Hollywood Undead

support Attila
author HES date 23/03/16 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

As soon as it was announced that Hollywood Undead would not only be coming to Denmark, but would also be bringing Attila with them, it was pretty certain that many people I know would gravitate towards Store Vega, but primarily in an ironic fashion. Both bands are legitimately mocked because of their strange takes on moving metal elements into the mainstream. But as soon as we arrive at the venue, it’s actually pretty clear that a lot of people are here very un-ironically: These bands have fans in real life. I suppose that in my own elitist head, followed up by most people I know - I always just thought of both bands as jokes, nothing a self-respecting, rock-listener would ever admit to enjoying, apart from the occasional song that ends up on a playlist at shit-AM in the morning, when more than enough beers have beaten your temporal lobe senseless anyway. But as we enter, already drunk on White Russians and our contempt of the music, we hit a massive wall of people seemingly listening to Attila with interest.

All pictures by Philip B. Hansen

Attila

See, Attila is a band you should never “listen to with interest”. Chris Fronzak, otherwise known to his fans as “Fronz” - is an intentional douchebag and an unintentional joke. Tonight “Fronz” is looking like a middle-aged, psychic-channeling Fat Mike/hair-bleached Chad Kroeger, sporting sunglasses inside.

Attila

The musical stylings of the band are a mix of this scribe’s favourite styles: Metalcore with heavy doses of deathcore and nu metal. Needless to say, this makes for an energetic mix that generally would encourage people to mosh - if they knew how to do it. But in spite of Fronz’ repeated requests for a circle pit to open up, no one bats an eyelash: The overwhelmingly large crowd, probably drawn here more for the hip hop elements of Hollywood Undead, rather than the metal elements of both bands simply have no idea what a “circle pit” is. A few bob their head in a mimicking fashion, but otherwise, the entire front floor is pretty much motionless.

Attila

Chris “Fronz” Fronzak

Apart from this very unengaged audience, the music is also extremely low, even standing in the front, next to one of the speakers, we’re still able to carry on a conversation - and only the very deep rumbling of the bass and synchronized light show really manage to support the intensity of the music. While the Fronz seems a little hungover and more lacklustre than his usual “larger than life”-self, young bassist Chris Linck is doing everything in his power to engage with the audience, jumping like a Duracell-bunny back and forth between each end of the stage, but to no avail. The audience is DOA, and so is most of Attila’s 30ish minutes set.

4

Hollywood Undead

Now, needless to say, I think tonight’s main band is a joke, but what I sometimes wonder about, is if this band knows how big of a joke they are, and if so: Is it intentional? As lights are dimmed and the crowd starts screaming “undead” as in “Undead Army”, the band’s self-named “fan group” it dawns on me, that I actually might be a minority here, thinking of this band as a complete joke. A few young guys beside me seem to be very invested in the band, sporting both caps and scarfs covering up their faces.

Hollywood Undead

The lights are turned back on, as the opening track to their 2015-album “Day Of The Dead”, “Usual Suspects”, with the sing-along friendly chorus “I think I've lost my mind. But I'm feeling so alive. What a pity, it's so pretty. Looking through the bars and I see my city” gets the audience pretty riled up. It also makes it blatantly evident that neither “Funny Man” nor “Johnny 3 Tears” are good rappers or even good songwriters, the latter usually latching on to vague “me, he, see, be, three”-style rhymes, whereas “Funny Man” at least surprises by, from time to time, almost being spot on with his way too lavish rhymes. The group follows up with their second-biggest hit, “Undead” which is also receiving a positive response from the overtly engaged crowd, so much so that for a minute, one might even feel fooled into enjoying oneself.

Hollywood Undead

However, from here on out the band seems to be sporting one badly written song after the other with even more horrendous backing tracks, many of them without the infectiousness of “Undead”, like forgettable tracks “Tendencies” and “Dead Bite”. Meanwhile, some of the more successful tracks like “Been To Hell”, with the catchy line “Welcome to a world where dreams become nightmares!”, or the strangely upbeat “Kill Everyone” are still just drenched in vocal effects and horrible backing tracks. This combination of backing track and bad songs quenches the enthusiasm of the first couple of songs. It also becomes more and more clear that Hollywood Undead is very much playing on the same very limited strings both musically and contextually: I understand why young, misunderstood teens might gravitate towards lyrics about extreme violent outbursts and drinking. I might be getting old here, but I do wish youngsters would come out to a good old punk show and get that energy out in a mosh pit, instead of having to listen to something as far away from a Danish teenager’s reality as absurd violence and killing people. I mean, sometimes the rock milieu is stupid, but at least we don’t encourage to violence outside the pit.

Hollywood Undead

Oh yeah. They also wear masks.

So at this point I go to the bar to drown my sorrows, but from here I have an even better view of the spectacle that is Hollywood Undead covering not only “Seven Nation Army”, but also Rammstein’s “Du Hast” - an incredible tableau of bad taste and drunken sing-along. The band closes off with a combination of the super hit “Everywhere I Go” and the strange pop-song “Hear Me Now”, off the horrible “American Tragedy” album, trying to add a new emotional layer to a show that has the emotional range of a teaspoon. Needless to say, it doesn’t go down to my taste - nor did most of the show. But if you ask any of the many, many dedicated fans, I do think most of them actually were very entertained. But as I have debated before, there is a clear difference between entertainment and music. Albeit music can be entertaining, entertainment is not always musically sound. And as a music reviewer, there is very little positive to say about Hollywood Undead’s musical performance, albeit their entertainment value is slightly higher than expected.

4

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.