The Brits Love Them Some "Blastbeats"

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Leave it to the British music press to read more into something than it merits. Any new fad they see pop up they immediately have to make a celebratory month for, or start spending thousands of pounds on to trace its source. It's a dirty habit. They can't leave well enough alone.

That's how you get an article in the Guardian speculating on the origins of blastbeats. Come on, blastbeats? Alexis Petridis, who looks like Mr. Bean's stoned kid, also writes a weekly fashion column for the Guardian when he's not dissecting thrash-metal technique. This past week's dispatch on blastbeats name-checked local legends D.R.I. and Insect Warfare in its valiant search for the true spirit of the blastbeat. All of this is to commemorate International Blastbeat Celebration Day.

The two strangest theories involve Billy Joel's pre-fame band, Attila, and its proggish ways. Interestingly, free-jazz drummer Sunny Murray is also bandied about. This also seems to be the most logical of theories, considering all jazz's innovations in time signature and tone.

But at the end of the day, arguing over who invented or pioneered the blastbeat is as fruitless and vain as the argument over who was the original punk rocker or punk-rock band. At the end of the day, it's all just rock and roll.

And we all know it was Johnny Cash and The Stooges. Duh.

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