I've never been the type to say "I told you so", but that's exactly what I'm here for today. Back in June, I predicted the rise of "TIGGER SLAM" ("2010: Pre-Doomsday Predictions"), which is a specific type of extreme metal written and marketed for the toddler/infant demographic. Metal's appeal has been seeping into a younger and younger audience, and Tigger Slam appears to be the endgame for this trend, signalling not only the finalization of metal's sad evolution/commodification, but also the end of society as we know it (2012, duh). I've prophecied already that Tigger Slam will be a full-fledged subgenre by mid-2010, and judging by the examples I've unearthed today, we seem to be moving along right on schedule.
We've already seen the first signs, "metal" T-shirts emblazoned with teddy bears, ice cream cones, and plush dinosaurs. And it's fairly obvious that "heavy metal" songs (whatever that means), with the encroaching inclusion of Autotune, hip-hop beats, and one-note sing-along choruses, are destined to be the nursery rhymes of tomorrow. But what else is going on? Well, lucky for you, Professor Cobras is on the case, exposing the latest instances of Tigger Slam rearing its cute, fuzzy little head. Know your enemies, Dear Reader. And when that cute, fuzzy little head pops up, be prepared to sever it with the double-edged broadsword of True Metal. We may not be able to STOP Tigger Slam entirely, but we can fight it.
But I digress. Let's take a tour of a couple new developments in the world of Tigger Slam. But first, a warning: THE AMOUNTS OF "CUTENESS" CONTAINED IN THIS POST MAY BE HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH. IF YOU ARE DIABETIC, PRONE TO CAVITIES, OR A FAN OF BANDS LIKE SQUASH BOWELS OR NUNSLAUGHTER, PLEASE STOP READING NOW (at least until the end of the post). That being said, let's begin...
Attack Attack! is a band that has already raped our eyes and ears with their anemic brand of kid-friendly metalcore. In fact, I even featured them in Part 3 of my "Doomsday Predictions" posts. But these guys won't stop at just lullabye metal and unintentionally hilarious videos. Check out the T-shirt above. Bright colors? Teddy bears? I'm calling you out, fuckers. Stay away from our children.
But as if the teddy bear shirt weren't enough, AA! even employs the help of Joe Camel himself (below) to recruit their fans. Last time I checked, Mr. Camel was also helping someone else recruit children as well. If I could only remember who it was...
Another repeat offender in the "marketing-their-music-to-toddlers" category are the Christian screamo-core pedophiles The Devil Wears Prada. The name itself is bad enough, but what the HELL are those things on their T-shirt?! Muppets? Not cool, guys.
Babies love dinosaurs, right? Well, while some REAL metal bands deserve a little leniency when it comes to using dinosaurs in their imagery and/or lyrical content, there are also other "metal" bands that certainly SHOULDN'T. Like Norma Jean (below). This may not be the "cutest" shirt ever, but a dinosaur and a cuddly tiger on a metal tee do indeed a Tigger Slam example make.
In addition (and correct me if I'm wrong), aren't Norma Jean Christian? Isn't the inclusion of a dinosaur in their imagery inherently hypocritical? Not to mention the historical inaccuracy of placing a modern mammal like a tiger in the act of battle with a prehistoric reptile. Next time leave it to The Flintstones, guys.
Below: "BOO" stands for "Born of Osiris", a technical death metal band. A technical death metal band whose shirts look like a doodle on some 4th grader's Trapper Keeper, apparently. FAIL.
Above and below: Pantera - "Daddy's Little Thrasher" and "Future Headbanger" onesies.
Jesus. I hate to even speculate about what sort of future Waffle House employees will call these their swaddling clothes. I hope you like meth, kid, because you'll be living off a steady diet of it in 15 years, tops. For some reason, Juggalo Baby Funerals instantly come to mind.
Above: Luring in toddlers with rainbow sherbert ice cream, Pretty Girls Make Graves? Shame on you. Shame on ALL of you.
Not to be outdone, grindcore pioneers Iwrestledabearonce present their own visual equivalent of a creepy perv in an ice cream truck attracting children with sugary delights (below). The inclusion of copious amounts of birthday cake, milkshakes and doughnuts make it all the more nefarious.
Speaking of Iwrestledabearonce, this band has got to be the greatest Tigger Slam offender of them all. Ice cream, cake, breakfast cereal and teddy bears have all appeared in their packaging and/or T-shirts, not to mention this, their most recent attempt at roping in the whole Spongebob constituent:
Ugh. I feel queasy, but just one more example of IWABO's Tigger Slam tendencies:
Which was, of course, immediately ripped off by Scary Kids Scaring Kids (PS: The name is a DEAD GIVEAWAY, guys).
But the Rockabilia catalog isn't the only place Tigger Slam is on the rise. Take this poor little fauxhawked "Heavy Metal Fan" over here (left). His mom probably bought this shit at Target. It's EVERYWHERE, I tell you!
Suburban soccer moms are hopping on the Tigger Slam bandwagon at an alarming rate, snatching up all the cutest little metal accessories they can in a mad dash toward complete oblivion. The signs are all there. WE'RE DOOMED.
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!?! Extreme metal is NOT FOR BABIES! Has Hot Topic poisoned our ideals so fully that we don't recognize the immediate danger RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES?!?!
I'm sorry, I just got a little worked up.
One more example before we move on to more pleasant topics. Check out the picture below. Pure Tigger Slam, of course, but if I'm not mistaken this appears to be an adult male rocking this shirt. Which puts it into a whole new realm of creepy.
It's not all bad, I guess. For example, check out the "Metal Mayhem Child Costume" shown below, available for only $25 at a Walmart near you. This is a rare case of totally-acceptable Tigger Slam. Well played, Walmart.
(Thanks to MetalSucks for that one)
Sorry to be such a downer. I'm sure we're all concerned about today's youth (and also the state of modern heavy metal), but the battle looks unwinnable. The forces of Tigger Slam are strong, and the odds are against us.
But do not despair. There are still those who fight the good fight. As a palate cleanser and closing statement, I give you two garments which are indeed the polar opposite of all things False Metal AND Tigger Slam.
Above: Cannibal Corpse's "Fucked With A Knife" thong. Below: Cannibal Corpse's "I Cum Blood" thong.
There. That feels better.