Song: False Family Band:Scars Have Faded Location: Central Coast, NSW Date of Release: 15/02/2015 Genre: Metalcore Reviewer: Welmanshire For Fans Of: Borat, Nintendo Wii, The Sopranos Finale, The original iPhone, various other things from 2005 – 2007 Why They Aren’t Famous: Because we have the iPhone 6 now
Every now and then, we’re lucky enough to receive submissions from musical revolutionaries. At the end of the day, music is storytelling, and an artist, or a group of artists’ (commonly known as a ‘band’) ability to create a narrative through instrumentation and lyricism is what it’s all about. To be able to immerse myself in some of the fables created by the beautifully organic talent our country is a true privilege, and one that I feel lucky to engage in.
Unfortunately, we often receive the musical equivalent of James Patterson novels. Not terrible – but generic, bland, and easy to digest. Like an episode of Orange Is The New Black or NCIS – so overwhelmingly underwhelming, it reminds you that even though you can suit-up a turd in a snappy little poop-sized tuxedo and shove him onto centre stage, you probably shouldn’t. It makes you slightly uncomfortable and you’ve vaguely offended, but can’t quite articulate why.
Central Coast b(L)and Scars Have Faded squidge right into the tuxedo-poop mould. To make it worse, they’ve made an effort to scream their mediocrity to the masses by accompanying the song with a spectacularly average film clip. I thought in order to really capture the message SHF are trying to convey, it would be best to address this song categorically from start to finish, with screen shots of the video to assist in the narrative.
INTRO: 0 – 0.30
Here we see Scars Have Faded standing in a what seems to be a construction site. An apt setting, considering their music sounds like an unfinished building, supported by shoddy foundations and workmanship performed by fucking Grocon. It’s overtly bland; they’re standing on brown dirt, supporting by a backdrop of an unsettling and overcast sky, concrete cylinders, and in my opinion the star of the clip, Concrete Block, who gets a little more screen time later on.
This is shown in conjunction with an opaque screen layering technique I remember learning in editing class in Year 7. It serves to introduce the protagonist of our story, looking rather sad and reflective, holding a drawing of what I assume to be him and his family.
Now, I don’t mean to criticise this kid’s art – but what are you? Fucking two years old? My 6-month old nephew can draw a better family portrait. Do they still teach art at school? Anyway, he then unfolds a note with the heartfelt message:
I wish dad would visLt more often. 🙁
I get it now – judging from his dad’s abhorrent fucking handwriting, I’d say that our main character (we’ll call him Thad from now on) has inherited his stunning penmanship from the genepool. Deadbeat Dad (DD) also seems to be dyslexic, as he inexplicably slots a lower case ‘l’ in place of an ‘i’ on his note. I’m also not sure how he’s managed to infiltrate the property and place this letter on the kitchen table for Thad to discover, but as an assumed deadbeat I’m willing to bet he often creeps in and out of the former family home to catch a glimpse of a love he’s since lost.
VERSE 0.30 – 0.45
Here SHF take the spotlight, bouncing around in a highly original choreographed mosh-move that was absolutely delightful (vomits). Like the verse itself, the footage is pretty average. I think whoever directed the video was probably quite aware, slipping in an in-joke referencing SHF’s violent mediocrity. As you can see, the most exciting member of the cast, Concrete Block, boldly displays the message “Stockpile No. 4”.
The subliminal imagery in this video is actually really impressive. I get it. Stock Pile. They’re so generic, or ‘beige’, as my immensely talented colleague Erised described – they’re a stock band to be thrown on the pile. No. 4 is pretty solid I feel; they’re not so bad that they deserve to be on the tenth pile. I think the fourth pile of stock metalcore should do just fine.
TOKEN ETHEREAL METALCORE SECTION: 0.45 – 1:30
Here we see a slip back into the melody, with some clean ‘woah-oh’s and a 3-5-7 riff shaping our next piece of cinematographic genius – where DD arrives at Thad’s place for a visit, as promised.
“Wanna play with my balls?”
As you can see, DD appears at Thad’s bedroom door (the fucking nerve of this guy – just walking in like he owns the place) holding some juggling balls. Okay. I think I’m beginning to understand the heartfelt nature of this emotional tale of heartbreak and abandonment. DD is obviously a circus performer – that’s why he’s never around. And that’s also why he’s visiting – the Cirque De Solei is on a break from their hectic touring schedule, and Thad Snr. has rushed over to meet Thad, just so this ungrateful little shit can play with his prized balls. Fuck … Thad. Fuck you. Dad has literally joined the circus in order to support your sorry ass, and all you can do is mope around with your half-assed portrait? Well, guess what, Thad? LIFE. We have to do things in order to support our families, including juggling. Anyway, I suppose it’s not so bad as Thad is clearly stoked to see DD.
