Your Scene Sucks

Your Scene Sucks

Various Artists


It is tempting to simply write: what this compilation’s title opines is like the pot calling the kettle black. Yet, that would be a little too trite and over-simplified, however accurate it may be. While managing not to be lumped in with the recent proliferation of mall-core and the schmaltzy rot packaged as emo, the twenty-seven bands on Your Scene Sucks somehow set a new precedent for what the word “derivative” means. Each track is formulaic: deep-throated vocals overlay the languid chug-chug of the guitar leading to a “breakdown,” signified by a solitary acoustic guitar and perhaps a plaintive talkover, only to return to another half minute, or so, of more chug-chug. Downpour’s “Does the Path of Glory Lead to the Grave” is a step-by-step blueprint to this modus operandi. The lone exception is Head vs. Breakers, who are a little too pretty (but equally generic, in their own way) for this particular compendium.

There was once an implicit threat that functioned as subtext to the inaccessibility of hardcore’s sound. Band names such as Integrity, Chokehold, and Chain Of Strength were more than one-dimensional signifiers. It was more than mere ideology. It was about honestly struggling to bring change; tear down existing structures and replace them with viable alternatives. Admittedly, the agenda of many hardcore bands of yore was a bit ambitious. Still, there was something purposeful about it all. With Your Scene Sucks, all meaning has been lost. Band monikers such as Most Precious Blood, Revolution Summer, and Rise Against seem threatening, as if they have a shared common concern about the human condition and are gonna do something about it. Yet, in the end, it’s nothing more than empty rhetoric screamed over regurgitated Slayer guitar riffs.

Go-Kart Records:

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