Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Kill Your Idols - From Championship to Competition CD Review

Back when I used to listen only to metal, I had a cartoon lampooning the punk genre taped up on the wall in my room. In this cartoon, a drummer and a guitarist/vocalist are getting ready to put on their first concert, but they’ve never actually played anything before and got the gig on accident. The vocalist turns to the drummer and asks what he should do. The drummer looks back at him and says, “I don’t know, just play really fast and yell into the mic. They’ll think we’re a hardcore band and love us.”

Since those days, my tastes have expanded to encompass the gamut of musical genres, but I still think there is a lot of truth to the words in that cartoon. As much as I enjoy some hardcore bands, it is easily one of the least evolving genres of heavy music. It’s often hard to tell the difference between a hardcore band from 1990 and 2005 because there has been virtually no change to the dominant style of the genre. Some will argue that this is hardcore’s strength, yet I feel it is what is holding the genre back.

Kill Your Idols could just as easily have released this disc in 1990 as they could have today. There is absolutely nothing new brought to the musical table, which in most cases would relegate a band to obscurity, yet for some reason this lack of musical innovation will be heralded as an astounding success by the hardcore set. It’s quite apparent that the point of being a hardcore band is to see how little you can change over time, and Kill Your Idols has definitely not done anything new with the hardcore template on this release.

Kill Your Idols does exactly what every other hardcore band in their lineage have done before them. They play one and a half to two and a half minute songs. They keep the tempo fast. They spit out yelled vocals in a rapid fire manner. They have distorted, quick paced chord progressions and hammering drums. In essences they also have nothing original to call their own. So I suppose if you’re a hardcore nut this cd is another perfect release to add to your collection, but if you want innovation, evolution, and something that sounds distinct from its peers, then look elsewhere because Kill Your Idols does none of these things.

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