeth have released SIX classic studio albums. That’s a win, bitches. A big, fat ginger win.
And don’t get me started on S&M and Garage Inc. Yeah, lots of fun for all the family, but they were a rich band’s indulgences during a fallow creative period. Great for the can’t-see-past-the-logo obsessive fans, but not all that amazing in the cold light of day. A day, incidentally, that has already revealed that Megadeth made more classic albums. Did you miss that bit? Never mind. Take it as read.
Dave Mustaine is a better guitarist than either James Hetfield or Kirk Hammett. He can do everything that either of them can do, but better. Can you imagine Kirk Hammett playing the main riff from Tornado Of Souls? He’d break his fingers and choke on his drugs. And don’t think for a minute that I’m only considering Mustaine’s skills in this watertight argument of mine. Oh no. Looking back through the history of Megadeth, it’s pretty obvious that every last significant member of the band has been a stone-cold face-ripper with chops the size of
Regardless of what people might say when they’re lost in the moment, pissed up on booze and seconds away from windmilling like crazed bitches from
Meanwhile, Mustaine’s lyrics remain as sharp and snotty as ever. I still don’t agree with his politics or his religious views, but the man writes lyrics that (a) suit the music perfectly, (b) make sense out of context, so that when you read them on the CD booklet, you don’t feel sorry for the poor sod that wrote them. On the new album, he sings about dangerous motor sports, political corruption, medieval torture devices and battles from Lord Of The Rings. Dave Mustaine is awesome. James Hetfield is also awesome, but sometimes his lyrics suck.
On the one and only time that Megadeth tried to reinvent themselves, it went horribly wrong. You’ve probably either never heard Risk or, like me, you’ve blanked it from your mind as if it was an unfortunate incident involving genitals and cutlery that occurred during a tentative masturbatory exploration in the distant past. That’s YOU, incidentally. Not me. I’m a good Christian boy. Anyway, the point is that Risk is largely hideous and Megadeth were never supposed to be a poppy band with dance-style remixes and radio-friendly choruses (even though they frequently do the latter perfectly well in a 100% metal context). The great thing is that Mustaine knew that Risk was a mistake and has since acknowledged the fact. The whole reason his band survived at all was that he realised that everything was going tits up and that other people were interfering in his vision of what Megadeth should be. He told everyone else to fuck off, grabbed the reins and has been fully in charge ever since. That’ll explain the increasingly brilliant records and complete lack of reality TV-style documentary films. Metallica, on the other hand, went a bit peculiar after the Black Album made them inordinately rich and famous. Lars and Kirk started hoovering up mountains of cocaine and suddenly decided that they it would be a good idea to start playing country rock tunes, ripping off Corrosion Of Conformity and pretending to be gay. Then they thought it would be awesome to record a live album with an orchestra. Then they thought it would be awesome to make an album with songs written by committee and with no guitar solos. They were wrong about all these things and James Hetfield knew it, but for the most part he was too busy necking vodka and cudgelling bears to death in the woods to do anything about it. Dave Mustaine has had his fair share of problems too, but he never started wearing eyeliner or putting spunk on his album covers.
- ALBUM COVERS
Speaking of which, many of Megadeth’s album covers were created by Ed Repka. He rules. Mustaine doesn’t like him very much anymore, but the point still stands. Even the recent Megadeth album covers are okay. Metallica, it seems almost unnecessary to point out, have only had one decent album cover since …And Justice For All, and that was for an album that sounds like it was recorded inside Bob Rock’s arse and no one will admit to liking it. I don’t know what the new Megadeth album will have on its cover, but I’m willing to bet at least one of my testicles that it will be better than a coffin-cum-fanny combination.
I went to see Metallica for the first time in 1988 at the Hammersmith Odeon, on the …And Justice For All world tour.
