So, this album is why a lesser black metal album has not yet been reviewed and this one is pro bono for Mr. Alonge. A few years ago, Jarrod Alonge made a name for himself as a YouTube music comedic star. He set out to mock a number of genres with hardcore, pop-punk and metalcore taking centre stage. His “Every Vocalist” videos are some of the best things that you’ll watch all day. Out of these videos came three of Jarrod’s bands: Sunrise Skater Kids, Amidst The Grave’s Demons and Chewed Up. These three bands and others make up this razor sharp collection of parody tracks called “Beating a Dead Horse.”
Now, this should suck, right? Nope, like Stevie T’s album last month, this is as outstanding achievement. Jarrod gets what he is mocking; he understands the source material and the minutia of each of the genres that he plays within. That is the key to good satire; it must reflect the thing that it mocks almost perfectly or it will fail. Buy this album and watch his videos. You will see how well he does it.
This is a super cool movement that was started by guys like Dave Days to break from the “set rules” of modern musical genres and mock it. Thankfully, YouTube has helped this become a thing and brought it to widespread attention. The two mainstay guys that are carrying this banner now are Alonge and Stevie T. Although, Spinal Tap were doing this forty years ago. It is still funny.
This release is best talked about within the “bands” that play on it; let’s start with some “pop-punk” so get you pizza and khaki shorts ready and here we go with Sunrise Skater Kids: “Take It Easycore” may be the best track on the record and is one that underscores this guy’s musical chops. It’s a light and happy track diddie about friendship. However, it stands in contrast to the happy but dark “Love Me Back” which is a story of a stalker. This story as if written by Blink 182 or old school Senses Fail. Both of this tracks are the best of the album and provide endless enjoyment.
The “established” song of the record also belongs to the kids from Baltimore; “Pop Punk Pizza Party” is a genius takedown of the tropes within Pop-Punk. With lyrics like “I could never be the cool kid” and the amazing chorus “I’ll have my best friend in the front seat and my pizza in the back”, you just help but singing along. Plus, this version has a cameo from Dave Days and I marked out at that alone. Loved it!
The scenetastic “Amidst The Grave’s Demons” are up next with their musical output; the two best tracks from this band are “I’m So Scene 2.0” and “Save My Life.” Two great metalcore songs in their own right that attack the various trappings in all their open D string glory.
“Chewed Up” serve some stellar hardcore with “Unbreakable” and “Bite The Curb”; literally, these two songs could be by Hatebreed and that is not a bad thing at all.
The album is rounded out with a few other random tracks outside the three bands mentioned above and belong within a few random genres. Most of these are hits but a few don’t live up to the heights of the main tracks from Sunrise Skater Kids, Amidst or Chewed up. The influence of real musicians from the genres being explored while other cameos keep this whole thing fun.
The production is top notch and the Indie Gogo money was well spent. This added touch gives this concept a professional gloss. I love how this whole thing sounds; it adds to the parody tracks more than something with a lesser production budget could not have done. “Hey Jarrod, What’s That Song Again?” by Amidst The Grave’s Demons is literally the music of bands like A Day to Remember etc. that has been twisted to craft a song about ripping them off. It is glorious! So, do I like this one? Yes! Should you buy it? Yes! Can it be done again? Kind of; I would love a standalone Sunrise Skater Kids release but it can’t be done too often. When “mock rock” is done well there are few things better. Pick this one up and give Stevie T’s “Album of Epicness” a go too. That guy kills it.
1. The Swimmer by Amidst The Grave’s Demons
2. Love Me Back by Sunrise Skater Kids
3. Unbreakable by Chewed Up
4. Save My Life by Amidst The Grave’s Demons
5. Inconceivable Somatic Defecation by Vermicide Violence (feat. Jared Dines)
6. Take It Easycore by Sunrise Skater Kids
7. Bite The Curb by Chewed Up
8. Misogyneric by Amidst The Grave’s Demons (feat. Mattie Montgomery)
9. Pop Punk Pizza Party by Sunrise Skater Kids (feat. Dave Days)
10. The Distance Between You And Me Is Longer Than The Title Of This Song by Canadian Softball
11. I’m So Scene 2.0 by Amidst The Grave’s Demons (feat. Johnny Franck)
12. Cosmic Metaphysical Verisimilitude by Rectangles (feat. Mike Semesky)
13. 2 Freaky 4 Da Club by $wagCh0de
14. Hey Jarrod, What’s That Song Again? by Amidst The Grave’s Demons
15. Goodbye Baltimore by Sunrise Skater Kids