“Oh shit,” you say to yourself. “It can’t be.” You’ve just checked out your favorite band’s new music video, and yup, that’s a keytar. The singer is wearing a puffy shirt and the bassist is wearing Macho Man sunglasses. It happened: your favorite band just discovered the ’80s.
Don’t panic. That said, you should totally panic. This sucks and comes as a complete shock. Sure, you speculated something was up when you saw their drummer wearing a Pet Shop Boys shirt in their latest promo photo but you thought maybe he was just being ironic. Well you thought wrong because that very same drummer has clearly replaced his rack tom with an octagonal beat pad.
You don’t like the new song. Not one bit. The singer has replaced his trademark scream with some Devo-influenced yelp and there’s a weird cowbell sample in the bridge. “Maybe it’s just a fun single to make new fans,” you think to yourself. “The rest of the album could be normal.” You read a new interview with the singer to try and calm your concerns.
He keeps saying things like “re-define our sound”, “try new instrumentation”, and “think outside the box.” You want to puke. They’re the band that made you fall in love with punk. They can’t be doing this! However, you remind yourself that you’ve been okay with this before.
You dug that Charly Bliss album from last year and you’ve spent hours defending Ceremony on r/hardcore. You also didn’t mind when Bleached ditched garage rock for disco-funk and that Paramore LP from 2017 sound-tracked a summer fling! It could be worse. At least they’re putting out a new album!
But then the pessimism kicks in. “This is an epidemic,” you think to yourself. Even fucking Pearl Jam is recycling Talking Heads grooves. You want to shout “kill the keyboard!” from the rooftops. You scroll through your Facebook feed to numb the pain and a post catches your eye.
A few dudes from one of your favorite defunct hardcore bands have emerged in a new project. It’s this band’s lyrics that introduced you to straight edge and they had some of the most brutal riffs you’ve ever heard. You click on the Bandcamp link shivering with excitement. It’s a shoegaze band.
You place your headphones on your desk and crawl back into bed. That’s enough new music for one day.