Dave Mustaine invented thrash. Fact. All the best songs on Kill ‘Em All were his. Listen to Killing Is My Business and you’ll hear the real birth of thrash/speed metal. Listen to Kill ‘Em All and you’ll hear the bit just before the birth of thrash metal…the bit where heavy metal bands sped up a bit and took more speed to assist with the speeding up thing. It was all Mustaine’s idea. Seriously. That’s why Megadeth are still a thrash metal band. Because that’s what he does. I’m not sure that Metallica are entirely sure what they are these days. Either way, Dave Mustaine invented thrash. Factimundo. Don’t agree? Too bad. Dave Mustaine invented thrash.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of therapy. I had some once. Sorted me right out. Well, mainly. I still kill stray dogs, but otherwise I’m fine. The thing is, though, that I’m not in a heavy metal band with a huge worldwide fan base. Not entirely sure what went wrong there, to be honest. I feel a bit cheated. Still, fame and fortune has its drawbacks too, doesn’t it? For instance, you might be so incalculably wealthy and dazzled by the bright lights of stardom that you decide that it would be a totally rad idea to film the recording of your new album, including every last bit of excruciatingly personal behind-the-scenes minutiae, and then turn it into a major motion picture! Well, we’ve all done it! Or, rather, we fucking well haven’t. I’ve seen Some Kind Of Monster now. I put it off for about two years because I found the whole idea a bit traumatic, but in the end I sat through the whole thing and found it moderately enjoyable. The problem is that I don’t feel I’ve gained anything as a fan of Metallica by learning that they employed a therapist to help them “work through” their interpersonal problems. After years of touring and being forced to spend time with each other, it makes perfect sense that Metallica might have one or two issues to thrash out behind closed doors but why, in the name of Jesus H. Corbett and all his equally non-existent disciples, would you want to show the whole world? It’s nothing to be ashamed of, the therapy thing, but surely it wouldn’t hurt to maintain a teensy bit of mystique and arcane charm. I already knew that James Hetfield was a tormented soul, that Lars Ulrich was a gobby pain in the arse and that I wouldn’t pick Kirk Hammett for my pub quiz team any time soon, but to have it rammed down my spasm-plagued gullet in such an unapologetic manner just seems a little bit too much.
Now as you probably know, Dave Mustaine is a long way from being blameless in the old drug-munching psycho department. Sacked from Metallica for being a rowdy drunk with poor table manners, he spent the next decade shoving half of
Dave Mustaine still has long hair. So does everyone else in his band. That is all.
Like everyone else, I was a little bit thrilled when I heard Death Magnetic for the first time. Even though I really didn’t mind
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
I’m full of hate, me. I might seem quite cheery and amenable in person, but beneath the surface boils a black and hissing swamp of purest vitriol. If love and hate are two sides of the same coin, then someone slipped me one of those joke coins with two identical sides. Only I don’t get to play practical jokes with it, or con people out of their cash. No, I get to mistake it for a chocolate coin and I choke on it every day, relentlessly, until my throat is bleeding and my eyes are sticking out on stalks like a rubbish alien from some crappy sci-fi movie that I really, really despise because 90 per cent of everything that comes out of Hollywood is vapid, insulting and designed to make me REALLY FUCKING ANGRY. Fuck you and ironic ooh-isn’t-Arnie-brilliant post-modern behaviour. No, he isn’t. He’s a shit actor and a shit politician. Apart from the first Terminator film, he’s a massive bag of dick. Die in pain. And don’t pull a funny face and say ‘Get to the choppaaaaaah!’ unless you want me to club you to death. You and Arnocorps and that bloke from As I Lay Dying can all eat a bowl of hot wank and drown in your own screams. And don’t get me started on The Lost Boys. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!
So, yeah. I’m full of hate. And nothing gets me going more than people who spoil music – and metal in particular, naturally enough – for me. Why you can’t all just shut the fuck up and let me enjoy myself in peace? No, you can’t, can you? You have to bother me with your "opinions" and your illiteracy and your utter lack of humour and intelligence and joy.
But I’m an equal opportunities hater. I don’t want anyone to miss out and I don’t want anyone to be wrongly forced into the wrong subset of my Venn diagram of hatred. So here’s a list of the main culprits; a little guide, if you will, to the people that are going to get smashed with hammers when I eventually get round to taking over the world. Oh yeah. You better be ready to grovel, fuckface.
