Member Rara Avis
Okay, my last few points, then I'm off to work.
First of all, with the goth/industrial sorta mixing. I find the same thing, Local Parasite. I've got a bunch of underground comps -- mostly from Cleopatra Records, but still -- and they love to combine goth and industrial. Which, in some ways, is interesting. And yes, the sounds do meld a bit. But a lot of goth can be self-pitying or intentionally campy, or floridly poetic and romantic. Whereas industrial is basically "Welcome to the machine, human nothing." So, while the sounds mix because both genres employ some dirgelike and nihilistic ideas, the lyrics always throw me for a loop. (and yet, I listen to both avidly, and enjoy the bands that throw around their brilliance, such as Skinny Puppy, and Bauhaus, and Sisters of Mercy etc. etc.)
Now, as for punk. In the States, where punk arguably originated (through CBGB bands like the Ramones, Television and Blondie), it was about thumbing your nose at the status quo with intelligence and humor. To me, those bands were about saying thanks but no thanks to the current music scene of pomposity and sell-out -- basically, to construct noise in a D.I.Y. manner, and stick to your little vision of the world from your background. Kinda playful, because all that was at stake, really, was the music, and where you'd find your next fix.
In England, however, where bands like the X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Clash and the Sex Pistols flourished, it was about more than music. It was about trying to survive in a society that had grown more bleak and gray as the wars rolled out and the '60s was left staring itself in the mirror, all druggy and Fleetwood Mac'ed out, with Lennon trumpeting "I don't believe in Beatles" and the youth feeling like outcasts from the party they never got to experience.
These bands were more about finding transcendence through nihilism and hedonism. And about stabbing the Queen in the back. I mean, the Sex Pistols rallying cry was "No future, no future, no future for you."
Now, compare that to something like Blink 182. Yes, there's punk qualities in the members, but, to me, the music is about nothing more than itself, and about how snotty and bratty you can act. There music is basically one message -- this is Blink 182 music you're listening to. Even the Ramones, at their most pop-sugary, had a side of real and harrowing darkness. "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" and "I Wanna Be Sedated" being just two examples of that.
And as for System of a Down? They're too studied in their musicianship. They're alt-metal by way of Frank Zappa, if anything. I don't hate them. In fact, I'm glad they found a voice on a radio dial clogged with Staind and Papa Roach songs. But, to me, anyway, they're not punk.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little essay on something I feel passionate about, no matter how boneheaded and wrong my statements may actually be. Thanks for reading, and hope you check out some of the music. And now, I have to .... ugh ... "work."