Rian’s Rants: Beating A Dead Horse, And That’s The Problem

I’ve mentioned before about my experience in the local scene, being in a metalcore band, the culture, the stereotypes, the drama and everything in between. I’ve also said that I’ve witnessed and contributed to the death of this genre. After being let go for a lack of common interests from my old band (at least to my knowledge), I started getting anxiety; literal physical anxiety when listening to metalcore, or any subgenre related to it. I was doing a show with another act as a fill in bass player, and afterwards I felt my chest start to cave in, I started to shake, getting hot and cold flashes to the point where I left the venue in a panic and went home. I was not intoxicated in any way shape or form; I had an attack because of the music I was hearing.

It’s almost three months later, and quite a few things have changed. I can listen to metal again without suffering from an anxiety attack, and what allowed me to be able to do that was the satirical works of YouTubers, Stevie T, Jared Dines and more specifically, Jarrod Alonge. I’ve never laughed so hard at music and sketches before, and the only reason why, is because I know how true everything they wrote and showed us is. Jarrod’s record, Beating A Dead Horse, came out this week and after listening to every song, and wiping tears of joy from my eyes, I quickly became inspired to write this rant you’re reading now.

I streamed the record on Jarrod’s YouTube channel and paid close attention to the lyrics. If you don’t know about this record yet, it is satire for the alternative/metal scene. Each track is it’s own subgenre from djent (don’t fucking get me started about if it’s a genre or not, cause I honestly don’t give a shit), to deathcore, pop punk, easycore, and hardcore, just to name a few. What makes this record stand out is that everything about it is professional and just musical cliché after cliché. Honestly, if I was still in that metalcore band, I would loath this record. Let me explain.

Jarrod wrote these songs with the intention of showing that everything that’s been done in this day and age of alternative music has been done already. These parodies are better than a lot of bands out there right now, and that should be interpreted as a warning. This isn’t satire; it’s a Public Service Announcement to stop ‘beating the dead horse,’ as the title so elegantly puts it. What makes this record even more of a wake up call is that it features vocalists and musicians performing in their respective styles based on each song. There was one thing that absolutely floored me and put the final nail in the coffin for this era – the era of synthesizers; breakdowns; the cliché Sturgis production; ‘thall’; overuse of the same lyrical content for specific genres from a sense of hope, to being the voice of a generation, to shaming women; fuckboys; and everything you’ve ever heard these past few years. The line that floored me so much was when Attack Attack!’s old vocalist/guitarist, Johnny Franck, said very clearly, “Oh my god, it’s 2015. This joke is so old, rehashed and retold. Crabcore died with me.” That right there is all the proof you need to know that this record should be the nail in the coffin for this era of music.

From one of the acts that started it all back in the early 2000’s, it’s a sign that music needs to go through another change. It’s time to bring back virtuosity, and a true sense of community besides aggressively commenting and shaming a total fucking stranger for liking a band that you don’t necessarily care for. It’s time to stop imitating the same shit over and over and over again! It’s time to wake up and see how easily we got sucked into this culture. I’ll always hold this era close to my heart because I wouldn’t be where I am today artistically and professionally with my career without it. But it’s time for something new.

Written by Rian Cunningham

About Rian Cunningham 40 Articles
Rian Cunningham has been singing since he was a toddler, and have since been in multiple musicals and bands alike. He's been studying music all his life, playing bass, singing, organizing shows, developing sharp management skills, and more. He's been active in developing himself as a musician over the last five years by exploring multiple genres of music from jazz, pop, and metal, all the way to rock and roll. He is currently enrolled in the Music Industry Arts & Performance program at Centennial College in Toronto for Bass Guitar, and he has received the Dean’s Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in his program for being the most dedicated student in forwarding his career as a professional musician and artist.

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