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Oh God Damnit Not Again!

July 4, 2010

Expected? Yes. Annoying? Indeed. To what am I referring? An “all-female deathcore band”? Not on your life. I really couldn’t care how many bad deathcore bands spring up, just as long as their fans don’t come to my favorite shows and act like assholes. (However, they’re welcome to show up and be respectful.)

Today I’m critiquing the critics, because they’re annoying me more than any deathcore band ever could.

A Lovely Day For Bloodshed is a generic band (some would say deathcore). Whatever. BUT THEY’RE WOMENZ!!! Oh wow! They… play instruments! Gasp!

That’s what we’ve all been conditioned to think. Yadda yadda, musicians with vaginas don’t get taken as seriously, they get ignored by most media outlets, they’re discouraged almost every step of the way (though I’m sure they’re encouraged to take off their clothes by publicists, photographers, and others in the industry). It’s an uphill battle.

And then… this.

The Number of the Blog gave this band a scathing review.

ALDFB is an all-girl deathcore band, which makes them unique in that most of the time, the members of these deathcore bands only look like girls. This also means that they can shop for girls’ jeans and not look like utter retards in doing so. And I’ll say this for them… they’re a deathcore band. Which means that, although they suck, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they’re girls and everything to do with the fact that they’re playing shitty music that is exactly like every other deathcore band out there. They have the tight pants, the snakebite piercings, and the scene hair, making them just like the other deathcore bands, except that they have boobs.

And sadly, I have a sneaky suspicion that this might get them farther than they might get normally in the massively overcrowded basement that is the deathcore scene.

(Emphasis mine). So… because they’re women, they’ll automatically get more attention and success? Whose version of reality is this? It doesn’t stop there. The review continues:

The worst part of all of this is not so much the band’s under-developed talent… with work, they could be halfway decent. It’s that they’re relying on their gender to stand out from a bunch of clones… and it’s not working.

I have some followup questions:

  1. How do you know they’re “relying on their gender” to stand out? What would that look like?
  2. Simply by being female, does one “rely on her gender” to obtain benefits unavailable to male musicians? (If so, what benefits are these?)
  3. Does gender performance promote the perception that a band is focusing on priorities other than making good music?

Plus, they end the post with a non-joke about how they refrained from joking about a link to menstruation. Because it’s always A Lovely Day for swimming when your uterine Blood decides to Shed. (I’m starved for time in the water to cool off in this 95 degree humid weather! My period ruining that would be pretty metal…)

So, in summation, the review implies that by virtue of being women who formed a band, they’ve got some other motives besides being in a band and making music. Something about employing those feminine wiles to get ahead in the music world…

This band was read as using their looks for some purpose or other, and thus they were judged accordingly. If you’re On Stage While Female, you will be put on a scale of fuckability. These women were found wanting in the looks department, so the comments turned to assessments of A Lovely Day for Bloodshed’s attractiveness rating. Some went as far as to claim they were “really men”. (Does that make the argument that they’re using their looks moot?)

However, Julia at Reign in Blonde had a better perspective on this mishigoss.

But here’s the real skinny though on why this all kinda sucks. The only good thing about this band is that they clearly are trying to just be a deathcore band, and NOT an all-female deathcore band. There’s this double-edged sword in this little genre of ours, where whether you’re amazing or amazingly sucktastic, being a female will overshadow everything else. Even us. I genuinely think that a lot of us aren’t thinking of this fact when we are trying to be our most brutal, knowledgable, respectable selves, but it kind of overrides everything. Like a giant boil on Lemmy’s neck, the only thing you can do is try your best to just ignore it. Just a fact of life I suppose… Carry on ladies, and practice practice practice.

