Monday, June 18, 2012

Hair Metal I've Done You Wrong

As a bit of a follow up to my post to my post commenting on Metal an Evolution I want to talk about Hair Metal.  As some of you have guessed my own metal roots are in NWOBHM, Bay Area Thrash and Prog Metal.  In the 80's I wasn't a fan of glam / Hair Metal but at least it was rock.  I think the LA Bands were really not given fair treatment and should not be revived as they currently are.  I really think this music is due for a come back and I would be excited to see a modern take on the genre.

Looking back there are only a few genres of music that have had as strong a backlash as Hair Metal.  At least to the extend that groups or individuals take credit and delight killing off a particular genre.  In recent memory the three that have garnered this level of hate are Prog, Disco and Hair Metal.  Looking at Prog the punk bands and music luminaries like that piece of shit Ed Bicknell delight in the fall of Yes and ELP.  That's said these bands were able to stage something of a resurgence in the early 80's and have a way of maintaining life long fans that just don't seem to care what people say.  Disco hand an obvious end, that really never seemed to be an end.  Dance music just changed and has always remained popular.  House and techno seem very much like different sounds of the same idea.  For Glam this has not been the case.

For the Glam seen the eighties seem to have been the end.  Yes there are some nostalgia concerts but generally these guys are not getting work.  There are a few individuals that have turned to different styles such as country or a few individuals who have found their way into Nu and traditional metal bands.  Shannon Larkin, Dave King and James Lomenzo come to mind here.

Personally I don't hate Glam, it wasn't my favorite music but it was better than a lot of other stuff on the radio at the time.  Compared to something like UB40 or Level 42, glam was favorable for me. It was rock and had guitars with a few nice solos.  Some of you know I hate Metallica and have since I first heard them.  Even though I love Testament which is often compared to Metallica, i just don't dig em.  I like Def Leppard way more than "Tallica".  So I really don't understand the lasting hate that glam has engendered.

One aspect that all of the genres I have mentioned have in common is a look strongly rooted in the time period they came out.  Prog was very spacey with tassels and jumpsuits.  Disco had its look and Glam certainly had a specific style.  I think any new take on the music would have to focus less on the look and just emulate the music to be taken seriously.  Even something like Gun's n Rose, which was Glam or the same as Glam for me, had too much of a look to be taken very seriously today. The punk and thrash aesthetic of wearing your normal day to day clothing would need to be used.  We at least until the genre could gain some footing then it could revel in excess a bit.

I think we in the metal and rock community should rethink the Hair Bands.  I question the presumption that there was nothing of substance there.  I think there was a bit, and in the age where Skrillex is voted in the top 100 guitarists these guys at least could play.  I am pretty sure there are fans that would love to hear this music again and many of them are girls and how many chicks show up to a Rush concert?  I dare you to go out and find a new record by one of these Glam bands and give it a listen.  Europe has something called Bag of Bones out this year and Winger has a record called Karma from 2009.  I personally have heard neither but I will give em a shot.

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