Friday, 8 June 2012

The Kerrang! Awards - My reaction

 Wow, last night saw the announcement of the the 2012 Kerrang! Awards Fuelled by Relentless Energy Drink. Naturally being the fan of the magazine that I am, mixed with the fact that I really want to work there sometime and the fact that I did a reaction post last year and lord knows, some kind of tradition has to be upheld, I think I'll write another reaction post for this year's award, even though I basically posted my reactions on Twitter last night and already stated who I voted in my surprisingly popular Exams! Two down, one to go! post. Meh, what's honestly the worst thing that could happen?

Best British Newcomer: While She Sleeps - Yes, the past few months has seen the Sheffield quintet go through a significant increase in recognition of popularity so it's unsurprising to see all their recent efforts get noted in this way. I'm pretty satisfied with that, I have to say. They know how to make metal with a rush of pure adrenaline, it must be said. I always feel a certain excitement whenever the music video for This Is the Six appears on Scuzz, so it's cool to see lots of other people think the same way. Personally, I would have preferred to see the award go to Hawk Eyes, with March's Ideas being one of the finest debut albums heard this year so far. They take everything perfect about rock, punk and metal and put it into one. My Twitter announcement concerning this prompted Hawk Eyes to refer to me as "nice man." I still don't know if I should reply to them telling them how massive a fan I am and how I have a poster of them.

Best International Newcomer: Falling in Reverse - Were I a more sophisticated rock music elitist, I would be in total fury about the Las Vegas quartet being awarded with Best International Newcomer. There's cynicism to be found in the making of the group. You could say it's just Ronnie Radke's attempt at getting back at his former bandmates in Escape the Fate, that we shouldn't be celebrating the music of someone that got arrested (Try telling Burzum fans that one) and is now essentially singing songs that get all to autobiographical in  some lyrics. But, I'm not sophisticated and I'm a real sucker for emo rock with totally infectious hooks so ultimately I'm happy that they got awarded. I'd like to think that it's because of them music and not just some of the younger audience members viewing Radke as some kind of cult leader. Once again, I would have preferred to see Motionless in White win. Their music is much more exciting, mixing brutality with melody to lyrical messages that genuinely provoke-thoughts. I also got lured into their music by their song Abigail, since I really love The Crucible. Maybe in FIR wrote a song about Death of a Salesman I'd be more persuaded to vote for them.

Best Single: Black Veil Brides - Rebel Love Song - Guess that's pretty cool. Like Falling In Reverse, I should probably hate the Black Veil Brides and be in total dismay of their ever rapid rise to dominated the world of rock music but again, with the Hollywood quintet specializing emo rock with hooks, as well as an extra metallic bite, how could I resist them? If I'm honest, I didn't really mind who won this all the songs were as good as each other and the pulsing nature and charming choruses of Rebel Love Song have been proven to turn anyone into a fan. Believe me. However, my vote went to You Me at Six and Oli Sykes, for their awe-inspiring Bite My Tongue, the song that officially turned You Me At Six into a real rock band. Don't hate me metalheads.

Best Video: Bring Me the Horizon - Alligator Blood - One has to admit, the music video for Alligator Blood, showing Bring Me the Horizon take an unconventional lad's night out is pretty spectacular. Filled with references to films Eyes Wide Shut, Hellraiser and The Seventh Seal, the video portraying the band meet their fate through such ways as Tarot cards, alligator attacks and being fondled to death by vampires is actually quite a gripping watch even without the song, wether the amount of metaphorical imagery really comes to any great message is another thing granted but it's pretty spectacular nonetheless. Also, I've not seen a hardcore band playing mentally while wearing suits since Gallows, so extra points there. However, I would have been happier if Mastodon's Curl of the Burl had won. It's the best thing to have been filmed in the history of history.

Best Album: Mastodon - The Hunter - Some faith in humanity has been restored. The fifth release from the Atlanta metallers was without a doubt the best album of 2011. It sees a more stripped down laid back Mastodon without any great thought of conceptual details or inaccessible complications, only to just make a great metal album that would serve as a fitting tribute to Brad Hinds, the brother of guitarist Brent who passed away while hunting. And what they did what create a memorable set of metal songs, all overwhelmingly heavy that displayed some of the greatest lead guitar work in a long time and rousing anthems mixing sing along melodies with crushing brutality and totally atmospheric moments to lose oneself in.

