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Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

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Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal?

Punk Rock
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Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby nathan. on Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:42 am

This one comes from a bunch of conversations I've had over the last few years.

Everybody's pretty aware of how popular different versions of underground metal have gotten over the last few years. When I go to some of these shows, it's hard not to run across a flyer for another show that describes every other band as "grindcore" or "death metal" or "stoner" or whatever. Some of the conversations at these shows obviously go on to what music you like, and I've had a few where the other person is totally rejecting punk rock as "radio shit" and "weak" or some shit, and that metal's the real deal.

I dunno about that. Yeah, you'll hear all these teen-pop-punk jingles in TV commercials nowadays and all those Green Day-type bands on the radio, but that doesn't really have to do with the good punk rock I like. At the same time, it's not like all this "heavy" stuff hasn't been selling records, too, and can sound as generic and contrived as anything you'll hear on the radio (growling, blast beats, double-bass, breakdowns, etc.).

It's not a total either/or proposition, of course. I've got quite a few metal records that I love to pieces, and there are some REALLY bad punk records, even on the underground side of things, but I guess at the end of the day, I'd rather listen to the Dead Boys, the Dicks, or the Suicide Commandos, all the same. How about you guys?
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby Trad on Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:03 pm

DRI Crossover settled this question for me years ago. I have never had to choose.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby BClark on Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:34 pm

best of each....

bad brains
amebix
born against
negative approach
discharge
his hero is gone

VS

black sabbath
slayer
sepultura
motorhead
sleep
electric wizard

yknow thats really close, but it would just barely go to the punk rock camp. but those are all hardcore bands that i listed... non-hardcore punk ain't got shit on the best metal bands.

napalm death, neurosis, the melvins, and godflesh imo have enough punk and metal in their sound that they don't fall under one category more than the other. then again, i suppose discharge, amebix, and his hero is gone all have healthy doses of metal in their sound, and slayer and sepultura definitely wouldn't sound the way they do without the hardcore bands they clearly listen to. there is actually a ton of crossbreeding between the two genres... wikipedia made a list of "punk metal" subgenres
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby Dug-do-all-animals on Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:35 pm

Punk and its offshoots and also its main influences all contain better bands for me.

Stooges/Television/Pere Ubu. Those three bands alone in three different stages of Punks evolution say enough.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby SecondEdition on Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:37 pm

I love some metal and like a good deal of it, but there's no real comparison, is there?

It's punk and always will be.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby Lonesome Bulldog on Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:58 pm

Music-wise, the intensity of good metal gives me a euphoric rush of energy that I don't get from most punk rock. There are some hardcore punk bands (some of whom morphed into metal acts) that do that for me. Regarding ethos, the original anarcho-punk attitude has been something I identified with. Upon further scrutiny of metal lyrics, there is a good share with the same anti-establishment message. However the more extreme metal vocals are unintelligible so the message becomes tertiary.

These days I'd rather hear good instrumentation. Punk has some talented players, but they are like good blues players; they're playing the same shit a million different ways. If they change how and what they play, they will no longer be "punk" to some people even if the message is still the same. Metal genres seem to allow more instrumental expressiveness and experimentation. I feel like the era of punk music as experimental and new ended in the early/mid 80s. There is no "prog punk" that I've ever heard of. If I'm wrong, I'd love to hear some examples. I don't know much about The Ex but they seem like the closest example of what prog punk could be.

I choose crossover.

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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby Tom on Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:02 pm

BClark wrote:best of each....

bad brains
amebix
born against
negative approach
discharge
his hero is gone


If this is your best of Punk rock, I could see how it would be a close call.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby 2207 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:21 pm

Punk Rock easy. I have never been a fan of metal, although the occasional gem comes through.

Punk has been a spine through my musical life that has occasional spasms into other types of music.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby Dug-do-all-animals on Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:38 pm

Steve V. wrote:I found metal before punk, because of my Uncle giving me a bunch of records because my house still had a turntable when he didn't. I still have them. They had a big hand in shaping my musical tastes. To this day, I play a Flying V primarily.

