Friday, November 26, 2010

Since You Didn't Ask Me - Magrudergrind

Welcome to the inaugural edition of my hottest new segment, "Since You Didn't Ask Me," in which I will weigh in on the br00talest kvltroversies and all matters of general falseness without any prompting or anyone ever asking me what I thought.  I love the innerwubs!

Unlike most Americans, I spent today in seclusion from the outside world; the mere concept of Black Friday makes me sick to my stomach, and as such, I didn't so much as enter a gas station today just to be sure that I didn't get attacked by some old ladies for trying to buy the last Dr. Pepper or something.  I'm sure that all of you who would look at this agree that Black Friday all by itself is reason enough for every other nation on the planet to hate America.  What does all of this have to do with Magrudergrind, though?  "What are you getting at, you anti-American Obama-supporting terrorist?" is what I assume you just said out loud to your computer screen (I hear it all the time in face-to-face exchanges, at least).

See, the newest kvltroversy on the metallo-webs and all across the br00talsphere is that grind luminaries Magrudergrind, hailed as grind-genies for 2009's stellar self-titled effort, have crossed the grind-line over to the dark side, recording and releasing a free (!) album that was paid for and released by--wait for it--Scion, the car company that brought us such horseless carriages as the Purple Sparkly Refridgerator Box and, more recently, Sparkly Refridgerator Box REDUX.  That's right.  Acting against everything that Napalm Death has ever stood for, Magrudergrind allowed a large subsidiary of a larger corporation to subvert them by paying their recording budget, getting them promotions for the record, and even releasing it for free so that getting it for free (which we all would have done otherwise) is no longer stealing.  Outrage!  Intrigue!

Now, what does this all mean to us, the casual theives of the music that we love (but won't buy)?  Answer: Literally nothing.

That people are outraged by Magrudergrind taking Scion's offer to record an album and have them foot the bill is laughable at best, and completely retarded at worst.  Record labels "pay" for bands to make records all the time; the hook is that bands, upon recording said album, get to be under the label's thumb and won't make any money off a record until they recoup the label's investment.  Anyone who follows extreme music should understand how laughable a concept this is, since the biggest bands sell so few records that any American Idol participant would literally be burned at the stake by his or her own PR people for having such shitty sales.  Also considering the fact that most of the money that any sucker (like me) pays for a physical copy of an album on CD or vinyl or any medium goes to the distribution company, then pays the cost of producing the plastic (or whatever the physical medium is made of), and after a while the label makes $.60 off of my $18 purchase.  Finally, the labels get to promote themselves on the back of the record any band on their roster produces, as well as advertising themselves in any and all promotional materials for said band (and one band having an ad all by itself isn't very common anymore either).  But you already knew this, because you aren't one of the idiots I was talking about up there, right?  Right.

The most common and misguided argument against this arrangement that Magrudergrind made with Scion is that Magrudergrind are shilling themselves out to a giant corporate slug that just wants to crack a new demographic for their car sales, and it is therefore wrong to do business with them.  All of these people who think this is the case, I would like to be the first to welcome you to America, where literally everything is an advertisement, and literally nothing exists except for the sole purpose of making some anus-face money so he can buy things that were advertised to him by someone else.  Little known fact: I actually started this blog as a convoluted (and misguided) way to advertise for Keebler, which is the greatest company with the greatest products (gotta get me some of that E.L. Fudge!) on the planet.  As I reach for another delicious Club cracker, made with love and care by the tiny, poorly paid hands of cartoon elves in a tree, I reflect upon how few things in the United States are not geared toward getting someone to fork over their hard-earned cash in exchange for something.  The answer, those things don't exist.

And, upon listening to the record, one has to admit that any accusations of "selling out" are mystifyingly unfounded.  I don't think Scion actually knew what they were getting into with Magrudergrind; they may have thought they were approaching Mastodon and made a terrible, terrible mistake.  Magrudergrind are seriously brutal, and their sound has not been compromised even a little bit by their partnering with Scion.  Also, so few people listen to Magrudergrind, the advertising is seemingly a waste.  If it weren't for the kvltroversy surrounding this whole situation, the ploy would be likened to paying an Afghani woman to get a Scion tattoo on her calf.  Literally nobody would ever see it.

As I sit in my comfy den, my lips glistening with the crumbs from another delicious Keebler Chips Deluxe Rainbow cookie, made with the best candy-coated chocolate to create a taste that kids and adults can both agree on, I realize that Magrudergrind is the first in what will certainly be a long line of bands to decide that letting a huge corporation foot the bill for recording while never having any pressure to meet recoup costs is better than being under the gun only to have your faggy fans subvert you by illegally downloading the same music.  Let it go, America; you can't have your rampant consumerism and eat it too.

As for a review of the record, Magrudergrind's newest effort is as good as the fun and fun-to-eat Keebler Scooby-Doo Graham Crackers, which have the fun shapes and satisfying crunch that with make your family smile.  In other words, it's badass.

Brooklyn Vegan had it up for download recently (which is how I got it).  Follow this link to see if it's still up; otherwise you're going to have to pay shipping and handling for it, or just wait four minutes until someone posts it somewhere for immediate gratification.

Here:  Live the Corporate Sponsored Thunder

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