Sometimes you listen to a band and you want to tell the world. You are desperate to have everyone know about them and cannot understand why people greet the mention of their name with blank faces. Other times you hear a band and wonder who actually cares? Who is spending their time and money supporting a band who while maybe not bad, are just so generic, that they are almost inventive through complete lack of invention. A band that very much invoke that feeling inside of me is Godsmack, who this year released 1000hp.
Now I don’t want to be completely horrible to Godsmack, because they are not a completely horrible band. 1000hp is filled with punchy and catchy tracks, that you can easily sing along and punch the air too. The problem is that nearly every track on the album sounds exactly like that and what it sounds like isn’t that original to begin with. If you have heard American radio, hard rock, then you have heard everything Godsmack have to offer. Tracks like the title track and “Generation Day” are good fun while they are on, but the second they are over you will forget them and I just find it difficult to understand how anyone can get passionate about this kind of music. Even when Godsmack try and do something different, such as on “Turning to Stone”, they do so by adding some weird bongo esque drumming, it’s about as cliched as you can get really.
Now of course Godsmack aren’t unique in this phenomenon. It’s the problem I have with 90% of pop music, anyone that has won the X-Factor and most dance track. It’s also not exactly missing in the heavy metal world. In fact, I listen to some bands that I think could be described in that exact same way, Five Finger Death Punch probably being the biggest current example. While the number of identikit metalcore bands on the go at this time in musical history is getting scary. So why do people constantly go back to these bands? Why do people find it in themselves to support bands that are just like a hundred other bands out there.
I suppose the simple answer to that is that familiarity can be nice. It doesn’t matter how dumb the lyrics are to “Locked & Loaded”, there are hundreds of Godsmack fans out there, if not thousands, who will shout along to it with glee. Bands like Godsmack and FFDP may sound like a hundred other bands, but by making their music a little more catchy and a little more bouncy, they insure that people come back for more and while most people will never truly love, them they will stick on their albums when they are going for a run or at a party and enjoy them every single time.
People listen to bands like Godsmack for the same reason they will always try and get the same rowing machine in the gym or sit in roughly the same place on the bus. Human beings are creatures of habit and Godsmack scratches an itch that they occasionally want scratching. It doesn’t matter that their music kind of sucks, because it ticks all the right boxes and while I personally don’t get them at all, I would be being a complete hypocrite if I couldn’t admit that I didn’t understand the need to listen to such a band.