Well, unless your record is deemed essential to SPIN, you're either the worst thing to happen to music or you're just clogging up the drain to the nearest point of bursting the entire pipe. In an effort to be the crankiest codgers on the Internet, SPIN is labeling albums they hate as “Worst New Music” and albums that merely exist as “Critical Mass”. Yup. The music biz is that simple. You're either flirting with godliness, wasting everyone's time or deserving of a scarlet letter.
Suddenly, SPIN could give a damn that you spent months, possibly years, overdubbing to perfection, editing lyrics, and crafting demos in order to feel brave enough to release your beloved record into the wild. This is the music biz, son! Assholes await to doo-doo on your hard work with one swift and cheeky sentence… assholes not named Thomas Morton. That means extra assholes.
We don't know how long this has been going on, since none of us get our music news from obsolete publications, but it seems like SPIN's decision to flip the switch into dick-head journo mode is the tinfoil-wrapped burrito in a microwave of website revamp strategies. The transparency of it possibly being the foulest of violations. VICE cut its teeth with snark as a voice and legitimized itself later. SPIN seems sick of living in the voiceless shadow of Rolling Stone and is throwing a fit. Their “paragraph review” has always been a laughable format, but the elaborate wanking to inform us precisely why Keane and Meatloaf are garbage reads as hunting dairy cows with dynamite.
The majority of music is terrible. We all can agree upon that. Is it terrible to a point that 1,200 words exercise in snark is a better way to spend one's time, rather than shrugging it off, and devoting praise or criticism towards a record with a glimmer of merit? What writer says, “Fuck you, Ty Segall Band, I can't be bothered with your [incredible] record beyond one sentence… I need to be the 17th publication to diss Die Antwoord”? Maybe this writer is desperately afraid of losing their job to dropping traffic rates and decided what they needed to do was “create controversy”. But what this editorial team don't seem to understand about controversy is that it needs to be snappy, it needs to be strong, and it needs to be controversial.
Why not unsubscribe to a few mailing lists? We like to do it whenever the words “Hot Topic debut…” appear in the inbox.
This is like finding out the dodo bird didn't die off after all, but turned out to be a whiny, sniveling jerk. Some dinosaurs deserve extinction.