Posts Tagged pop culture

Wormrot Still “Worst Funeral Drone Doom Band”

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Wormrot is the first band in Rolling Stone history to have retained a staff and readers’ poll title six times consecutively (Photo:  Earache Records)

 

For the seventh year in a row, North African trio Wormrot has been designated as “Worst Funeral Drone Doom Band” by Rolling Stone magazine, becoming the first group in the popular American biweekly publication’s history to have retained a title six times consecutively.

The dishonorable designation came amidst many others in Rolling Stone’s annual “Best and Worst in Popular Music” staff and readers’ poll. A record 1,000 titles were handed out this year, including “Best Heavy Metal Rock Band” (Fleetwood Mac), “Worst Synthpop Band” (Anaal Nathrakh), and “Best Progressive Southern Gospel Band” (Crimson Moonlight).

Before every title is awarded to its recipient, a lengthy and complex consideration of various factors—including positional prominence of the drummer in band photos, minimum name-your-price minimum on Bandcamp, and number of posts about X-Men on personal social media accounts—takes place to ensure that fairness permeates the final judgment.

As fate would have it, Wormrot was judged—unfavorably.

“This band never learns. Time and time again, it churns out straight-to-the-point tunes that are so short, they are over before my adulthood is,” senior Rolling Stone scribe Don Haffaklue wrote in his capsule review of Wormrot’s latest album, Voices.

In her latest online column, N. O. Edea, managing editor of Rolling Stone, also criticized Wormrot for its immense lack of subtlety and sensitivity towards pathologically patient adults. According to her, the band must “learn to appreciate musical verbosity and the virtue of inactivity” in order to halt its incessant descent to PR hell.

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Negative public perception of Wormrot is attributed to the three-piece’s lack of subtlety, and love for brevity (Photo: Earache Records)

Other opinions about Wormrot’s blatant disregard for sub-genre boundaries abound on social media, and they range from oblivious to delirious.

Rolling Stone reader Rhea Budtase questioned on Twitter: “#wormrot? isn’t that nick jonas’ new band?” On Instagram, celebrity vegan shoelace weaver Bond Pölzer posted a photo of a painting of a photo of himself stoning to a vinyl copy of an obscure Wormrot split with an unknown Bhutanese life metal band being played at 6.66 RPM, with the caption: “WO)))RMRO)))T”.

Outside of social media, some Rolling Stone readers expressed coherent, albeit chichi opinions about the North African three-piece.

“They are definitely taking steps in the right direction, they certainly know what they are doing,” said Noah Sarbstans, an avid scanner of Rolling Stone headlines at 7-Eleven outlets. “This band has always been, and will continue to be, at the frontier of pop music.”

Another reader, Elm Merture, a self-proclaimed music journalist, waxed lyrical about Wormrot’s ceaseless rebellious streak, and likened the trio to famous champions of freedom in modern history.

“Channelling the indomitable spirit of historical greats such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Seth Putnam, Wormrot is not afraid to look discrimination straight in the eye and say, ‘Begone! Let there be no walls between black and white, thrash and death, stoner drone doom and funeral drone doom, et cetera. Man is born free, and everywhere he should not be in sub-genres,’” she wrote on her GeoCities page.

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Beaming members of Wormrot laying their hands on Chinese comics for the first time (Photo:  Earache Records)

Despite the largely negative media coverage thus far, at least one key industry figure still maintains an optimistic outlook on the furor.

Digby Pearson, CEO and founder of Earache Records, sees Wormrot’s continued defense of its Rolling Stone title as a half-full rather than a half-empty glass.

“Any publicity is good publicity, this has always been my goal with Wormrot. I signed them in 2010 to lift them out of poverty, and draw global media attention to the plight of working-class North Africans who cannot afford Insect Warfare’s catalog on vinyl,” he said over the phone yesterday.

“It’s heart-warming to see that they can afford necessities like crew neck T-shirts and Chinese comics nowadays. So clearly, the persistent media coverage of Wormrot, good or bad, is working in my favor,” he added with a chuckle.

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Gorguts to Guest Star On Thursday Night’s Episode of The Honeymooners

They are Canada’s favorite technical death metal band and now they are set to appear on CBS’ hit television show The Honeymooners.  Gorguts, those wild and crazy Quebecean death metallers who burst on the scene in 1993 with their Top 40 hit “Orphans of Sickness”, will become the first band ever to appear on the show.  Honeymooners star Jackie Gleason is a huge fan of the band who claims to have listened to the album Obscura over 400 times in a row when it was released.  Gleason, who became a fan when Considered Dead was released in 1991, said in a recent interview that no band he knows of “has been able to link the primal, bestial rage in the human soul with such profound, technical craftsmanship.”

The episode titled “Hey, Hey Luc Lemay, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?” was filmed on Monday afternoon in front of a live studio audience.  The story is thought to be one of the more experimental Honeymooners episodes, although by no means as surreal as the episode where Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are trapped in the stomach of a moose.

It begins with a knock on the door from a shady, elderly man played by Sir John Gielgud, the elderly British actor known for his stirring performance as the butler in the movie Arthur. Gielgud introduces himself as “Luther” and hands Alice Kramden a box.  He tells her she has three wishes once she opens the box, but should be careful what she wishes for.

After the man leaves, Alice and Ralph tear the box open only to find the paw of a monkey with a bow around it.  Ralph holds up the paw and wishes for enough money to never have to work again.  Suddenly, a box appears on their coffee table.  Ralph opens it and is stunned by piles of hundred dollar bills.  However, he is appalled to realize that in the box is also the severed head of his neighbor Ed Norton (played by the loveable Art Carney).

In spite of the beheading of Ed, they decide they are glad to have gotten the money and decide to make another wish.  This time Alice holds the paw up and wishes that she could get the chance to see Gorguts live for the first time.  Immediately, there is a knock on the door and the band appears.  They run around the house smashing the furniture and throwing food at each other.  Singer Luc Lemay knocks Ralph to the ground and tries to force him to swallow mustard until he chokes.  Meanwhile, guitarist Kevin Hufnagel destroys Ralph’s favorite bowling trophy by attempting to play a solo from “Rottenatomy” using the trophy as a guitar pick.  Finally, Alice has had enough.  She holds up the paw and screams, “I wish Gorguts would go away!!!!!”

With that, the band disappears and the archangel Gabriel appears on top of the dining room table blowing his horn.  Ralph, covered in mustard, launches into a recital of a Willie Loman monologue from Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” while Alice begins to grow a teeth out of the side of her face.  The episode ends with Ed’s head rolling onto the floor and the entire cast, including the head, launching into an impromptu version of the song “Officer Krupke” from the musical West Side Story.

Gorguts appearance on The Honeymooners is not the first appearance of a metal band on a major television show.  Who could forget the time Anthrax rocked out on Married With Children?  Or the time Immolation played “Into Everlasting Fire” with Ricky Ricardo’s band on I Love Lucy?  Gorguts’ appearance on The Honeymooners is certain to rank as one of the most entertaining and important moments in television history.

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