Shirt Stains: Good Cop, Bad Cop, Very Bad Shirt

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Spread this shirt out! Side-to-side! Front-to-back! No one standing still!

The New England Metal & Hardcore Fest is just a few weeks away. Much like the 17-25 year olds that will be making up the majority of those in attendance, the band announcements started off with a bang and then quickly went limp. What once was a big destination for metalcore, hardcore, and the occasional death metal band has now become just another date for a few tours, padded out with a bunch of locals that have to sell tickets. On top of that, the fest is once again having Battle Of The Band competitions for other local bands to play on the show. It’s going to be a huge thrill to play at 3:15 on a Saturday afternoon. Regardless, there will be many squealies, breakdowns, yelling verses, clean choruses, and hundreds of spinkicks. Strap on your mosh shorts and get ready to point your finger in the air. Just don’t wear any of these metalcore band shirts if you want to avoid starting shit in the pit.

I Killed The Prom Queen – You’ve got pink on you.
ikilledthepromqueen

Ah, fuck! My eyes! Kill it! Kill it with ammonia-soaked hammers! It hurts on so many levels, like sitting on a cactus while riding a bumpy escalator. I Killed The Prom Queen is a metalcore band from Australia. I first came across them while at Hellfest (US version) in 2004. They were a late addition, and I saw hastily written notes saying they were playing on one of the stages. Even back then, I thought the name was incredibly cliché and just plain silly so I didn’t bother to watch them. I think I made the right decision.

This shirt is an exact replica of your insides after a trip to the KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut on the other side of town. Organs all pink and yellowish, bloated and distorted like Ted Cruz’s turkey neck. Is that a stomach at the top or just one giant pink peanut. Did they eat the tiara before or after the KenTacoHut smorgasbord? Is it really tiny or is everything just gigantic? Maybe the back will be better.

ikilledthepromqueenback

NOPE! They just had to have a disembodied eye instead of the letter “I”. This shirt is a bootable offense.

Bleeding Through – Love Lost In A Hail Of Ding

bleedingthroughstains

For a brief time, Orange County, California was cranking out metalcore bands. That might have been a response to how the wealthy community sharted out a bunch of punk and later pop punk bands as well. Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, Throwdown, Eighteen Visions, Scars of Tomorrow, Cold War and more all came out of the wealthy California suburbs. One of the biggest bands of that era was Bleeding Through. Ozzfest, Warped Tour, opening for Slayer, and a whole bunch of US and international festivals. The band called it quits in 2014, but we have this lolzy shirt to remember them by.

BLEE. It’s simple, but it sends a powerful message. DING. We can all agree that we’ve all felt a little “ding” at least once in our lives. THR(inverted pentagram). This is a bit risque, but it proves individualism and the rejection of social norms. UGH. That says it all, doesn’t it? Also, this shirt looks like an “I’m A Paul Heyman Guy” shirt.

Atreyu – Blood Geyser
atreyustains

 

Speaking of Orange County metalcore bands, here’s a shirt from Atreyu. I’m still sad that they never did a split with a band called Falcor. They could have battled The Nothing and used the proceeds to help weird kids fight bullies. Or they could have traumatized a generation of children by singing about Artax drowning in the Swamp of Sadness. Poor Artax. I… sorry, I just need a minute… deep breaths… count to 10. Sigh.

Anyway, here is a really bad Atreyu shirt. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is a bad bootleg, since it looks like a real half-assed cut-and-paste job. Also, because it looks like that dust cloud just ate a bunch of Chipolte and is now shitting blood like a reverse Old Faithful. Plenty of people on this here site will say that this is how Atreyu’s music makes them feel, but I hope the band would have enough sense not to approve a shirt like this. If anything, the blame should go to Victory Records, who made this the cover art for their The Best of Atreyu album. Atreyu signed to Hollywood Records, and Victory put this out to complete contractual obligations and to continue their streak of being shitty to their bands.

Killswitch Engage – ManBearPig Engage
killswitchengagestains

I recently reviewed Killswitch Engage’s latest album Incarnate so you know I like the band. Whenever you like something, you give it a bit of leniency when it fucks up. That show you love had a string of shitty episodes? That’s okay, because it’ll get better. That book has a weird plot twist? No biggie, it is only a minor thing that doesn’t detract from the main story. While they may be one of my favorite bands, it is too difficult to ignore this crudtastic shirt.

