Most days, Rocks Off's email inbox is swamped with dozens of messages from industrious publicists eager for us to write something about their artists. That's their job. Hitting the "save" or "delete" button is ours. We certainly have our own lapses sometimes, but we have also been writing (and reading) about music long enough that we can recognize cliché and hyperbole pretty quick. So whether or not we have ever heard of the artist being hyped, many of these press releases make our eyes glaze over within a line or two of starting to read them.
But not all of them. Rocks Off literally gets dozens, maybe hundreds, of press releases a week, and enough of them make us raise an eyebrow -- or even better, laugh out loud -- that we have finally decided to start keeping track. Interestingly, many of them come from publicists trying to interest a relatively mainstream publication in deathrock, doom-metal, grindcore and other extreme subgenres; in other words, some of the least mainstream music on the planet. Really, it's just a couple of companies that do it, but they do it very well.
It cannot be easy to make bands with names like Cattle Decapitation, Dying Fetus, and Exhumed sound appealing outside this relatively narrow community, but there are a few intrepid souls who have the knack. They are the kind of people who, as the saying goes, could probably sell ice to an polar bear.
So we salute the following press agents for both their obvious passion for the musicians they represent and their creativity with the English language. It worked -- we're writing about their artists, aren't we?
10. Cattle Decapitation, "Lifestalker":
"Sees the band exploring innovative new techniques in song writing without abandoning their signature formula of confrontational audio wreckage and self-loathing lyrical content."
9. Catheter, Southwest Doom Violence:
"CATHETER's new opus is so obliteratingly heavy that upon first listen you'll quickly forgive them for the delay since the last album, and immediately tear your own head off in utter joy."
8. Appalachian Terror Unit, West Virginia "anarcho-crust eco-warrior collective":
"Armageddon Won't Be Brought By Gods, But By Men Who Think They Are..." is their seminal release, a 7" slab of raw power and vitriol that will be resurrected from its long out-of-print status by venerable punk provocateurs Profane Existence on April 3, 2012.
7. When Tigers Fight, Death Songs:
"Closed Casket Activities will release the second full-length from WHEN TIGERS FIGHT this Spring, the band uniting major players in the East Coast hardcore scene."
6. Lord Mantis, Pervertor:
"Pervertor sets a new bar for the Chicago-based henchmen as it rapes your soul with nearly 50 minutes of caustic, crushing, blackened anguish."
5. Author & Punisher, "Flesh Ants":
"This one-man project utilizes primarily custom designed and fabricated machines and speakers, devices that draw heavily on aspects of industrial automation and robotics and focus upon the eroticism of interaction with machine."
4. Dog Shredder, Brass Tactics:
"The three mountainously diverse, brazen tracks on Brass Tactics show the band further progressing their own bastardized alloy of vigorous metallic mayhem."
3. Coffinworm, "Indianapolis' blackened sludge barbarians," Spring tour:
Get in touch to discuss the band's insanely fucked blend of black, death, and sludge, their recent lineup changes, their upcoming live dates, the Indiana metal scene, and all manner of other arcane, contemptible things."
2. Weedeater, April tour:
After a few weeks off, following nearly three years of semi-constant touring, Cape Fear's sludge-slingers WEEDEATER decided they have been off the road long enough, and that it's time to go reap some more hard-partying souls.
1. Pinkish Black, Pinkish Black:
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"One day, Daron and Jon stopped by Tommy's place, and walked into a nightmare. Their bassist had killed himself in the bathroom... and 'the walls were pinkish black...'":
Note: Of course we wouldn't call this one "funny," but this is the most fucked-up backstory of how a band got its name we've ever heard, especially as announced in a press release.