Best Live Band: Enter Shikari - If I'm honest, this award was of little consequence to me. I hadn't seen any of the nominated bands live to my great annoyance, because I was very close to going to see Enter Shikari and then spent that evening doing much needed work on a history dissertation, so fair enough maybe. So, no vote, little consequence. It's cool to see Enter Shikari win anyway.

Best British Band: You Me at Six - Okay, I suppose, in this modern era of British rock music, You Me at Six have become something of forerunners in the scene along with Biffy Clyro and Lostprophets. Third album Sinners Never Sleep really proved this as they came roaring to the top with finely crafted melodic rock songs, all of which had their own certain personality and air of dynamism, with influences from the most sophisticated names in alt rock, the biggest names in stadium filling rock bands and the wildest names in metalcore (as well as guest appearances) in a modern context, they probably are one of the best rock bands Britain has on offer. BUT IRON MAIDEN WERE IN THE SAME CATEGORY! Seriously, how did You Me at Six beat Iron Maiden? They're still one of the best live bands on the planet, are still extremely relevant and have made some of the best metal songs of the last 30 years. Even a Public survey conducted by HMV revealed The Number of the Beast to be the public's favourite album of the past 50 years. Honestly...

Best International Band: My Chemical Romance - There's probably a lot of people feeling some dispute towards My Chemical Romance receiving this award, since they've not really been up to that much lately apart from the odd festival appearance, plus 2010's Danger Days... album lead to a real divide in opinion. But my vote for the New Jersey boys doesn't really fall on recent efforts. I've just always really loved My Chemical Romance from he first moment I heard I'm Not Okay in my childhood, something which my music taste today would be nothing without having done. And I've always loved their albums even after the dramatic change in outlook that Danger Days brought. So, yeah, they got my vote.

For the first time in the Kerrang! Awards, awards were given to things like TV shows, films, games and comedians. I don't know if the comedians or cast members of TV shows and films, or even game producers made an appearance at the awards. Once again, I don't really pend my time watching TV, films nor do I play many games or even much stand-up comedy apart from my visits to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Either way, Game of Thrones won best TV Show, The Hunger Games won best film, Skyrim won best video game and Russell Howard won best comedian. Whatever. Was The Avengers nominated? I actually saw that and it probably should of won even without me having seen any other films.

Tweeter of the Year: Hayley Williams, Paramore - As I become more obsessed with Twitter, I probably should be more conscious of what qualifies as a good Tweet or not. While I've not fully worked out what that is, I'm quite confident that it doesn't belong to Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams. Sorry Paramore fans, she's a great musician, I love her voice and everything, but I'm more annoyed by the kind of needless and unwitty crap she tweets about. I always prefer seeing what The Blackout's Sean Smith has to write. It's often more relevant, much cooler and much wittier. Sounds perfect. If only I knew how to replicate it in my own form and become super cool.

Hottest Female: Lzzy Hale, Halestorm - Without wishing to launch into a perverted leary blokish rant about "fit birds" or anything of the sort, I'm glad that Lzzy Hale won this. Her dynamic voice presented on Halestorm's The Strange Case Of... which moves from the roughened up slickness of Love Bites (So Do I) to the delicate grace of Beautiful With You is only complimented by her perfect figure and wonderful beauty. Also, as we all know, girls that play guitar are super hot. 'Kay?

Hottest Male: Ben Bruce, Asking Alexandria - Without wishing to launch into a perver- wait, if I'm honest, this award was also of little consequence and let's be honest, the award of "Hottest person" really shouldn't be of major consequence in a music awards show. I mean, what if they had something like that at every award show? Imagine how little a chance most black metal and death metal musicians would have? Metallica would get nowhere. Anyway, I suppose it's nice to see Ben Bruce getting some attention for a change away from Danny Worsnop doing everything for Asking Alexandria.

Villain of the Year: Justin Bieber - Are you fucking happy now Kerrang! readers? I now have to have a picture of Justin Bieber doing devil horns on ROARF. God, that's depressing. Anyway, I'm sure most people will have voted for him as villain of the year. And honestly, what's the point? Yes, he makes shitty disposable pop songs and has a disturbingly large and devoted fanbase, but nothing can be done to stop him. And voting him as Villain of the Year will certainly be of little cause to his tyrannic rule of the world of crappy pop music. At least he's staying in that world and not ruining rock and metal music. And this is why Lou Reed should have won this award. I love The Velvet Underground and Reed's solo career, but when he and Metallica came together to create Lulu, it was a near suicidal event to listen to the album.

