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Prog Rock Used To Be So Cool, Until It Did All That “Progressing”

ATTENTION MUSICIANS: Who the hell do you think you are? Don’t you realize that you’re leeches on society, only able to subsist because you’ve been able to deceive and exploit your audience into overpaying for the small modicum of entertainment you provide? Don’t you realize that you owe your fans your very lives, as well as the lives at least two of your more-preferred offspring? The very thought that an artist, especially in progressive rock, would even consider producing music that didn’t conform to the totally reasonable and valid expectations of their fan base makes me sick to the point of hallucination. And surely I must be hallucinating if my ears are hearing what they think they’ve been hearing from some of my favorite prog artists over the past few months.

Breakfast of champions

Hey Opeth, did you guys forget what metal sounds like? At what point did you decide that Heritage  needed to be an hour-long tribute to crappy 70’s prog bands? I listen to you because Mikael sounds like a demon who was fed a strict diet of motor oil and broken Christmas ornaments. I need some brutal death metal growling! I don’t particularly care that you were able to resurrect elements of classic prog that had been lost to majority of the new prog generation by seamlessly integrating those elements into your already eclectic interpretation of progressive metal, or that Mikael actually has an amazing voice when singing cleanly. I don’t pay you to expand the genre, I pay you to play “Deliverance” really fucking fast! DOUBLE BASS DRUMS, CAN YOU PLAY THEM?!?!?!

Yo, Steven Wilson, what’s with all the not-Porcupine-Tree you’ve been doing lately? Did I tell you that you could take a break, and do totally awesome things like re-master classic King Crimson albums? Why did you think it would be accetpable to do another solo album? You didn’t even get Gavin Harrison to play drums on it this time! Get back in the studio, on the side of the glass WITHOUT the mixing equipment, pick up that acoustic guitar, and play something that sounds vaguely Pink Floyd and/or Radiohead-ish. So help me God if you play something that sounds at all like Krautrock…

Mike Portnoy, listen, I know it’s been a rough year for you. I’m sure it’s been painful for you to watch as your former band-mates move on with another drummer (named Mike no less!) while you’ve been left to fend for yourself, out in the cold, with only six or seven projects to pass the time (Adrenaline Mob, Hail, Transatlantic, Neal Morse’s band, playing with Stone Sour, that thing with John Sykes, I think I heard you’re opening up a pro-wrestling school with Chris Jericho…) but come on man, you’re starting to bore me. When am I going to be able to hear the exact same beats I heard on Systematic ChaosOctavarium, Black Clouds and Silver Linings again? I’m not digging this whole “variety” thing across your new projects. And don’t you think it’s time for a Liquid Tension Experiment reunion, again? Tony Levin could turn into a pile of dust at any moment, time is running out! (Note: I would still pay money to hear a pile of Tony Levin-dust play Chapman Stick).

The structural damage done to one's face when first hearing "Juular" can be devastating.

Oh man…Devin Townsend…I don’t even know where to begin with you. Pick a genre and stick with it man! Do you know how long I’ve had to go without being able to pigeonhole you with traditional labels? You’re metal, you’re pop, you’re electronic, you’re new-age, I think I even heard some bluegrass recently. You’re like a hairless Canadian Frank Zappa sometimes!  If Epicloud isn’t another concept album about coffee and cheeseburgers narrated by the Ziltoid puppet, I’m going to strongly consider canceling my pre-order for the DTP box set. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Look music slaves, it’s very simple. Progressive rock isn’t about progressing. It’s about doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over again. The only thing progressive rock fans want to change about their music is the time signature. The sooner you all remember this important concept and get back to doing what you were doing back in 2000 the happier we’re all going to be, OK? This genre isn’t based on innovation, or expansion, or exploration, or any of those fun-sounding hippie words. The reason you all practiced your rudiments is so that you can play rudimentary music (it all makes sense now!). The sooner you all revert back to your established formulas the happier we’ll all be. And by “we” I mean everyone except you.

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11 responses

  1. Holy Shit! You are awesome! I enjoyed the hell out of that!

    December 10, 2011 at 8:40 am

  2. Oh And I will definitely be linking to this!

    December 10, 2011 at 8:40 am

  3. Leo

    Dude, I think all these musicians you mention are true artists not entertainers, when they are writing an album they don’t care about what you are going to think, they write and play whatever comes out of their balls. Think this through: if Franz Zappa, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, ELP and all those bands had not tried crazy, different and bizarre stuff in their music, prog rock would not be what it is nowadays. If you don’t like their music anymore just don’t buy their records, plus I don’t understand why you want musicians to play the same music over and over again, only a little faster, I bet you are not a musician and if you are not I’m more than pleased. Some advice, if you want to hear the same songs over and over again just follow pop music, leave prog rock alone.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    • Kevin O'Meara

      He’s being sarcastic… But I’m glad to see another post from you, Mike. They make me laugh every time.

      January 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    • Gordon

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

  4. Can you not tell by the pic that Devin Townsend is: THE WORM!?

    January 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  5. the distant station

    very good, and this is from a prog head! I lauhged. Well done

    got some prog related shit here: http://thecolorinyourcheeks.wordpress.com/

    June 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm

  6. Jan

    “Progressive rock isn’t about progressing. It’s about doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over again. The only thing progressive rock fans want to change about their music is the time signature.”

    LOL! I will definitely steal that!^^

    June 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm

  7. Man, Leo is KILLIN’ it up there!

    June 28, 2012 at 1:20 am

  8. Nice to find a blog with good music for once, should follow this page often. Thanks for the information! / Lennie

    Have a Swedish instrumental prog rock song from the early 70’s here you might like? http://lenniesmusik.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/bo-hansson-lord-of-the-rings-the-black-riders-1970/

    December 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm

  9. Hilarious read. Made me laugh more than a few times!

    I’m blogging about alternative rock bands from the UK over at http://aguywithakeyboard.wordpress.com

    Looking forward to more 🙂

    July 19, 2014 at 7:31 am

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