Yeah, I know. I was a teenager once. I bet I was incredibly fucking annoying too. I had a rubbish haircut and appalling dress sense – no change there, then, you say? Fuck you! – and probably thought I was hilarious, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and far smarter than I actually was. But even in my worst moments, when I was little more than big gob, a baggy t-shirt and an irritatingly obstinate erection, I was never anywhere near as vacuous, tedious and insulting as the bumbling fuckwits that pass for teenagers these days. What’s wrong with these people? They can’t speak properly, they certainly can’t write their own language to any meaningful degree and, worst of all, they don’t have any interest in anything other than themselves. Political views (crass or otherwise)? Forget it. Insightful judgements on music/art/cinema/telly/culture in general? Get to fuck. An unhealthy interest in becoming “famous”, preferably after getting a degree in media studies at some god-awful former polytechnic? Ooh, yes please!! And do you think you could be unbearably smug and vain at the same time? Awesome. Thanks ever so much. And don’t forget to have a stupid-looking mobile phone, ugly trainers and a totally pointless and self-defeating "attitude" that makes you look, sound and smell five years younger than you are. You wouldn’t be anywhere near as awesome without that. You dreadful waste of skin and oxygen.
And yeah, I know this makes me sound like a moaning old cunt. That’s because I am a moaning old cunt. Your parents were right. Young people today know fuck all. Let’s kill them all and start again. Apart from my kids, obviously. Touch them and I’ll stab you.
PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET
Who invented the internet? Was it Al Gore? I don’t suppose it matters. They’re going to Hell anyway. Or at least they would if it existed. Sometimes being an atheist can be really depressing. But compared to spending five minutes on an internet forum, a crushing sense of existential despair is like a walk in the park followed by a strenuous wank in a bath full of cash and tits. It’s not just that the internet has enabled every dim-witted arsebag on the planet to have a “voice” – these blogs are brilliant, aren’t they? Really rewarding…and free too! – thus cluttering up cyberspace and MY EYEBALLS with an endless stream of intellectually crippled diarrhoea…it’s also the fact that the vast majority of those people think it’s also absolutely fine to form a huge, global community dedicated solely to winding me up and making me want to commit acts of genocide while jabbing myself in the eye with a biro. If I were to list all the things about internet waffle that annoy me, I’d be here all day and so would you. Except you’d probably be too busy LAUGHING OUT LOUD. Yeah, that’s right, the world is stuffed to the clagnuts with people laughing out loud in front of their monitors. Bellowing their faces off, most of them. It’s deafening. I really wish I could be there to witness it first hand because, at the risk of sounding a little bit cynical, I’m not entirely convinced that anyone is actually laughing at all, out loud or otherwise. I don’t mind people typing ‘lol’ if it’s done with irony. Like voting for the Liberal Democrats or drinking Dr. Pepper, it’s all in good fun and no one goes to prison. But if you’re a grown man or woman and you have EVER typed ‘lol’ or ‘rofl’ or, Christ preserve us, ‘lmao’ in any context other than as a joke or as a parting display of defiance on your own death warrant then you are personally and directly responsible for my blood pressure being “slightly high” and I will now dedicate my life to ensuring that you never get to take a shit at your leisure again. I will install an alarm system in your bathroom if necessary. You’ll be halfway through and BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Shittus interruptus!!! LAUGH OUT FUCKING LOUD!!!
Of course, I could be overreacting.
Another thing about the internet that makes me want to kill you is the way it allows people to pretend that they don’t like or enjoy anything. It’s not “cool” to be passionate or enthusiastic about music anymore. In fact, any kind of outward display of excitement inspired by a new band or a new album or even A-Ha’s ‘Manhattan Skyline’ (which is bitching, by the way) is nearly always greeted by online twits and real life dickheads alike with a look of utter contempt. The reason? Again, the world is full of idiots and idiots, bless their shrivelled souls, consistently confuse passion with naivety and think that the only way to maintain a façade of intellectual fortitude is to sigh witheringly and pretend that nothing, no matter how self-evidently awesome it might (subjectively) be, is anywhere near as good as the stuff that they used to like…you know, “back in the day”. I also hate the phrase “back in the day”. You’re 25. There is no “day”. Throw yourself in front of a train. Thanks.
