Thursday, 4 December 2008

Heavy Metal Noise Pollution

Howdy, funketeers!

Time for more ill-considered, badly-worded, poorly-focused brain-tumblings about whatever thoughts have drifted cloudily across my blank, blue mind.

MTV2 has been repeating VH1's Heavy: The Story of Metal this week, and lodged in my usual routine of late starts (the last week of them), I've been drinking it in.

My dear dudes, it's hard to explain exactly how much I loathed metal during those dark, dark days before Nirvana, Mudhoney and that big Seattle sound showed them all the door to the back of my mind.

If I'd even been properly aware of preening cunts like Motley Crue ( I would've hated them. I wasn't. They never quite made it to Llanfair. You could see that kind of thing on late night TV on that show with the Phil Alexander guy with the daft bubbly perm who now edits MOJO, I think. I would watch it, because there was only ITV on that time of night. I vaguely remember Poison and WASP. I didn't get it, and not in the "hell, that's shocking! I'm shocked!" sense. I wasn't a buttfuck of a rasslin' fan from Lubbock, Texas; I was someone who lived withing a few hundred miles of sophisticated Europe. I think the hair metal was the US equivalent of the UK's glam stomp ten years before. Who could find them shocking? Embarrassing, maybe. And why were the guitars so fucking quiet? You could hear the hair-spray fritzing over them in the mix.

I couldn't understand why chicks got this, any chicks. I hadn't learned the idea that people like to party with people who look like they like to party. The party verb: worth its weight in tequila. My little sister was into G'n'R, of course, by the late eighties. She'd made the journey along well-worn pop trails from Wham! to Madonna to these painted, airbrushed hussies. I was only into house music, and only the stuff that was in the charts. I knew mostly only of what I didn't like. Indie, Madchester & J Peel were a matter of months away.

Now, of course, I get it. I hear about the corrupt excesses that Nikki Six and whomever got up to and admire their staunch commitment to chasing the whim. I see youngsters in t-shirts, elided clean of all their once-ironic context, jump around with guiltless abandon to the sounds of AC/DC in shiny bars, sounds that conjure the stained denim, adolescent biro drawings and stench of retarded creative ambition of my mid-teens on Anglesey. The more sensible of my peers moved deliberately into Satanic Sabbath waters or comics or maybe even did something worthwhile. I just sat it out and waited for something better to come along. There was the thrash option, (, but to be honest with you, my dearling(s), the hair didn't really look that different. And "Fuck You" doesn't really differ that much from "Fuck Me", does it? Grunge pulled it all in a much more human shape for me. Thanks, grunge. I appreciate it.

And how hilarious is the idea that Der Crue were doing anything to run against the grain of Eighties America? Roughly? Football pitch figure? Sure, they were demonised by a fomenting Christian right, but how much of a challenge was that? And MTV ate up those shiny, desperate little cunts like crunchy nut cornflakes, ate them up for breakfast, then spat them out when Kurt came along with those baby blues, dragging all those hard rockers with all the same drug problems as their predecessors but none of the kohl-lined enthusiasm. They still seem to be enjoying themselves for the most part, mind. Especially the withered geezers from Sabbath, Maiden, Priest and Motorhead. Excellent life choices.

Metal = party, and the sexual division of labour that ran down the middle (guys=look pretty and fuck, girls=look pretty and be fucked) now seems to have slipped into hip-hop anyway. Or is it just the kind of parties I attend these days?

If only the athritis would let me shake my weary head with wise disdain...

Your pal, Coc x

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