Do you recall the post I put up here a few days ago, about watching for adjectives and thinking critically? Well, a forum was pointed out to me within the last couple of days, by the eminent Goatlady, on the Western Front (Perth metal) website, that illustrates my point to an absolute tee. Better yet, the metal community itself was up in arms about it.
While I am incredibly tempted to replicate the comments on the forum here for the hilarity of you all, I won’t. Instead, I will just include some brief snippets.
Here is one paragraph from the review of the Western Front Metal Awards 2009 in question:
Perched amid a sea of black, copious amounts of bad and unkempt facial hair and just the hint of musky sweat and the stale yeasty aromas of booze could only come to represent one thing on this fine evening – true blue Australian metal. And the annual Western Front Metal Awards were certainly a worthy testament to this creed as leagues of those who hold allegiance to the dark art itself filled every crevice of the expansive venue for WA?s metal night-of nights.
Now, besides the unseemly picture that this paints of metalheads, just try to read this paragraph in its entirety. I read half a line and would have set fire to it, if it had been on paper, and if I’d had a suitable flame-thrower by my side. Having read and moderated Goatlady’s review, I know that the venue was not, in fact, filled to capacity – though there was a decent turn-out. I wouldn’t think of Claim the Throne (one of the performing bands) as being anywhere near ‘the dark art’ (had this writer gone to see Harry Potter before the show perhaps?), and the seriously overdrawn prose makes me retch.
Yes, it physically makes me ill. You can begin to imagine the strips of flesh I’d tear off this writer if she was on my team. Well, actually, she would have been fired by now. My personal opinion is that she seems to be a frustrated romance writer, so much does such similar prose abound in that genre.
But what pleased me enormously was that the WA metal crowd on the forum had much the same reaction that I did – proof entire that poor metal journalists don’t just do themselves a disservice, but they piss everybody else off as well.
Here is but a small sample:
Urgh god I don’t like that writing style at all. After the first sentence, that goes for waaaay too long, I’ve had enough already.
>That review is pretty bad! It says good things about the night, but its verbosity and bad metaphors clutter the fuck out >of it! (notice how I swore needlessly?)
well look who wrote it
Not enough substance, because if you took out all the bullshit metaphors and stuff, there really isnt much left other than who played and who won awards.
You fucking overwhelmingly elaborate the fuck out of a blackened night, oozing with the proverbial magnitude of metallic bliss. Oh [name], your breathtaking reviews of pustulence and horror, and language that fucking destroys the brutal extravagance, and blinds the fuck out of the awe-struck, iconcoclasm of doom.
^A whole lot of words, a whole lot of nothing. Such is the writing of [you’ll have to go to the original to see the name of the writer]
For more vitriol, head over to the Western Front forums. And please don’t miss the ode to the writer. It’s absolutely brilliant. I suspect that such gut-reactions to poor music journalism are far more effective than anything I could ever write in response.