Camp(y) Metal

Good day all,

I have the ability to listen to music all day at work as I perform my duties for my company. I have to keep it pretty low as not to disturb my office mate, but I can hear it well enough that it helps me get through the day and breaks the silence of a quiet office for me. When it comes to listening to something other than a thousand metal songs on shuffle I will find myself in a mood to hear a specific type of music that day, usually when no one else is in the office. I may have a preference for some power metal, or straight up thrash, or even something a little fun and “campy”, if you will.

There are a ton of metal bands that I like to listen to just because they are campy, and fun, and you just can’t take them to seriously. This is nothing new to metal, S.O.D., M.O.D, The Dictators, Ludichrist, have been doing this since the late ’70s through the 80’s. Alice Cooper has been a bit campy since the beginning of his career to today. Albums like Alice Goes to Hell, and Along Came a Spider, are some of the funnest albums out there. You just can’t take them seriously even though one album is literally about Alice going to hell and the other album is about a serial killer who makes a human spider out of the limbs of his victims. How could you not smile when a song starts with the lyrics “You look like you’d fit in the trunk of my car” ?

Think about it like this, if you look at the genres other than metal you will find this type of campy fun as well. Look at Jimmy Buffett, could you possibly take anything he says seriously? Sure he is now living the life he sings about, but most of us are not going to be able to live like him so his fans live vicariously through his music, which is great for them. Metal has that as well only it is usually a bit darker than the sunshine and rainbows Jimmy Buffett sings about.

Much like Alice Cooper, Lizzy Borden, there are bands that take the aggression and angst of metal and put at least a bit of a lighter bend on things. Bands like Tankard, Municipal Waste, Wednesday 13, and his side project The Murderdolls all allow for us to listen to the music we love and at the same time understand the campy-ness of it all. Wednesday 13 does this really well, with songs about Jason Vorhees and the dangers of Crystal Lake (from the movie Friday the 13th), the issues with serial killers in the California Valley, Werewolves in London, an ode to the Ramones in the song I Wanna be Cremated, this is some really great stuff to listen to when you really want to relax and have a good time listening to music without any of the social commentary or even have to think at all.

There are plenty of bands and songs that fall into this campy territory, heck you could probably even put all of the hair metal bands of the 80’s into the “campy” category, as I find it hard to believe that we ever took them seriously. But we did and we did because it was fun to listen to Motley Crue talk about “Girls, Girls, Girls”, and the debauchery that was living as a pop metal icon in the 80’s full of excess and no limits. That was fun for us as kids and I think that a band like Wednesday 13 has done a fine job of continuing that feeling for a different generation of people listening to metal. Not to forget the bands that I mentioned earlier like Tankard and Municipal Waste, and even older bands like Green Jello and Ugly Kid Joe their music is fun to listen to and you don’t have to be angry or annoyed or need an outlet for your frustration to listen to them, you just need to have fun.

Don’t misunderstand what I am saying, I am not saying all other metal is not fun to listen to, what I am saying is sometimes you need to be able to sit on your deck, drink a beer and be able to enjoy the music and laugh at a lyric like “You were the love of my life, And now the city morgue has put you on ice, You were the one that got away, I love you morgue than words can say”, and not take the music so seriously. It is OK to have campy fun, give it a try!

Song of the Day: http://youtu.be/VcTk32zC1kc

Until Later, Peace

Lurch

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One thought on “Camp(y) Metal

  1. Like the song of the day.

    I got to say something about Jimmy Buffett though. Yes he has some fun stuff and light stuff, but there are more serious songs that most casual fans don’t ever hear. The Captain and The Kid is a song about love and loss involving his grandfather. He’s got many other ones like this as well. His first two albums were folk based. Just wanted to clarify.

    Nice post and yes, I do enjoy the camp stuff myself.

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