Ah, the joy of utter crap. Tonight, in a fit of boredom, I made it through the first half of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Batman and Robin, a film so relentlessly shitty that it would be grounds for recalling the California governor, had anybody actually seen it. Here’s the bad news: Buy Indie Music Compilation Vol. 1, a thoughtless mish-mash of unsigned artists brought to you by the awful human beings at buyindiemusic.com, makes me want to watch the second half of Batman and Robin and maybe throw in some Speed 2 to help clean my palette.
I don’t know if there’s any way to properly describe the travesty of Buy Indie Music, except that it makes me not want to buy indie music. It’s a desecration of everything good and true, and it’s my duty to all who are not permanently deaf to smack this album with one of the worst ratings Prefix has ever given. The cover features some hip red-and-black image of a nondescript douche bag (I think that’s the technical term) pointing a gun sideways (or “gangsta style,” if you want to get even more technical) at my face. This is in fact the smartest idea you will find on the album, since those too stupid to burn their CD players after the first minute of track-skimming may be fooled into thinking that a real man is threatening them with death unless they continue listening.
Buy Indie Music is an insult to the category “indie” and even to the much broader category of “music.” I might venture so far to even call it an insult to humanity. Indie music has blossomed within an otherwise monolithic industry because its artists care about originality and quality and believe that good tunes will succeed by their own emotio-intelligent merits without the help of an MTV marketing blitzkrieg. With the exception of Ariel Aparico’s intriguing but schizophrenic “Always the Bridesmaid,” every Indie artist takes a giant shit on the concepts of originality and quality, adding absolutely nothing new to their genres and failing even to be good copycats. There are hip-hop poseurs, emo crybabies and heavy-metal screamers (one of which, Shadow Pointe, finds with “I Am the One” that a press kit can dub you “progressive rock” if you have an odd time signature and awkward guitar lines). Hell, there’s even a straight-faced, completely unimaginative country song.
Being that these are all unsigned artists (and thank god for that), shoddy production is the norm, and those with money to get studio time are plagued by even shoddier songwriting. Besides Aparico’s nice stab at decent music and Timothy Dark’s derivative but slightly competent rap-rock, saving graces on this album must be found in unintentionally hilarious moments, which unfortunately are as rare as the chances of someone actually paying money for this compilation. Metal-heads Informer have a hard time pronouncing “crutch” in their song of the same name, so it sound like the lyrics are, “Won’t you come inside and hide with me/ Let’s go inside/ We’ll use my crotch!” Ultra old-school/cornball rapper Emmett North Jr. somehow manages to remain straight-faced through his rap: “Like a present wrapped up in ribbon and bows/ Like big legs wrapped in pantyhose/ Like a Milky Way wrapped in chocolate/ Like a miniskirt with a real tight fit.” That’s about as good as it gets, people.
Black Dog Promotions claims that they selected Vol. 1‘s fifteen featured artists from “thousands of submissions.” That means that somewhere out there are thousands of aspiring musicians even worse than these hacks. This thought alone scares me; it’s only a matter of time before they take over. If you know or have ever known a musician that might be bad enough to appear on Buy Indie Music, report him to Prefixmag.com at once. There’s still a chance they can be saved. But please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t give buyindiemusic.com any more fodder for Vol. 2.