There's something quite lovely about a hand-written letter, isn't there?
brokeNCYDE's new album 'All Grown Up' is out today. It's also Valentine's Day, so it seemed like the perfect time for Rock Sound's resident crunkcore superfan / apologist Gav Lloyd to explain why he loves crunkcore so much.
I’m part of a very small, often ridiculed group of people. I am a loud, proud fan of crunkcore.
No subgenre has really copped it quite as hard as crunkcore, with many rock fans treating the genre with nothing but malice. Birthed out of the glory years of MySpace where friendships could be made or broken by Top 8 positioning, crunkcore barged its way into the alternative scene in a whirlwind of glowsticks, red cups filled with Four Loko, all-over print hoodies and shutter shades. Sonically, it took the crunk sound that was dominating U.S. clubs and airwaves courtesy of artists such as professional shouting lad Lil Jon and combined it with screams.
Although it had its fair share of naysayers from day one, the genre’s demise was never more apparent than last year, when the crunkcore's spiritual forefathers and pioneers brokeNCYDE launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund their new album which saw only 33 people in the whole world make pledges, raising $1,421 of their $30,000 target.
But crunkcore is now making a hostile comeback. Brokencyde’s fourth full-length ‘All Grown Up’ boasts 23 tracks and is out today, so if you’re struggling to think of something to get that special someone in your life, you may have just found the perfect present.
Listen to 'All Grown Up' in full right here.
The title of brokeNCYDE’s debut album ‘I’m Not A Fan, But The Kids Like It!’ perfectly sums up what was great about them. While older people were looking confused at something they couldn’t get their heads around, a younger generation was indulging in something fresh and exciting. Sure, it may not sound like Iron Maiden or what your dad is into, but that band stuck up an obnoxious middle finger to everyone while doing shots of Sambuca and necking strangers. Their ‘fuck you’ attitude of doing things their way regardless of what anybody else thought made them more 'punk' than 90% of your favourite punk bands.
But brokeNCYDE aren’t the only crunkcore band who are back. The end of last year saw Millionaires release their brand new song ‘When I’m Single’. Sisters Melissa Marie Green and Allison Maria Green made a reputation out of being two girls who loved to party, get drunk, spend money and not give a flying fuck about what you thought about it.
The world of alternative music has been a boys club for far too long, and although the tides are changing, Millionaires were leading the charge for women years ago and were largely met with ridicule rather than the respect they deserved. Sure, they might not have been ideal role models, but rock stars aren’t meant to be. For years we’ve had to endure men brazenly bragging about their sex lives. Millionaires turned the tables on that ideology while making any slut-shamers look very silly indeed. They were the sort of girls that the likes of Taking Back Sunday were writing songs about, who were too busy releasing songs like ‘Drinks On Me’ to worry about anyone’s feelings.
That doesn’t only make them unique, it makes them very cool.
Watch the video for 'When I'm Single' below.
If you’re thinking that these acts are far too niche and this genre is best left forgotten, I’d like to point you in the direction of 3OH!3. The Colorado two-piece proved just what crunkcore was capable of. They went from tearing up the stages of Warped Tour to gatecrashing charts all over the world with ‘Don’t Trust Me’, and it wasn’t long before they were collaborating with massive pop-stars like Katy Perry and Ke$ha and proving that music doesn’t need to have guitars to rock.
Right now one of the biggest and best bands in rock music are this month’s cover stars Twenty One Pilots, and while they don’t necessarily have much in common with 3OH!3, they do share their bold attitude towards blurring lines and proving that rock is as much a state of mind as it is a specific sound. Coincidently, 3OH!3 have recently returned with new single ‘My Dick’. Which, truth be told, isn’t the best. Even as far as songs about willies go. But hopefully they’ve got some more serious crunkcore up their sleeves when the new album rolls around. Yep, serious crunkcore.
Watch the (very NSFW) video for 'My Dick' below.
It wasn’t all great. Not even I can defend Blood On The Dancefloor. But hey, they shouldn’t bring the whole genre down. For all the abuse these artists have had to endure their influence has been massive, whether you want to admit it or not.
Look at the how electronics have slowly seeped into the riffs and breakdowns. Scene leaders like Asking Alexandria probably wouldn’t sound the way they currently do if crunkcore never happened. Neither would the party metal mayhem of Attila or Falling In Reverse’s delightfully excessive sound. When all the cool kids decided it wasn’t alright to like nu metal any more, rap and metal pretty much went their separate ways. Crunkcore opened the doors for everyone to be friends again, and now we have the likes of Issues and Hacktivist.
But more than just the sonic side of things, crunkcore carried - and still carries - the rock & roll spirit the way so few bands do these days. Your average band looks like your cousin and his mates have just finished their shift at Waitrose and have picked up some guitars. Crunkcore was genuinely exciting; it was music your parents would shake their heads at and call you a wally for listening to. It embodied the sex, drugs and rock & roll spirit.
And in a rock scene that often begins to feel a little beige, we need the neon colours that the likes of Brokencyde, Millionaires and 3OH!3 provide to brighten it up.
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