Cynicism is dull. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy scepticism, particularly when it comes to politics, religion or those pathetic numpties that think that man has never actually been to the moon – Look at the shadows! They’re all wrong!! No, YOU’RE all wrong! HAHAHAHA! – but cynicism…joyless and relentlessly non-creative sneering at everything, just for the sheer brain-flattening hell of it…is dull, dull, dull. Jumping to the moronic conclusion that every band on the planet is desperate to make millions of dollars by deliberately making awful music, primarily to offend your delicate sensibilities, might make for a few chuckles when you and your dismal friends are congratulating each other on how much more awesome you are compared to, you know, “ordinary” folk, but it’s not actually necessary. Or helpful. Or worthwhile. Or anything other than the behaviour of an utter shitcunt. Why not just listen to what you like and let other people do the same? I can’t bear
PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE MUSIC
It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally I meet people who “aren’t really into music that much”. Sorry. I don’t get it. You’re making my brain hurt. Take this pill. You’ll sleep for a long time and the rest of us will stop feeling creeped out. Cheers.
Oh sweet swivelling Christ on a moped. This is where I start to feel clots forming on my brain.
The music industry is full of emaciated wankers in awful clothes who think that they’re way cooler than me. That’s fair enough. They probably are cooler than me in the sense that they’re more likely to be allowed into trendy night clubs and they’re more likely to present T4 and they’re more likely to die lonely and alone in a pile of lacerated septums and parrot shit. But I don’t really aspire to that kind of “cool” anyway. I’m quite a long way past giving a shit, to be honest. I have two kids, a beer gut and all the CDs I can eat. I am not, as common parlance would have it, bothered. But what I really can’t tolerate is people who hover around on the fringes of the metal scene with a look of haughty superiority on their faces. People who think they’re “above” heavy metal. People who used to like it but “grew out of it”. People who only listen to the small handful of metal bands that are broadly considered to be arty. People who like
I’ll give you two examples. There’s a guitarist in a well known (and painfully hip) metal band who I’ve interviewed a couple of times over the phone. He doesn’t really like metal and always makes a point of reminding me that he doesn’t particularly like his band being associated with it, even though every single fucking tour they’ve ever done has been with other (much less hip) metal bands and he wouldn’t have a career or a fan base without the metal scene and its followers. He is, to put it mildly, a tit. In truth, his taste in music and mine are eerily similar (up to a point). Although I write about metal for a living, I’m a huge fan of jazz and progressive rock and hip-hop and obscure punk bands and blues and reggae and avant-garde classical music and lots of other mind-bending stuff. The difference is that I don’t expect a fucking medal for being such an erudite fellow and I don’t think that I am more sophisticated or mature than the average Slayer fan. I probably am, to be fair, but I don’t really care. Some of my closest friends have awful taste in music. I can live with that, just as they can live with the fact that they find my political views preposterous. Ultimately, there’s really no need to be an arrogant, hipster prick. So stop it.
Second example…a supposed friend of mine is currently playing in band that have a major label deal. They’re getting a decent amount of media attention and will probably do quite well, despite being 100 per cent contrived and bit wanky. Whatever. This guy recently did an interview during which he claimed, somewhat ludicrously, that he has “forgotten more about metal than Metal Hammer”. Firstly, I’ve know this guy for years. He doesn’t know that much about metal. He’s a part-timer and a bit of a poser. Secondly, by trying to imply that he’s a proper old school metal fan (whatever that means) and bemoaning the lack of proper old school metal bands, he reveals himself to be a bit of a cock. There are literally hundreds of bands around at the moment playing exactly the kind of music that he doesn’t think exists anymore. Furthermore, most of those bands receive coverage in Metal Hammer. That’s ignorance on a hideous scale, particularly given that he’s trying to set himself up as some kind of arbiter of good metal taste. That’s the problem with deciding that you’re too cool to hang around with actual metal fans. I don’t care what kind of music you’re into. If you’re more concerned with being cool than with joining in the fun and being honest and humble, then go fuck yourself and the trend you rode in on. And get some self-awareness while you’re at it.
Ooh, I feel much better now. Don’t forget, kids. It’s never too late to HATE HATE HATE!
Lots of love,