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No lateral gene transfer in mammals - 9%

Napero, November 10th, 2010

Drain, or Drain STH as they are known in the USA, has relatively little claim to fame in the big picture. If someone knows them, it's either due to infatuation with dead alternative and grunge of bygone years, or because of the Tony Iommi connection. The latter might be interesting as a historical tidbit, mostly as a trivia question; then again, Iommi's daughter is reportedly engaged to the guitarist of HIM, so it's not really anything that special.

Drain's music is, from the point of view of a long-time metalhead, rather plodding and monotonous. While certain riffs have some token metal content in them, the attitude is bleak in the same way as the less-known songs of Nirvana are. while "Teen Spirit" and a handful of others might have been instantly recognisable old-time party hits in the mid-90s, the average Nirvana song usually consists of Mr Cobain's tired, apathetic whining. And that is the true face of most grunge; even if the movement was rather difficult to define musically, the common theme is the bored angst, intentionally lackluster tunes, and that something that was perfectly captured by a bunch of animators in that one Simpsons episode with Homer's grunge career going down the toilet. Simple tunes, with angst and guitar feedback, sometimes camouflaged with big scoops faux-aggression, but in the deepest parts just a teenager's zit-faced whimpering. Yes, Pearl Jam can be good occasionally, but generally the movement was annoying as fuck.

what Horror Wrestling contains is a blend of grunge and alternative rock, superficially enforced by somewhat metallic riffing on the bottom. The introverted style is in the same annoying vein as those valueless Nirvana tracks, with the wailing female vocal style and songwriting that tries to sound melancholic or depressed, but sounds, in the end, like someone trying to come up with something to whine about; Generation X is a sorry excuse for a bunch of human beings. Growing up in the 80s, usually with considerably better economical and social starting points than any previous generation, the lousy crowd had to spend their time trying to come up with things to whine about, and grunge was the answer for a while. Sure, there were the pitifully stupid indie movies, such as Singles and its ilk, and certain other forms of questionable art that were supposed to be expressions of individuality but ended up as parts of a herd mentality of people who wanted to be individualistic in a proto-hipster way, but grunge was the tired rebellion of young adults who really had no reason to rebel, a role later taken over first by nu metal fans and then by today's emo kids. They were depressed because it was important to be depressed, but that's about as far as it ever went. Being a real rebel means giving up the security of a given framework, and the damn whiners were not ready to give up the parental support and material well-being, and so grunge ended up being watered-down pseudo-rebellion of well-off youngsters with serious difficulties in coming up with anything to really whine about. And it was completely commercial from the very beginning.

Anyway, whatever it is that Horror Wrestling consists of, it's certainly not ideologically or musically even close to pure heavy metal in any shape or form. Maybe the second album actually contains some groove or something that could be called metal, but it will be next to impossible to ever gather the necessary fragments of willpower to actually to listen to it, if given an opportunity. Horror Wrestling is utterly boring, whiney, monotonous, apathetic, and relies on pseudo-metallic riffing that's as convincingly part of the deal as the make-up of an emo kid. This is grunge and alt rock, not metal. It does not make an impact whatsoever, and while it tries to be depressed, even that is depression of an essentially plastic quality, pre-designed by someone and given the same form as a thousand other bands of the 90s did.

Yeah, the Tony Iommi connection is interesting, and might prompt others to buy this album as well, but a word of warning: in mammals, genetic material only moves downwards in a family, and only truly mixes in the offspring; the individuals joining in a carnal union only do so for the purpose of fuzing their genes in the next generation, not for their own personal benefit or for the benefit of the other. In this case, Iommi, who usually is a certain seal of quality, has had no positive impact on the album, and since the date of the marrige is not publicly available, it's questionable if there even was a chance for him to do so. There's no Iommi to be found on this album, so forget the connection. Horror Wrestling is not worth your time or money, and should be bypassed in favour of, say, another copy of The Unspoken King...