The aesthetics and ethics of punk rock, more so than the music, changed my entire life. It still gives me some kind of strength from that spit-in-the-face self-reliance. My favorite bands aren't traditional punk bands but some inspirational quality transferred from punk rock is present in nearly everything I love and everything I create.

Musically, I listen to more bands under the umbrella of metal than I listen to traditional punk rock bands or even contemporary punk rock bands. If you were to do what everyone thinks you're going to do and lump in certain rock bands with punk bands, the scales always tip that way. For example, as soon as you call the Stooges "punk," there goes the landslide. As soon as you proclaim The Minutemen or Television (?) punk, yeah, sure, I wouldn't possibly expect this board vote for any other genre. So I've gotta go with the simplest, non-philosophical criteria: what do I listen to more?

Fuck, I can't help it. I'll always love rattling my goddamn head.

Metal.

P.S.

born against
discharge
his hero is gone
black sabbath
slayer
motorhead

P.P.S.

Hair metal is not at all included in my equation, neither is radio-punk. To me, that is all pop music.


I don't really label the Stooges as punk, but part of its evolution being one of the main precursors. Just as Television and Pere Ubu aren't pure punk but part of it's offshoots. I was trying to make the point that music pre punk, punk and post punk but all easily linked to punk contain better bands in my opinion.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby FuzzBob on Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:46 pm

No knock on metal here, but if we're going to debate something entirely subjective:

Lonesome Bulldog wrote:If they change how and what they play, they will no longer be "punk" to some people even if the message is still the same. Metal genres seem to allow more instrumental expressiveness and experimentation.


I don't get what you're saying here. The expanse of territory between the Ramones, PiL, Suicide, Fugazi, Gang Of Four, DNA, Throbbing Gristle, The Ex, Hüsker Dü, the Slits, Delta 5, etc. is pretty vast compared to the sonic territory covered by metal. In punk, you aren't ball-and-chained to low-register fuzzed guitar riffs, big-rock drumming, or even guitars and drums period. Punk's offshoots range from post-rock to electronica to 4-track lo-fi, and you can't say that about metal.

I feel like the era of punk music as experimental and new ended in the early/mid 80s.


You can say punk and metal had both peaked by the late '80s.

There is no "prog punk" that I've ever heard of. If I'm wrong, I'd love to hear some examples.


Any number of post-rock or math-rock bands qualify, IMHO. But, to drive my point home, King Crimson's Discipline, Beat and Three Of A Perfect Pair nestle very well into the punk/new wave that was happening at the time. They're far removed from Porcupine Tree or Dream Theatre anyway.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby Ace on Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:54 pm

Punk. duh.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby joime on Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:18 pm

if it wasn't for punk they're be no metal in sight to slam,but don't blame punk for just being around.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby zom-zom on Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:27 pm

FuzzBob wrote:You can say punk and metal had both peaked by the late '80s.



You can, but you'd be wrong. Punk peaked in 1977. Anything labeled as "punk" after that is barfff.

Metal? Who cares?
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby JMoffitt on Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:40 pm

Metal. Period.

I believe punk rock would not have evolved to a tolerable form without the introduction of the metal into the equation. Punk without heaviness is a waste of time.

The crossover era was huge in the development of punk. C.O.C, Bad Brains, DRI, Crumbsuckers, Broken Bones, S.O.D...when these guys started blurring the lines, these were interesting times!

Why did they "crossover"? Because the metal out there was way more interesting!

Again...the answer is metal! Metal saved punk...that is my theory.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby zom-zom on Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:49 pm

JMoffitt wrote:Metal. Period.

I believe punk rock would not have evolved to a tolerable form without the introduction of the metal into the equation. Punk without heaviness is a waste of time.

The crossover era was huge in the development of punk. C.O.C, Bad Brains, DRI, Crumbsuckers, Broken Bones, S.O.D...when these guys started blurring the lines, these were interesting times!

Why did they "crossover"? Because the metal out there was way more interesting!

