It is always nice to know that when you review a bands work that they read it, understand what you were trying to say, and respect your opinion. This doesn’t always happen of course, most reviewers develop thick skin, especially when they are in the habit of being honest, and saying if they dislike a record (constructively of course).
I know of one situation where a friend reviewed a local bands EP release, and recognising how poorly produced and recorded it was, rendering the art of the song-writing invisible he was critical of this area, explaining how impossible it made it for him to judge properly the qualities of the music. This was taken in a very poor way by one particular member of this band, who threatened (quite seriously) to burn down the reviewers house, with him in it.
Now, it is bad enough to care so little about what you produce to send out poor quality recordings. But to then get upset when a reviewer, who is merely providing an objective point of view on what has been placed before him and who has the temerity to be honest about it, is frankly obscene. As something of a post script to this anecdote, this “musician” had built a reputation of slagging off anything and anyone loudly and publicly that happened to not book his average band. So as well as reviewers; venues, festivals, and most importantly promoters all felt the wrath and scorn of this individual. Which led to the inevitable (possibly) subconscious black listing of the band and consequent total disappearance from the local music scene. And no one mourns this . At all.
But, this distracts from the purpose of this post. I was wanting to discuss how nice it is when a band appreciates the words you have written about them. Sometimes all you will get is a social media thank you and re-posting, frequently you find they are quoting you on their biographies etc, and then on occasion, some bands, who are more marketing literate, will make more of an effort. Therefore I wanted to really show off, as Worcester based neo-grunge trio Vault Of Eagles have taken a quote of mine that appeared in a review of their Plastic Culture Human Vulture EP on greenmanmusic.biz and made a rather cool meme out of it!
What impresses me the most however, is how they have taken a slightly negative review and not let it bother them. The release of this EP was as the second part of a double release, as they also had recorded some of the songs acoustically, so had produced a companion piece of work – Unplugged. I wrote about this one first as it was released earlier, and whilst enjoying it I felt it was holding the band back, and should have been an interesting secondary release rather than coming first. I wanted to hear this material as it was originally written to judge it properly. And I was right, as the second EP worked brilliantly, resulted in a glowing review (as you can tell from the meme) and in hindsight shed new light on the translation of these pieces of music to an unplugged situation. Were I to re-write the original Unplugged review it would read a lot differently.
And look, by massaging the ego of a reviewer they have gathered even more publicity. Take note other bands!
If interested, the original reviews are here:
UNPLUGGED – http://www.greenmanmusic.biz/?p=5923
PLASTIC CULTURE HUMAN VULTURE – http://www.greenmanmusic.biz/?p=6223