Trying To Get To You

Monday, November 13, 2006

Stop The Presses - I Like A Metal Record!

I've never been a metal fan. Despite growing up in the heyday of metal in the 80's, it just was never something I could get into. I had friends in ninth grade that were huge Iron Maiden fans - they had the Maiden mascot Eddie painted on the back of their jean jackets, but I was way too "mature" (i.e., far more serious than I should have been at that age) to get into it. Yeah, I loved Zeppelin, but by 1984, Zeppelin wasn't even considered metal anymore. I grew to like Metallica a whole lot, but I was way behind the curve on them - the first time I saw them was when the Black Album came out. Even when I made a concerted effort to "understand" metal in my early 20's, I couldn't get through half of the first Black Sabbath record. At my most arrogant, I decided that metal was "stupid music made by stupid people for stupid people." Lovely, huh? (I apologize for that comment.)

Lyrically I could never get into it; so many of the lyrics felt like these weird Dungeons and Dragaons fantasies that I couldn't relate to at all. And while the playing was often technically excellent, it always felt like some sort of weird homo-erotic wank off to me - a bunch of guys showing off for each other.

So when I started reading the near universal praise for the new Mastodon record, my curiosity was piqued. I finally got the record this weekend and wow, I actually really like it! (I feel like Mikey from the Life cereal commercial.) I can't discern the lyrics much at all, and from the titles of the tracks ("Capillarean Crest," "Colony Of Birchmen") I probably don't need to - but man, the playing is great. It's been a while since I've heard shredding guitar that wasn't either totally cliche or done ironically. Pretty astounding drumming as well. I'm not going to pretend I can write about it or that I even really understand it - I just like it. These guys play it like they mean it.

Download: "Sleeping Giant"
Buy It At Amazon

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