Hero of the Year: Rou Reynolds, Enter Shikari - With Enter Shikari using recent times to boost their message and popularity and spread their messages of political and environmental beliefs and to spread their desire of solidarity and working together as a nation to bring down the troubles that affect our world, though amazingly crafted music mixing the best of post-hardcore with the best in electronic trance and dubstep music, I honestly believe that frontman Rou Reynolds has done a great bit of positivity to the world of rock music and society in general. As well as that, the dude's a great guy that's always having a laugh and presenting himself as a proper gentleman. He deserves hero of the year.

Best Festival: Download - Yeah, to my fifth year friends, if any of you read this, I want you to know that you are the luckiest motherfuckers in the world for going to Download this year. I hope for your own sakes you spend your time there well and see all the best bands and if you don't see Black Sabbath I will slap you all silly. I always get excited whenever I see the Download lineup and I got especially excited this year. It's jut that kind of festival where you can think of any great band and, what do you know, they're at the festival, it's always been that way.

The Devotion Award: The Blackout - When Skindred got this award last year, I was never too sure what it meant, but with The Blackout, it makes much more sense. Gallantly stepping in to do the Kerrang! Tour was an undeniably bold move following Sum 41's departure from the tour. Their ever energetic performance and pouncing cover of Sum 41's Fat Lip to satisfy the fans of the Canadian pop punk titans meant that the Merthyr sextet impressed when most required. Their devotion to the magazine is truly justified.

Download arranger Andy Cooping.
In case you didn't know.
Kerrang! Service to Metal: Download Festival - Once again, Download Festival always comes up tops and the way that's managed to bring so many metal bands into the limelight is truly inspiring. Once again, this year's festival is going to be a truly spectacular event for metal fans (provided they ignore You Me at Six's headlining slot and  an appearance from Chase and Status) particularly with Black Sabbath the godfathers of heavy metal headlining. Once again, fifth year friends, see them.

Kerrang! Hall of Fame: Machine Head - With no knowledge on who would be inducted into the Hall of Fame, it's wonderful to see that one of the saviors of modern metal have been recognised in such a phenomenal way. With a wide range of influences including from legendary thrash bands, groove metal bands and grunge bands, Machine Head have always delivered the goods without a doubt. Last year's Unto the Locust continued to display the band's ability to create intricate metal songs with a high emotional impact, pulsing rhythms and a ever thrilling display of guitar skills. And with the overwhelming leadership of Rob Flynn, there's nothing about this band that isn't amazing.

Kerrang! Icon - Slash: About time. Is there anything that can be said about Slash that hasn't been said already. He's a true icon of guitar. Instantly recognizable, responsible for crafting some of the best rock songs of our modern age with Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and his solo work and is one of the biggest badasses to walk the planet. Slash is an icon, but he's been an icon long before this.

Kerrang! Inspiration - Black Sabbath - As the founders of heavy metal, there's little doubt that Black Sabbath have always served as an inspiration, but once again recent times have truly proved how inspirational and commendable they are. At the start of the year, the news of their reunion seemed to be on the way to falling apart with Tony Iommi's diagnosis with Lymphoma and Bill Ward's decision to sit out based on unsuitable contract terms. Many believed the reunion was done for but the cynics had another thing coming as Sabbath have announced they have at least 15 heavy songs recorded for their new studio album, the first Sabbath album to feature the original lineup in 34 years and played a storming set in Birmingham that has made the anticipation towards their Download set even higher. Truly, Sabbath now are lighting the spirit of never giving in no matter what situations life throws at you and if that doesn't serve as an inspiration, I don't know what does.

 So, the Kerrang Awards! and their results may not appeal to everyone but as a large fan of the magazine and all it has taught me about music, I can only look on approvingly of the decisions to give various awards to bands I love and have had an impact on my life. Some award winners were truly deserving. Others perhaps less so, but ultimately still satisfactory. Hopefully, things can go down as well next year. Now, when's the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards?

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