I thought it must have been a goof. Though most emails from PR people are unintentionally hilarious–“Band X is poised to take the music industry by storm with their jagged riffs, soaring choruses, and unbridled energy”–I figured this one had to be intentional. Century Media did not just sign Opiate for the Masses. They wouldn’t do something like that, would they?Alas, they did. Opiate for the Masses used to be on Warcon, the label run by Warped Tour’s Kevin Lyman. Calling Opiate for the Masses sub-Limp Bizkit jock rock is an insult to athletes and Fred Durst, assuming there are any insults left to be hurled in his direction. I hated this band when I first saw them, and I hate them now. They’re the extreme evolution of three equally terrible trends in music:
1. Douchebags playing the role of sensitive outsider. Sorry, but dudes that mainline creatine, walk around flexing their abs while shirtless, and have frosted hair don’t get to mine the same angst-driven creative territory as Kurt Cobain and Marylin Manson. While I’m at it, Secondhand Serenade takes this same aesthetic in the direction of weepy acoustic emo that makes Dashboard Confessional seem like Nick Drake.
2. Thinking that strip-mining the 90s is somehow a revolutionary concept. I quote guitarist Jim Kaufman: “Since its conception, OPIATE FOR THE MASSES has been a band in a constant state of transformation. Unwilling to change course merely to fit in among the flavors of the week, this band has gained popularity by blazing new trails for others to follow.” Evidently, “blazing new trails” is done these days by combining the fresh, revolutionary pseudo-metallic sludge of Alice in Chains with the Prodigy.
+ = ?
Dude, neither of these bands was even revolutionary in their own right. How the hell does adding them together equal a revolution in sound?
3. Taking themselves so goddamn seriously. To wit, I give you the Opiatist’s Manifesto, via their myspace page:
The Opiatist Manifesto
A Spectre is haunting the World- the Spectre of Opiatism. All the Powers of the World have entered into a Holy alliance to excorcise this Spectre: Pope and President, Ayatollah and Idealist, Radicals and Police spies. Where is the Party in opposition that has not been decried as Opiatistic by its Opponents in Power? Where the Opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of Opiatism, against the more advanced opposition Parties, as well as against its reactionary Adversaries?
Two things result from this fact:
I. Opiatism is already acknowledged by all World Powers to be itself a Power.
II. It is high time that Opiatists should openly, in the face of the whole World, publish their Views, their Aims, their Tendencies, and meet this Nursery Tale of the Spectre of Opiatism with a Manifesto to the Party itself. To this end, Opiatists of various nationalities have assembled in Los Angeles, and sketched the following Manifesto, to be published in all the World’s written languages.
Yep. That’s the preamble to the Communist Manifesto. I get it. I was confused. I thought you guys were a loud, touring, 45-minute beer commercial that aped the sound and style of two of the most careerist bands of the previous decade. Now I get it. You’re deep.
So there you have it: douchebags mining the 90s, posing as guerrilla warriors. I ain’t buying. They can grow dreads and tone down the “Marilyn Manson-meets-Motocross-and-gelled hair” all they want: a spade is a spade, and they are the worst band I’ve ever seen.