I know, buddy. I know. It’s okay.
CHORUS: 1:30 – 1:45
The pair head out to the backyard so that Thad can learn some juggling techniques. The chorus behind this striking imagery is actually not so bad – the lines are wildly unimpressive, but they form some coherent sense of melody and manage to save the song.
“Like this, dickhead”
You’ll see that DD carefully demonstrates the act of juggling before he hands the balls over to Thad. Without even so much as a question, Thad launches into an attempt at juggling and spectacularly fails. Well, what did you expect? You don’t just get into a car and slam down the fucking accelerator, do you THAD? No. Ask some questions, and take your time. It’s no wonder Dad is over Thad’s shit. He looks to his watch to reiterate the fact he has more important things to do than teach talentless hacks to juggle, ruffles Thad’s mop and fucks off back to the circus. It’s a little hard to see it clearly because of aforementioned layering technique, but I highly encourage you to watch the video yourself to fully experience the pure emotion.
“Oh, I just remembered…”
“Ah…I’ll…I’ll see ya later. Promise.”
BREAKDOWN/BREAKDOWN/BREAKDOWN: 1:45 – 2:30
The juggling incident has clearly left Thad shaken up. SHF jump into a breakdown to signify the trauma within, with Thad’s shitty drawing materialising on screen. Anyway, here we just see the band breaking it down in the break down.
BRIDGE? PROBABLY: 2:30 – 3:00
After the breakdown they transition into a more melodic bridging section. Musically, it’s in line with the rest of the song – certainly not terrible, but blatantly uninspiring. It cuts back to a vision of Thad walking after DD, and then he just FUCKING MATERIALISES INTO THIN AIR. Poof! Gone. What. the. fuck. I’m still unclear where this is yet again another secondary school editing technique or if it’s showing that Deadbeat Dad is in actual fact … a superhero? A figment of Thad’s imagination, brought on by the trauma of abandonment at the hands of a cricket-whites wearing circus-joining juggling madman? A ghost? Impossible to tell, but still effective nonetheless.
An enigma. A juggling, ghostly, cricketing enigma.
Distraught and confused, Thad heads to the pier. He walks to the end, his pre-ruffled mop swaying in the wind like the sail of a wayward ship. He selects one of the juggling balls – just one – and promptly throws it into the ocean. Initially I laughed to myself as I thought “Haha! Thad, you idiot. You’ll never learn how to juggle with only fucking two balls.” But then it hit me – it’s to signify the removal of DD from Thad’s life. The three juggling balls are the family – Dad, Mum, and Thad. Thad has thrown Dad into the ocean, and only Thad and his mum remain. Who – might might I add – has not been seen since the beginning of the clip. Who’s the real shitty parent in this story? COME ON, MUM. Anyway, after Thad tosses his dad into the sea, he stands for a moment, contemplating life and the path forward for him in a fatherless world.
Okay. That’s a little sad I guess.
CHORUS: 3:00 – 3:30
SHF leap into a final chorus. This is Concrete Block’s time to shine – he weaves in and out of the imagery, displaying his proud message of mediocrity, and even mysteriously gains a hat at 3:37, which I’m sure is to show the audience who missed the subtle clues that Concrete Block is actually to be considered an active member of the cast.
Rocking it sidewayz.
NORTHDOWN: (NORTHLANE BREAKDOWN) 3:30 – 4:23
The song finishes up with a Northlane inspired breakdown. I’m finding this to be a common trait in a lot of metalcore bands these days, which is actually a god thing – it shows that metalcore is slowly being pulled out of its signature bore and is starting to introduce new influences as standard. SHF do it quite well, and the imagery of young Thad screaming the last few lines from his bedroom actually come off as pretty sincere, and is perhaps the only point in the video where I was legitimately sure the clip wasn’t a well-crafted joke.
Scars Have Faded do the standard, Stockpile No. 4 metalcore reasonably well. Personally, I find them to be pretty much in line with most of the other metalcore bands in Stockpile No. 10 through to Stockpile No. 2: fatigued, derivative, rehashed, old. Bands were literally playing better metalcore than this ten years ago and it’s about fucking time for some more innovation at the hands of Australian bands. Step it up.
Cleans 6.5/10 Guitars: 5/10 Bass: 5/10 Drums: 8/10 Production: 6.5/10 Lyrics: 1/10 Songwriting: 5/10 Overall IPHYB Rating: 5/10 Personal Enjoyment: The film clip is pure comedic genius. 10/10
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