(Emphasis mine).
If women were not unfairly judged on looks, if we were not socialized to view women as things to look at, if girls were encouraged to become musicians and had better role models… this crap might be mitigated. Until then, we’re stuck with the existing structures and must navigate them.
-Ms. Anthropia

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2010 3:40 pm

    I think you may have misconstrued my point a bit… They go out of their way to mention that they’re an all-girl band in their bio, going so far as to say “In a music genre that seems to be ‘dominated’ by men, these girls spit in the face of criticism”. I’d say that’s relying on their gender to stand out. If they weren’t trying to rely on their gender, why say anything? It has nothing to do with “simply being female”, it’s about pointing out that fact rather than just trying to be another band.

    As for their gender getting them farther than their talent normally might, well, that’s how things work. I don’t agree with it, or like it… if it weren’t for that sort of thing, bands like In This Moment, Evanescence, and the like probably wouldn’t be nearly as famous. (This also goes for some notable womens’ sports figures who made it mostly on their looks, like Danica Patrick and Anna Kournikova.) But that’s modern society for you.

    The entire point of my post, really, is that they’re just as bad as every other deathcore band out there, and it has absolutely nothing to do with their gender. The reason that they suck is because they play a terrible style of music and follow the “scene” like all the other scene kids.

    There are plenty of bands with women in them that are great and are getting by simply on the basis of their music alone… ALDFB aren’t one of them. We’ve mentioned Jex Thoth, Sabbath Assembly, and Shroud Eater within recent weeks, and all are excellent bands who don’t feel the need to resort to the “OMG LOOK WE HAS A GURL” thing. And that’s how it should be.

    So, after all that, I’m sorry my post gave you the wrong impression. The commenters, well, they have a mind of their own, so I can’t speak for them.

    And the non-joke at the end, well, my wife actually came up with that.

    • July 6, 2010 9:43 pm

      I see what you’re saying. You didn’t mention these justifications in your original post, so it was unclear as to how you came to your conclusions. Thank you for the clarification.
      You were fair in stating that talent and gender are not directly related. However, I came to conclusions about your post based on the contents of the post (I only skimmed ALDFB’s bio, because bios tend to be boring and tell you nothing about the music). Now that I know where your argument comes from, the post is not as ire-inducing as I originally found it.

      You’re right about the fact that sex is used to sell everything. When sex is filtered through the dominant male gaze (in this case, marketers and male record execs trying to make a buck), it means “naked women and breasts”. It’s an easy by-line, and I’m just as fed up with it. While I’m not entirely sure why Evanescence, In This Moment, and others are so popular, it’s possible that asking their singers to strip down or present their gender in a certain way was a marketing strategy. Or it could be that a lot of people like the way they sound. Just as you cannot vouch for your commenters (which is fair), I cannot vouch for popular tastes.

      The joke at the end was pretty funny, and I had a guffaw.

      -Ms. Anthropia

      • July 8, 2010 9:19 pm

        Much obliged. Glad to be on the same page here!

        I figure if I’m going to draw criticism, it might as well be for the right reasons, like my fanboyish love of Metallica, or the fact that sometimes I like to listen to Sheryl Crow.

  2. July 4, 2010 4:33 pm

    ALDFB doesn’t suck because they are women… it’s because they play shitty deathcore. We like a number of bands with females in them.. hell 2 weeks free shit friday was a band called Shroud Eater that is most definitely getting by on musical talent rather than looks.

    and in regards to number 3 Does gender performance promote the perception that a band is focusing on priorities other than making good music? Yes just look at Kittie.

  3. Dallas permalink
    August 7, 2010 10:44 am

    Don’t forget that this is their foot in the door. Never underestimate a band like this. I like the name. I like the exploitation of it. Deathcore is nothing but the horror genre for metal. It’s easy to dig if you get that it’s not so serious.

  4. August 6, 2011 6:09 pm

    Check out the band Immolate The Saints. Not an ALL girl deathcore band but it’s a female fronted one. While they don’ t purposefully promote Katie as a GIRL!?!? It is kinda cool because she puts a lot of guys to shame. She doesn’t sing like Straightline Stitch but the band is more on the lines of Whitechapel and they’re damn good. It’s remarkable when the industry is saturated with girly girls who DO rely on being a girl.

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