You may know Todd Preboski as the drummer for some of this generations most beloved hardcore bands like Champion and Betrayed, although most people probably know him as the guy who installs their cable TV in Southern California. My first memory of Todd is from about 9th grade, when he was trying to convince some other kids to play a cover of “Longview” by Green Day in the band room (they weren’t very interested). I also remember that his mom’s dog liked to eat cat turds out of the litterbox, and would run around with litter and pieces of shit stuck to its lips. Anyway, I’m very happy that we’ve kept in touch all these years. He is one of my favorite people on the planet, and as highly respected figure in the modern hardcore scene, I thought it would be cool to have him share his thoughts on today’s music.
If you are interested in other members of Snohomish High School’s class of 1996, check out my interview with Jesse Edwards of the notorious graffiti crews BTM and 3A.
<3 U TODD // MISS U BRO // WE’LL BE TOGETHER AGAIN SOMEDAY // XOXO
Blessed By A Broken Heart “Move Your Body”
Ok, so I’m not going to allow myself to google any of this stuff or dig any deeper than the youtube links you’ve sent me. Already this first one has piqued my curiosity though. The video was uploaded on 1/13/10- is it only that old? It seems to me like this retro over-the-top glam metal look is already 5 years old or so; so are they that far behind the curve? If so, they’re gotta be either Euros or Christians, because those two groups are seemingly always behind the pack by about 5 years. Judging by the fact that I didn’t hear any swears or even questionable content to the lyrics + the black and yellow Stryper stripes on everything = Christian metal. There’s also less than 100k hits to that video, but look to be about 10-15k Japanese kids at that show, so something doesn’t add up. My guess is Japanese Christian Metal Fest, which… holy shit.
The one guitarist is shredding a Charvel and has indisputable chops so he’s the ringer of the group. There’s just not a lot of call in mainstream music these days for guitarists with impeccable sweep arpeggios who scallop their own frets and only own black jeans. The sad fact is dudes like him usually live a life of musical obscurity, playing Dream Theater covers at crappy bars with 40 year old local choads with drum racks and Marshall Valvestates. So more power to him- he’s out there touring the world, albeit with these guys.
YT “Skinny Ass Nigga”
I haven’t paid attention to much hip-hop since the mid-90′s or so. I kinda like this, because it reminds me of something that might’ve come out back in the 80′s: dude rounds up a bunch of his friends, they dance around, the end. The song is terrible, but then so was 95% of that shit from the 80′s. If this dude doesn’t take himself too seriously he’d probably be fun as shit to hang out with.
Crooks To Kings
Yeah, so I know some of the guys here. Some of these dudes have been around NWHC for a long time. I don’t know, this type of thing isn’t my bag. These bands exist everywhere, and they all seem to have a video. I’ve been in a handful of bands with varying levels of success, toured a bunch, put out albums with 4 or 5 different groups of guys and literally never even discussed making a music video with any of them- I don’t know what that’s all about. These guys are down in Tacoma, half-hour south of Seattle. Tacoma in the late 80′s-90′s was a straight-fucked town- the Hilltop Crips were a nationally know set and it was legit dangerous. Almost all that crap got cleaned up in the late-90′s, and Tacoma has had a bit of a renaissance. When somebody talks about how Tacoma is dangerous these days, they’re usually talking about the tapwater.
Millionaires “Party Like A Millionaire”
Literally every other girl in this video is hotter than those two Millionaires girls. Not even because I don’t do drugs, pretend to be rich when I’m not or fuck strangers is this video unappealing. What is the fucking deal with these old-ass punk dudes in the video? I guess we’re supposed to infer that if these chicks will fuck The Stooges, they’ll fuck us too. I seem to remember Sgt D saying he met these chicks. He’s better looking than any of the dudes in this video, likes to party hard and is probably not above star-fucking. If he didn’t have sex with BOTH of these stupid girls then I’m calling bullshit on their whole vibe.
The Acacia Strain “The Hills Have Eyes”
I’ve heard of this band, but never actually heard them. I don’t often listen to stuff like this, but this isn’t bad at all. The riff at 1:23 is fucking brutal, and the stolen Meshuggah breakdown is pretty sick. These dudes seem to have a decent sense of humor- even if the whole storyline idea of this video is confusing and not that funny, at least they obviously don’t take themselves too seriously. One hundred million LOL’s at Matt Pike being cast as police investigator. Matt has been good friend and booking agent of some of my bands over the years. No way he agrees to be in this goofy-ass video if these dudes are douchers; in fact, I can’t believe he agreed to do it at all.
Fight Fair “Pop Rocks”
Haha- dude this is good! I love a good pop-punk tune. This is like NFG with way less annoying vocals. I was half-wishing that these guys always ran with the Beach Boys look, but the end of the video spoiled it with them jamming in street clothes- oh well. It’s hard for me to follow pop-punk these days because I’m old, fat and balding so it would be hard for me to go to a show without feeling like a creep, but I will definitely look into this group.
T-Mills “Stupid Boy”
Two years ago I moved to a neighborhood that is almost entirely Hispanic. Dudes like this are the reason why. I don’t know where this exact dude is from, but the beach cities in SoCal are flush with thousands of THIS GUY: 5k worth of ink at 20 years old, gauged ears, ghey hair… fuck, I’m pretty sure there’s a fixie in the doorway to his $900/month Huntington Beach apartment. My only solace lies in the fact that the OTHER dude that HB has a million of is the MMA fanboy, flat brim hat, lifted truck, shorts with black socks guy. Hopefully that MMA dude lives upstairs from this scrawny dipshit and comes down to threaten him every time he tries to crank up the volume on his crappy autotuned single.
Chunk No Captain Chunk “In Friends We Trust”
This is a good example of how there is an entire generation of kids who will never understand the concept of a sloppy recording. This shit is so triggered and gated and synthed that it’s hard to tell where the band stops and the ProTools begins. That drum fill at :53 would’ve had to be played on the bass drum 10 years ago, but now we can flawlessly trigger a floor tom to sound flappy like a bass drum. Is it common now for bands like this to have synth in the recordings but no synth guy in the band? Weird. Sgt D tells me these guys are Euros- if that’s true then I may have to back off my 5 year rule for Eurostyle, because every kid in this video looks like I saw them at Chain Reaction last week. MLB should market an American-Starter pack to Euros. It would include one garment from every American baseball team and would apparently sell like hotcakes; or crepes I guess.
Winds Of Plague “The Impaler”
This is like if Bleeding Through had any illusions of being toughguys- they’ve even got the girl synth player. Once again, as soon as I sense a band taking themselves too seriously in a video I shut down. Huge LOL’s at the two-videos-in-one concept with the second half being played inside that underground troll city from the first Lord of the Rings.
Waka Flocka “Hard In Da Paint
I thought for sure this tune was gonna be about basketball. One of the things that I used to enjoy doing as a cable guy was disconnecting people who were stealing cable. I’d fuck everything up, cutting out lines and cables to everything I could reach- almost out of spite. Sometimes dudes would come out and mad dog me, but I was never really worried. The worst thing I’ve heard happen is a dude chained his pitbull to a cable guy’s ladder while he was up top disconnecting the dude, and the cable guy had to call 911 from the top of his ladder. Basically what I’m saying is- Waka Flocka’s whole street is probably stealing cable, and I think that’s probably just viewed as a sunk cost by the cable company.