Again...the answer is metal! Metal saved punk...that is my theory.


You're out of your fucking mind. Punk was what saved us from the bad rock.
"evolved to a tolerable form"? Evolved as food "evolves" into poop.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby Model Citizen on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:08 pm

Ace wrote:Punk. duh.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby enframed on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:12 pm

SecondEdition wrote:I love some metal and like a good deal of it, but there's no real comparison, is there?

It's punk and always will be.


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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby BClark on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:13 pm

Lonesome Bulldog wrote:I choose crossover.

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that early COC stuff is really excellent. i got no clue how a band could fall off as hard as they did in their later years, though.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby JMoffitt on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:25 pm

zom-zom wrote:
JMoffitt wrote:Metal. Period.

I believe punk rock would not have evolved to a tolerable form without the introduction of the metal into the equation. Punk without heaviness is a waste of time.

The crossover era was huge in the development of punk. C.O.C, Bad Brains, DRI, Crumbsuckers, Broken Bones, S.O.D...when these guys started blurring the lines, these were interesting times!

Why did they "crossover"? Because the metal out there was way more interesting!

Again...the answer is metal! Metal saved punk...that is my theory.


You're out of your fucking mind. Punk was what saved us from the bad rock.
"evolved to a tolerable form"? Evolved as food "evolves" into poop.


My mind is fine...thanks for your concern.

I won't debate that punk was a marked improvement over the arena rock refuse littering the the musical landscape in the mid-to-late 70's. But, that brand of punk was not nearly musical enough to live an extended life.

There are many of us that would argue that the NWBHM saved us from the joke punk was becoming. With the exception of The Clash and The Ramones, the original wave was petering out. The second wave was full of weak-ass shit (the weirdos, crass and the incoming "new wave"). The metal guys could play their instruments...Flipper couln't. That's not to say Flipper wasn't any good, but dammit, they were limited.

Now I'm not saying groups like Bad Brains, Black Flag, The Exploited and The Cro-Mags replaced bands like Gang of Four &Television overnight. I'm well aware there is another off-shoot of punk that is favorable to many (The Birthday Party, Mission of Burma, Bauhaus, etc). But a lot of people became interested in punk because of metal. Weather you like it or not, the crossover was important to punk. In fact, I believe it was more important for the evolution of punk than the evolution of metal. Musically, metal was evolving on a much faster plane than punk. Metal would have been fine without punk. I believe the introduction of metal into punk was just as important as the introduction of country & western music into blues.

But for my money, hardcore punk has just as much to do with metal as it does punk. And I know a lot of punk rockers don't want to admit how improtant metal truly is to the big picture.
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Re: Either/Or: Punk vs. Metal

Postby Lonesome Bulldog on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:29 pm

FuzzBob wrote:I don't get what you're saying here. The expanse of territory between the Ramones, PiL, Suicide, Fugazi, Gang Of Four, DNA, Throbbing Gristle, The Ex, Hüsker Dü, the Slits, Delta 5, etc. is pretty vast compared to the sonic territory covered by metal. In punk, you aren't ball-and-chained to low-register fuzzed guitar riffs, big-rock drumming, or even guitars and drums period.

I don't think all of those bands are punk musically, but if you are saying they carry the punk ethos then fine. But my point is that metal, even one single song, allows for more variation than one single punk song or record or band. Instrumentally. Dig?

FuzzBob wrote:Punk's offshoots range from post-rock to electronica to 4-track lo-fi, and you can't say that about metal.

Well that's not punk then innit? Not if you've given it those categories. And there are nauseating amounts of offshoots from metal.

For the record I am far more a punk than a metal dude. Punk ran out of steam and it's not my fault. Metal genres are still moving forward.

The sad thing is that back in the day, punk was an antithesis to the poofy hair, cocaine self-indulgence of money sucking cock rock metal. Now what is touted as punk almost completely embraces that affectation. Some metal elements haven't changed but a good chunk has evolved away from that.
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