Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tracing the Roots of Fancy Metal and a Journey to Austin, TX

Where as I may have overstepped my perceived cultural influence with a hyper-enthusiastic endorsement of NWOABM as the new American art form, I am sure to cement my own blogendary status by being the first to popularize the even more exciting genre known as FANCY METAL.

I heard a metal journalist say once that Black Sabbath may have been the first band to define the heavy metal sound, but it was actually Judas Priest that was the first band to be entirely metal, all the time. In much the same the way, the first band to find what I would refer to as the Fancy Metal sound would have to be The Fucking Champs. However I believe the true Rob Halfords’s of Fancy Metal (or Rob Seanford’s), the band that gave it its name and dared not deviate from the core values of fanciness, may in fact be Professor.

hella fancy

Typically false and ungrim, there’s a simple equation for determining whether or not your metal band is “fancy.” It goes like this:

Sophistication > Brutality = Fancy Metal
Sophistication < Brutality = Heavy Metal

See also: You might be in a fancy metal band if you have dual leads but one bass drum. You might be in a fancy metal band if you read books that aren't about hobbits. Ect.

Speaking of bizarre and faraway lands, Austin, Texas. Famous for it’s rich musical culture, this island of liberal sanity (Seattle Southwest?) also happens to be a hotbed for fancy riffage and devout Champs worship. Perhaps the only town in America where you’re drug dealer’s band can actually be pretty good, Austin’s reservoir of fancy riffs is a cultural staple as pervasive as it’s breakfast tacos.

and Barbecuties

Of course, the IC favorites in TX are Blackholicus, but I just wanted to take a quick second to hip you to two more you might be into: Pirates of Darkwater and Golden Axe.

Pirates of Darkwater

This Austin trio self describes their sound as “champs for dummies” so they’re a no brainer when talking about fancy metal. Guitarista Bryan Ritchie later went on to play bass in the now mainstream band The Sword, so I’ve been told the majority of these CDs are still sitting in his closet.

small bands = small images

Fancy Metal bands can often be spotted by their long and ridiculous song titles (see: "Now is the Winter of our Discoteque" and "Nebula Ball Rests in a Fantasy Claw") and Pirates of Darkwater are no exception. Their song titles are the most ridiculous:

"The Day Dan Keyes And I got High After Top Notch"
"Constructing A Venn Diagram Between 1984 and War of The Worlds"
"Escaping the Highlands of Vastonia"

(and my favorite)

"Narnia Time is Quite Different than Real Time"

This band is Shelby's second favorite POD. Riffs for nerds who like riffs.

Golden Axe

Here is a live demo from 200? If they have an official recording I don't know about it. This demo is just 8 minutes of fancy riffs without all the clutter of vocals and bass guitar. Fuck all that.

not the actual cover of this bootlegged live cd

How heavy this Golden Axe. Riffs for nerds who beat up other nerds while listening to nerdy riffs.

That's probably enough fanciness for now. And at least you’ve got some fresh tracks from two highly un-google-able bands that havnt even made it to the Encyclopaedia Metallum. Go build a 9-string guitar, listen to Andre Segovia, watch a Bergman film and drink your coffee with pinky held high. You’re fancy now. Good day.

Illogical Request: Speaking of TX, does anybody have any Chief Death Rage?


The Thing That Should Not Be said...

I am well and truly nailing my colours to the mast of Fancy Metal. Thanks to YOU, Seanford, for bringing such Fancy-pants material to my attention. I love you in ways that don't seem natural.

Shelby Cobras said...

Oh shit Sean it looks like we have another full-fledged BRO on our hands... Somebody ICE this guy stat!

Shelby Cobras said...

Speaking of the Pirates of Dark Water: Hanna-Barbera needs to get THIS SHIT on DVD pronto. Always dug that show...

Steven said...

Thanks fer the cool tunage, but you didn't really 'splain about the roots of Fancy Metal. It's quite a jump from "Hell Bent for Leather" to "What's a Little Reign?". What's the missing link? As a former Fancy Metaller myself, I'm not even entirely sure.

Manslaughter said...

Damn that barbecuttie is hot. She can come work for my new company SMOKIN' BABES.

Daniel said...

This is Austin not L.A.......