Wednesday, May 04, 2005

When I'm King of the Scene: No More LP Records!

That's right, bitches. When I'm King of the Scene, the LP Record will disappear from my Realm. The only time you will see 12-inches of ANYTHING will be from Papa John's, or a 12-inch record that has two 7-inch EP's on it (ala Dischord Records #12), or if you're standing next to me at the urinal (stop LOOKING!).

Straight up, albums suck. Oh sure, you can point to The Descendents' "Milo Goes to College" or Dag Nasty's "Can I Say" and ask me how I could possibly have problems with masterpieces such as those. You could hold up "Break Down the Walls" and "We're Not In This Alone" and ask me if I'm certifiably insane. It's only fair.

My position is that for every "Age of Quarrel," there are 20 Lifetime "Background" LP's out there. No, really. Go check the dollar bin at any record exchange. You'll see what I mean. For every Suicidal Tendencies self-titled LP, there are 20 other totally FORGETTABLE albums out there.

I would've never taken this position in the 80's, because bands produced better material back then. That's not to say that today's bands can't hold a candle to the bands that paved the way. What I'm saying is, circumstances were different back then, which led to a different approach in the evolution of the earlier bands.

In the 80's, recording a 7-inch EP was a feat in itself. For most bands, it was the ultimate goal. There were a lot of less heralded bands that just recorded demos and played their hometown with touring bands that blew through their local clubs. The demo bands didn't tour. They weren't good enough. They weren't seasoned. This was in a day when most shows were in clubs, and if a band sucked, nobody went out for pizza. Instead, the crowd would throw shit at you in the form or spit, coins, unopened soda cans, beer bottles, and the occasional cup of piss. I see today's scene packed with bands that never would've been anything more than a local "demo band" back in my day. I'm sorry. It's just a fact.

By the time a band in the 80's got to a 7-inch, they usually had two or three demos under their belt, and had been playing together for a couple of years. At that point, they were seasoned, had stage presence, and were ready for vinyl. In 2005, a lot of bands put out a demo as a formality. It's just something to do before they go running into the studio to record their 7-inch so they can run into the studio again the next year to record their album.

7 Seconds recorded three 7-inch EP's before they put out "The Crew" LP. The Misfits released NINE 7-inch EP's before they recorded the "Walk Among Us" LP. Minor Threat recorded two EP's and a couple of compilation songs before they released "Out of Step" (which is TECHNICALLY an EP at 8 songs under 20 minutes). Black Flag recorded four EP's before the "Damaged" LP. The list goes on and on.

The difference between 1985 and 2005 is that recording technology is more accessible and less expensive. Today, it's totally about instant gratification. Where the bands that came before spent years CRAFTING their sound, today's hardcore kids are getting fitted for the hardcore brass ring before they can even get their songs uploaded to their MySpace page.

I listen to a lot of LP records by bands today where I find that if the band had pared the tracking list down to the best 6 or 7 songs on the album, it would've made an excellent EP record. But in the quest to fill those 20 minutes of space so they can tour on a bigger record, they add the filler that just kills a lot of these records for me. And believe me, a guy who wrote steaming piles of songs such as "Climbing the Ladder," "PC Police Brutality," and "Do Or Die" can smell a song written on a napkin on the way to the studio a mile away.

So, because I love my loyal subjects, I will save you from your MTV Generation selves. When I am King of the Scene, there will be no more LP records. I will give you 7-inches, or I will give you death.

I have spoken.

His Royal Majesty, Ronny Little

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