Perhaps what I’m about to write goes without saying.
Perhaps what I’m thinking right now is just universally accepted and I really, truly, don’t need to put this on my screen. But I’m just going to say it anyway.
And I don’t mean this in the AP.net message board kind of way, where my only way to back that statement up is by calling them “fags” or “scenesters” or whatever. No, I mean this in that I have a true undying passion for loathing these dudes.
I suppose the general inspiration for this post was this past weekend in Ocean City, MD. I was waiting for my car to be done in the shop I had taken it to, so my girlfriend and I were wasting time in the Wal-Mart it was adjoined to. About 20 minutes or so in, we saw a girl walking in the store– no older than 14, I’m positive – wearing a neon green “BrokeNCYDE” shirt. Normally I would just laugh this off as another teenage indiscretion (hell, I had a “Bert Is My Homeboy” shirt for years), but this time it didn’t just pass me by.
I guess most of it had to do with the recent rape rumors floating around the scene (for those unaware, a rumor that has since been proven false was dispensed online a few weeks ago that claimed the band was being held in New Mexico on drug, rape and child porn charges. I can’t believe that shit was even a story, but that’s not the point here), so instead I was inclined to go off on one of my rants to my girlfriend.
I talked about what a joke their lyrics were, how godawful the actual music they produced was, and how they were huge in their sub-genre, whatever the hell you want to classify their sub-genre as being, but that all only elicited this response:
“So why do you care?”
Why do I care? Why did I care so much about hating this band that I felt inclined to pull out my phone and watch the “Freaxx” music video right there in the towel isle? Why did I have to google what exactly “BC13” meant?
Because the hatred this band receives is unlike any other band out there, and for an entirely different reason.
For starters, the scene is dying. And by “scene” I mean look at BrokeNCYDE. The swoop hair, the neon t-shirts, and especially the pointless screaming, that all is on its way off of the mall-punk radar. Then, of course, there’s the auto-tuned vocals… I really don’t feel the need to get into why that’s despised.
And then there’s the fan base. Now, I’m not saying I hate the group because their fans are 95% (rough estimate) 14-year old girls, but it just shows how limited they really are. I’m pretty far removed from the mall-punk loop at this point, but from where I’m standing I see BrokeNCYDE’s popularity mirroring My Chemical Romance’s via late 2004.
Hear me out.
When Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge came out, I was 14 years old and going into my freshman year of high school. My Chem was the go-to band for mall-punks, girls who wore a lot of eyeliner, and tweens alike – and the rest of the scene hated us for it.
In 2005 I saw the band twice, once opening for Social Distortion at a ClearChannel radio station concert, and once on the American Idiot Tour. Both times, fans of the headlining bands despised me for singing along to “Helena,” and I could feel that scorn. But that’s where I stop drawing comparisons.
Unlike My Chem, BrokeNCYDE did not have a successful album before their breakthrough ( I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, in MCR’s case), and also unlike My Chem, they have no room to grow. Like where they’ve gone or not, MCR has grown as a band, and has made more mature music in the past six years, transforming from simply a pop-punk band with a vaguely hardcore past to a band with an ampitheatre-sized following. Do you see BrokeNCYDE releasing a Queen inspired single in four years? Scratch that. Do you see BrokeNCYDE releasing anything that shows even the slightest signs of musical growth in six months? Exactly. These guys have nowhere to go musically, and once their current audience outgrows them, they are too far into their shtick that they won’t be able to transition which makes them all the more despisable to me.
Most of the time, even with bands that seem generally disliked by the music community, you can see room for expansion. Pop-punk bands grow up, indie bands gain stronger songwriting capabilities, etc. The music other bands make after their debut doesn’t always make them better received, but they make some growth. BrokeNCYDE never will, and that pisses me off, if that makes sense.
But then there’s the big reason I can’t stand these dudes, and that’s because no one else in the scene cares for them, and no one contradicts me when I say how much I dislike them. No one is backing them up. The only time I can find someone who seems to think somewhat positively of them is this interview with the dude from Fucked Up, and he seems like he’s fucking with us in the video.
So when I say no one is there for them, I mean this: Other bands who have (somewhat) similar sounds, and who(somewhat) share the level of hatred BrokeNCYDE possesses, they have people backing them up, and I’ll use two examples here.
The first is Millionaires. The rapping girls make some pretty awful music, but they have tons of fans, but more importantly they have supporters in the music community, especially in the new wave of pop-punk bands. I’ve heard tons of people shit on their music, but I’ve heard a decent amount of people – and people who matter – praise the girls themselves. In an interview I did this spring, Dave McWain of Big D & the Kids Table called them “true punks” and said they were just the nicest girls he’d met. In another personal interview, Soupy from the Wonder Years praised them for not taking themselves too seriously, and just having fun with the music they made. No one I’ve talked to has said they loved hearing their music, but most people who have met the girls won’t talk bad about them, presumably because of how nice they are in person.
In that same interview with Soupy, he also praised another group who falls into BROKENCYDE’s wake sometimes, Breathe Carolina. Now again, I can’t say I’m a fan of Breathe Carolina’s music, but I’ve never heard a bad thing about those guys. Ever. Soupy said they were amazingly “nice guys” who apparently know how to stage dive, but I heard even more praise for them on this year’s Warped Tour. Friend’s of mine who are doing the whole tour called the group “the most genuinely nice guys on this tour,” and even other people I met, said more or less the same thing. Not once did I hear anyone who knew the band truly dislike them. I can also vouch that the dudes in Breathe Carolina throw one hell of a dance party.
And that’s really the reason BrokeNCYDE sucks. As I’ve gotten older and spent more time around the punk scene and all of its off-shoots, I’ve realized that many times the music a band makes is a terrible indicator of who that band really is. All you have to do is look a little deeper, and most of the time you’ll find amazing musicians behind the bands you despise.
That’s not the case with BrokeNCYDE. Until someone sends me an interview where another band sticks up for them, or where their music is positively received, or hell, even a phone call from one of the dudes proving me wrong, proving to me that they aren’t just awful musicians with terrible gimmick, I literally have zero reasons to like BrokeNCYDE.
So fuck BrokeNCYDE.