Wednesday 24 April 2013

Screamo Isn't Shit! But your version sure as hell might be!

So, this blog officially launches with daily updates and reviews in 1 week! I've also got a go on an exclusive interview coming up with a band that is on the 1st OMSBmp3 mix. I wonder if anyone is actually waiting to find out who the bands are on the mystery comp that can be downloaded in my "1st" post. In case some people are checking back and hoping for something, here's a very emotional rant from my saturated brain.

Do you like The Used? Do you like Black Veil Brides? Do you like Get Scared? Do you think that genre of music should be labeled as 'SCREAMO'? If you answered yes to the last question, I won't say anything mean or insulting. You are wrong, though. I've been livid regarding this topic for the last few years. When people say that they like screamo music and list the previous bands as examples, I generally keep my mouth shut - but I want to tell them that they don't have a fucking clue what they're talking about. I wrote the following piece to explain why this pisses me right off. (disclaimer: if you don't agree with classification systems regarding music, I totally get you and respect your opinion - so this rant isn't directed at you)
Alright, I need to talk about this because I'm tired of keeping my mouth shut about it AND I don't like being negative or trying to correct people all the time - but sometimes things need to be fought and argued for, while occasionally sounding like douchebag. I’m the douchebag, you may be one of the ignorant ‘screamo’ fools.

"Genre" is a word that exists to promote classification so people can distinguish the differences between things that belong to a particular group. In this case, we are talking about different musical genres. Country music has a general style, as does rap, heavy metal, hip-hop, etc.

Now, let's look at the historical context of the genre 'screamo'. Screamo (or skramz, as it is also known) first became documented in the mid to late 1990s to describe bands such as Saetia, Rites of Spring, Portraits of Past and Orchid. These bands played clean/jazzy parts combined with mathematical grindy/screaming. They played shows for less than 100 people (generally), were obscure, unknown, and were not vying for money, attention or popularity. The shows were intense, chaotic and generally quite short. For example, the band Ampere generally plays for about 15 minutes.

Okay, so we can agree that this style was generally accepted as 'screamo' during this time? Yes? Good.

Why, I ask you, would people use THE SAME TERM to describe a style of music that shares very little in common (in regards to the more basic genre of 'rock') with the original style? Do you see that using the same term for different styles of music fucks up the point of a classification system? If you just don't give a shit about classification in general - then I understand disregarding this, but I would then ask, why use a term like 'screamo' that is in itself a classification? If you don't believe in the classification of music, I get your argument and as long as you aren't a hypocrite and use terms like 'screamo/hardcore/punk/grind/metal' etc. to describe it. I use 'screamo' to describe a band that sounds similar to one of the previously mentioned bands in order for people to have an anchor regarding genres.

If something happens earlier, chronologically speaking of course, and it is given a name, the name was given and is used to be specific for that one thing, hence the point of classifying it. Let's talk about monkeys, as an example, not a parallel. 'Monkey' is a species classification. We can be more specific and single out one sub-species of moneys, a 'gorilla'. We all know what a gorilla is, what it looks like, the dangers associated with it, etc. That's the point of making the classification in the first place. Let's say, in the future, we find a new sub-species of monkey that are 10cm tall, pink and scream 'fuck my life' every 3 minutes. Would it make sense to call this particular sub-species of monkey a 'gorilla'? That would make discussing gorillas, whether they be the traditional gorillas or these new crazy-ass pink gorillas, rather confusing and difficult, wouldn’t it?

If we are going to be logical and rational in our use of words and the English language, please try to think of another name for this neo-screamo genre, because it's not 'screamo' historically. Stop confusing everyone. The fact that I'm not a fan of neo-screamo is irrelevant. Please post any educated arguments for or against this misuse of the term 'screamo', below. Unfortunately, one problem I've encountered with many neo-screamo fanatics is their inability to articulate an argument. Please prove me wrong, or, preferably, rethink the meaning of 'screamo' and apply the word properly in the future, considering its historical context.

Proper SCREAMO Community (a thinking person's screamo)


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