metal sucks

There’s nothing wrong with modern metal that a little dose of raw wouldn’t fix. Modern metal/hardcore/metalcore/whatever is some of the most homogenized and sanitized music ever created. Digital recording techniques have literally sucked the life right out of hard rock music and, frankly, I’d rather listen to Garth Brooks than anything released in the last 5 years.

(in case anyone forgot what real music sounds like, and where all the bands YOU like got their sound…)


Days From Evil

Now that the album is nearing its entree into the world of the listening public, what does it sound like? Interested parties might check out and give a listen. Send us your feedback. We’d love to hear what you think, not just whether you loved it or hated it, but why. What does it remind you of? Is it hopeless derivative, or a classic sound approached from a different mindset (which is what we like to think!)?

How would Jagged Spiral best describe its sound? Tongue firmly in cheek, we often refer to it as “sloppy metal” or “Northern Rock.” It’s not a raging inferno, but it’s not Nickelback. It’s…Jagged.

Our new material displays its roots in a less abstract fashion, so all of this might make more sense after hearing “Lamented.”

Josh 2.0 is live!

Thanks to Conrad’s tireless work (the guy even worked through lunch breaks…) the new site is up and running. We’ve changed the logo and color scheme – the overall look, really – and it looks polished, pro and rock n roll.

You’ll notice in the corner a countdown to the release of the first track, “Forced Entry.” Yes, even though we planned on releasing the album *last* halloween, we’ve decided to stretch out the release even *further*…one track at a time. 😉

It’ll be worth the wait. We promise. =)


Metallica Again

I liked Conrad's post below, and he's absolutely right: replacing Metallica with some guys who win a reality TV contest and take on the mantle would at this point make absolutely no difference. Hell, if you wanted to listen to new Metallica tunes that don't suck pick up a Trivium album!

Every band wants to “get back to their roots.” And they mean it, they do. They're being perfectly honest. The problem is it's *impossible*for metal bands to return to their roots. They've moved on to a new place in their lives, and so have their fans. They're not scruffy, angry middle-class kids anymore; they're depressed, well-dressed middle-class parents and office workers, trying to figure out what the fuck it all means.

The power of bands like Metallica is irrevocably linked to adolescence and testosterone. It's nigh on impossible to recapture that youthful dream we had when we first heard “…And Justice For All.” The best we can hope for is some songs that aren't godawful, but I suspect that most people just don't give a shit anymore. If I wanna listen to Metallica I'll fire up “Ride the Lightning” or “Master of Puppets” and, just for a fleeting second, feel 15 again. And that's enough. Because pretty soon the real world is going to intrude, and I'll go back to listening to music that means something to me *right now*, at this point in my life.

Just for perspective, there's still a big need for heavy music, it's just that now it's being filled by Hatebreed and Slipknot. They're are this generation's Slayer and Metallica, respectively. And there's still a genuine underground too, in which I still maintain a not insignificant interest.


Sunny Day Real Estate

I think, had I never had the pleasure of hearing them before I knew anything about them, I might not like Sunny Day Real Estate. For instance, there’s this, from their Myspace page: “Around this time, they decided to maintain secrecy about themselves and their music, releasing only one photograph to the public and conducting only one interview; they also never played as a full band in the state of California.” Factor in the numerous, slightly pretentious name changes (‘Thief Steal Me A Peach’?!) and you have all the makings of emo silliness. And we all know how I and the band feel about emo.

Alas, this never happened…and much to my benefit. You see, Sunny Day Real Estate is amazing. Fantastic, even. You see, call it what you want, SDRE played some of the most innovative music ever created. Most called it “emo”, and the members all have punk/hardcore pedigrees, but it is as far removed from today’s faux-angsty, whiny suburban pseudo-punk/metal as Godsmack is from Kreator. It’s just not the same, and it deserves to be judged on its own merits.

I’ll grant that some of the “Diary” material is a stretch for metallized ears, even my own. In the same way, some of “The Rising Tide” is a stretch for ears raised on a diet of sanctimonious punk and hardcore. Fine.

It’s just that, well, it’s so…different. Jeremy Enigk can *sing* man, and it’s one of those times when all these disparate elements come together to make music that is neither punk nor metal nor pop, but manages to be all of them at once. In a certain sense, they remind me of Type O Negative. The hooks are huge, but aren’t apparent right away, like “You give love a band name” or something would be.

You know? Fuck, I don’t! =)


Jagged Spiral vs Home Construction Project

Q: What do you get when you put a professional sheet metal worker, a chef and a guy who works with computers (and plays bass, no less) together in a basement on a wall-framing project?

A: One guy who knows what he’s doing and two hilariously inept musicians with beer and a nail gun. They say the guy who owned the house before you was an idiot, but at least Colin can blame it on us.

Pictures hopefully to come.



Metal needs a facelift. Bands are so overproduced, their music so paint-by-numbers that it’s effectively unlistenable. The Gothenburg sound has been co-opted by whiny mallcore bands who have the audacity to refer to themselves as “punk.” Converge may have been interesting at first, but they managed to produce a sea of bands cranking out jagged, atonal bleatings that I hesitate to call music, let alone “hardcore.” Mastodon…well, I may be coming around to Mastodon, but it’s hard to say yet. Nothing they do comes out and grabs me the way I’d like it to, but that might require repeated listening. You don’t get rennaissance vihuela music right away, either…

Where are the good bands? I mentioned Nasum in my last post. They’re good, but their frontman died in that big Tsunami (bummerville) so we’re left with their legacy. I do like the new Slipknot album, and feel they’re sometimes unfairly lumped into the mallcore thing. I like the new Dissection, but that’s a band with another dead frontman.

You know who is good? Amon Amarth. And the new Machine Head record.


Death Metal

Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore is recommended reading for anyone who found themselves listening to a lot of Morbid Angel and Deicide while teenagers and scaring the hell out of their parents (like me.) Oh, how I miss those days…

Now, though…I find death metal obscenely boring. Sure, I’ve been listening to a lot of Morbid Angel lately, but I find death metal to be largely unmoving, especially the new stuff. Death metal is a teenage thing, and will always be a teenage thing. I’m okay with that.

It’s not like I’m not listening to heavy music: quite the opposite, actually. I’ve never been more interested in heavy music than I am now. The new school grind bands, like Nasum and Pig Destroyer, absolutely fucking RULE. Grand Magus is the new king of doom, and the newest (and sadly, last) Dissection record is unstoppable. Arch Enemy, Melechesh, anything from Rise Above records…yes, I’ll take it all.

But death metal…death metal kind of sucks, you know? Akercocke is okay, Incantation has a fierce new album out, and the new Lost Soul is pretty awesome. But on whole, I prefer the old stuff: Entombed, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, At The Gates. You know, the shit. Where else can it go, really?