Sunday, August 21, 2011

Masakari - "The Prophet Feeds" (2010) [Halo Of Flies Records]

Crust punk bands always remind me that I'm sort of a hypocrite. For those of you who don't know, one of my biggest pet peeves happens to be punk bands with super, super liberal political agendas. You know, "dismantle the war machine," "veganism for life," and conspiracy theories left and right. For some odd reason I can't stand it, and I lean pretty far to the left as far as my own political standings. I wouldn't feel so stupid if I also defended the fact that I sometimes listen to bands with National Socialist leanings because "I don't listen to the lyrics, just the music." It's the same thing with religion, I'm not really one for religion but if the music is good enough I'll just ignore whatever the band is saying and enjoy the music. Either way, whenever I listen to crust punk, it is a constant reminder that while I might hold my opinions in high enough esteem that I publish them on a website, I am still a hypocritical moron.

The first time I listened to Masakari's The Prophet Feeds sometime last summer, I put myself to the test and actively pinched myself whenever I found myself annoyed with politics. No really, I pinched myself on the soft meat of my forearm; the part that annoyingly stings...and you know what? I found myself enjoying this album quite a bit. Falling into the "neocrust" category pioneered by the infamous Tragedy, Masakari takes the classic crust punk sound and throws a healthy amount of post-hardcore, doom metal, metalcore (the good kind that sounds like Integrity), and even elements of post-rock's "hellbent for epic climaxes" approach into the mix. To fans of neocrust, this really does sound like "just another neocrust band" and, to an extent, it is sort of true. Neocrust has sort of turned into a blur of similar sounding artists, but that doesn't mean Masakari is bad or mediocre by any means. The Prophet Feeds is a passionate work and, while I get peeved with extreme political leanings, I cannot deny the strength of what they feel and how it is reflected upon their music. It is obvious that their politics are important to them and, if that passion is something upon which they draw to add that connection to the artist, so be it. This is strong, passionate, angry, and resolute music, so who am I to get annoyed with their politics?

Why can't I ignore far-left leaning punk politics? Maybe because it's all too real to me. I mean, this is something that I readily see in the suburbs with 13 year old kids donning the "anarchist A" or spending ridiculous amounts of money for that god-awful Che Guevara t-shirt with the sole purpose of annoying adults. As I don't know Masakari personally, I can't condemn them the same way I condemn silly kids in affluent white suburbia, but I cannot ignore my experience with those kids nonetheless. What bothers me the most is the fact that the most I do to the (much more dangerous) other side is simply ignore their ideology but openly listen to their music. Maybe it's time I grow up and quit complaining about something so superficial as politics. Masakari makes awesome music and that's that.


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