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Feature: Crunkcore, whats the dillio?

Every few years, music undergoes a certain revolution within itself, with new genres spawning out of moribund scenes. In theory, such a musical metamorphosis keeps the business alive, as music apparently stays fresh, and innovative.

Change though, is something that doesn't go unnoticed. Imagine a throwback to the times of old: dodgy haircuts, dodgy music, and dodgy dresscode. Welcome to the years of punk. Despite being created by the industries big-wigs, people were genuinely concerned by this, at the time, apparently threatening revolution. Mr Rotten, was practically Lenin himself in the eye of parents, terrified by his antics and unashamed decadence.

Throughout musical history, change has often been greeted with apprehension and hostility. Conservative elders were disgusted by Elvis Presley's hip swinging, and shocked by the Sex Pistol's anarchism. To put this into a contemporary context, you only have to look at the recent guffaws of the mainstream media over the 'emo' endemic. The Daily Mail issued an 'Emo cult warning for parents,' who expressed their concern in equal measure.

When music fails to conform to the mainstream, scrupulous unpicking of these genres lead to ultimate demonisation, and thats when they make the headlines. Marilyn Manson, a well educated individual, was famously blamed for the Columbine shootings in America, his music apparently inciting the killers into a murderous frenzy, or something equally as ludicrous, to similar effect.

Being relatively young, and involved with music, I actively seek to disassociate with the Conservative elders previously mentioned. Such inhibitions seek only to impose boundaries, consequently music as an art form, will seek to stretch these boundaries, and continually persevere in the stretching of previous limits. In theory, youthful, open minded liberalism can only benefit, as new generations reap the rewards of increasingly blurred genres, and new limits. The naivety of such mindset though, is that anything over a period of time becomes acceptable.

The alternative music scene, despite housing the chief innovators, partly aids to its own demonisation. Lyrical thematics, are increasingly disturbed, demonstrated through Annotations Of An Autopsy, who attempt to pass off graphic and inappropriate descriptions as profound metaphors with much deeper meanings.

This feeble attempt should be frowned upon, and disregarded as a mere exception in the greater scheme of trends.

Something though, has caused me to doubt my own liberal ethics in relation to musical evolution.

For those involved in the industry, it's been hard to ignore the rapid growth of a new genre. Racking up myspace plays in their millions, this new genre is championing a new message to the kids, and that message is being heard. Over, and over again. And the message?

'Let's get freaky now. Let's get fucking freaky now.'

Obviously, the words of bands ala The Sex Pistols scarcely contained recognisable substance, but this new effort, from New Mexico's 'BrokenCYDE' is so devoid of anything meaningful whatsoever, it's draining, even to type. Perhaps the band should be congratulated on penning such incomprehensible waffle, or perhaps, I'm getting cynical in my awfully old age. Where the previously mentioned lyrics of Annotations Of An Autopsy seek to circumvent the rules, and impose a glossy facade over what in reality is nugatory, BrokenCYDE bathe in the glorious simplicity of their lyrics. What do they mean? What do they represent? In a word, nothing.

BrokenCYDE though, can rest assured that they are not alone in conveying an utterly meaningless message to the unsuspecting masses, and arguably, thats the scary thing about it. This crossover genre, christened 'Crunkcore' is the illicit lovechild of two previously incompatible fields,'Crunk' (previously from the Hip Hop scene) and 'screamo,' which is represented through 'core' in the genres name, and hey, it sounds cool, doesn't it?

To say Crunkcore as a scene represents the demise of modern music as a whole, would prove to be a wholly ungrounded comment. This new genre remains in its infancy, and has yet to receive its impending grilling from the usual mainstream media suspects, who will, when they catch whiff of this new hybrid, hail it as the modern musical equivalent of the Heavens Gate massacre.

Something Crunkcore does represent however, is perhaps when the boundaries have been pushed too far, in the wrong direction. Through no fault of the bands own (I'm sure they are all lovely people) they find themselves fronting a superficial scene, campaigning for...nothing. I hasten to add, that not all music has to be political in order to gain relevance, yet, these new bands convey absolutely nothing lyrically, no plot, no narrative, and form the perfect backdrop for emptiness.

Dodgy haircuts, dodgy music, and dodgy dresscode. It all sounds rather familiar doesn't it. It seems inconceivable that Crunkcore will stand the test of time, and in reality, it almost certainly won't. The difference this time is, I am the one who founds myself intrigued by the profound lack of anything represented by this genre, not my elders. Equally, several high profile band members, predominately Buddy, from Senses Fail, and to a lesser extent, Soupy from The Wonder Years, have already felt the need to speak out and condemn this new beast. It's clear the knives are already out, as alongside these statements, are petitions to prevent BrokenCYDE playing the iconic Warped Tour. If they're out to gripe, confuse and offend, then those at the forefront of this scene are certainly succeeding (Breathe Caroline, Hollywood Undead, to name a few).

Such subsequent music blandless is perhaps most telling of the society as a whole. Maybe there really is nothing to speak out about, maybe the world is perfect. Or, just maybe in times of economic instability the kids know better than everyone else.

Why worry, when you can be getting freaky? On second thoughts...

Chris Powers

Alter The Press!