So, maybe I made a comment today that excited you, made you want to send me death threats or actually feel bad for making - but no. Oh no. I've stated this fact many times before, and I will forever stick by it.
Now, without sounding too old for many of you, or hipster-hysterical to most of you, I remember the first time I heard Underoath. I hated it. The first time I heard Norma Jean. I hated it. Then there were some songs that really lured me in. Before I knew it, I bought Bless the Martyr and The Changing of Times. It took some time to appreciate both of them. So when Dallas Taylor left, I was told things would be okay, since the screamer for This Runs Through would be taking over. What a phenomenal EP that was when I heard it.
There was no substance to it. It felt forced. As for Norma Jean's follow-up, I didn't get it. I just did not get it. And so on and so on this trend went on until someone shot some sense into me about O'God the Aftermath and Underoath regained respect back with Define the Great Line. These were bands moving forward as others were merely imitating. It's just not the hardcore scene, which has diced itself into too many stupid categories I can't begin to catch up, it's every genre and every cluster of bands. While many are imitating, others are challenging each other. They're feeding off of each move forward. It would be simple to recreate a money grubbing sound to turn a buck, but when you write the same album three times in a row, people will move on to something else.
Davison was right in what he said in our interview. It's not just about the music like many of these bands started out with, it's about a damn photograph or shitty neon t-shirts. Something was lost between quick label signs complained about from the majors - indies were now using their whoring game. Myspace gave everyone a face and 100,000 friends they've never interacted with. Tours were thrown together to turn a dime and thinned the sound of their line-ups into mere costume and act one, two, and three changes.
Unfortunately, They're Only Chasing Safety is one of the blueprints for the thereafter and aftermath we see today. As I bash such a beloved shit-hole of an album, I also commend the band for pressing on and constantly fighting an uphill battle to be creative and succeed by doing it in both their rabid fanbase and molding of sound. Bands like Norma Jean and The Chariot have also exerted themselves to this stance. As I listened to Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child a few weeks ago on the way to work, I could pick out some cheesy breakdowns - but bare boned and without synth-layers and high kicks. It was intense, and sure, there were some choreographed stances and stage presence to an extent - but damn if it didn't felt real.
I haven't felt that from a lot of these bands that lay claim to their influences. I wonder why?