I think that’s supposed to be a blue ManBearPig, but it could easily be a SnakeBearPanther. It could aslo be a CougarWormPanda. Whatever it is, it’s bad. It’s ugly and confusing and I hate it. It makes less sense than giving the Kardashians multiple television shows. Why is there a gigantic closeup of a colon behind it? That’s a halo no angel wants. The band didn’t even want their name on it since it’s clearly off to the side, diagonal, and slightly covered by those worm thingies. Killswitch Engage has a wacky sense of humor. It’s not for everyone, but you can understand when they’re just being silly. This shirt is not trying to be funny, at least I hope not.

Shadows Fall – Set Faces To “Cringe”
shadowsfallstains

Okay, so Shadows Fall doesn’t necessarily fit into the metalcore category, but it’s close enough. I remember seeing this shirt in Hot Topic about a decade ago. It’s perfect for the angry tough-guy teenager who hates everything, especially you, mom and dad! I don’t know what hurts more, the eye rolling when seeing this shirt or the face-scrunching. It’s supposed to shit on emo and ends up embarrassing metal.

On top of that terrible, terrible slogan, the picture isn’t even that good. It is half-finished, as if the artist realized the folly of his/her ways and quit to join a monastery. Why does one of the angels look like Edgar Allan Poe? Did the author of The Conqueror Worm and Ligeia listen to Sunny Day Real Estate and The Get Up Kids in his spare time? Those angels better be smoking harmless tobacco! Lousy degenerate metalcore angels!

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  • HAHAHA! That Atreyu shirt is all like…

    https://media.giphy.com/media/By0xmwu6jL4Pu/giphy.gif

    • Dubs

      That’s definitely what I thought of.

    • Eliza

      Do you know where this is from?

      • nbm02ss
        • Eliza

          This so quotable.

          • Dubs

            It’s certainly worth a full watch if you’ve never seen it.

          • Eliza

            Is it weird that it makes me laugh like few things can?

          • Dubs

            Nope

    • Rob M
      • Hey Rob, there is word on new Black Fucking Cancer material. Rumor has it, Osmose picked up their full length, which should be coming out in June.

      • JWEG

        Don’t know how I missed a Todd & The Book of Pure Evil reference until just now. Have a few dozen upvotes (sadly only the first is counted).

        http://www.strangekidsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/tbpe-animated-595×364.png

        • Rob M

          Its the though that counts…

          …and that damn animated movie cant come out soon enough

          • JWEG

            I was kind of blown away when Indiegogo campaign page and Twitter suddenly started sending out regular updates again.

            I kind of wish they were slightly more momentous updates, but at least it’s not as annoying as Twitter accounts for films that exist only to tease the perpetual festival circuit of their film, and repeatedly thank blogs for mentioning their teaser trailer several years ago.

          • Rob M

            Nice, I wasnt aware they were even doing that. Id try to check in on it every so often to see if there was any new news but as you said it was pretty dead there for awhile

      • Fester B. Gone

        Jimmy – “You read from the book didn’t you”

        *Kids Nods*

        “Well then can you pass me my blood mop? I’m gonna be needing it today”

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    BLEE
    DONG
    THRO
    UGH

  • Eliza

    Aww, I Killed the Prom Queen made guts adorable.

  • When I think of a bunch of really tuff dudes, Shadows Fall isn’t exactly a band that comes to mind.

    • *trying-really-hard-to-think-of-something-snarky* *failing-failing-failing*

      Oh well!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KX74IfjIQA

      • Eliza

        When the guy started singing, it killed whatever momentum the song was building.

        • Quite truthfully, I only got into metal for the riffs and licks. These dudes really helped me on the journey.

          *tears up*

          • Eliza

            We all have some bands that we’re ashamed for having liked sometime in the past. It’s only human. But Shadows Fall sucks.

          • Eliza Plz! I am not ashamed!

          • Eliza

            It’s good that you feel comfortable about yourself.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Wouldn’t say they straight-up suck, but they were always pretty meh. Never understood why, at the time, they got so big. Lamb of God and Chimaira were doing some solid heavy stuff at the beginning of their career – before they both descended into blandness – but Shadows Fall always felt a bit “fluffy” to me.

          • Eliza

            To me, “meh” is a lot worse than straight up bad. “Meh” means that the music has no personality of its own, sounds like every other thing without bringing anything new to the table. When something is bad, at least you can enjoy it for how bad it is.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            With Shadows Fall I always felt they lack a little “oompf”. Instrumentally the bands is solid, the musicianship is good. The good cop, bad cop vocals they sometimes do on the other hand are quite cringeworthy. Killswitch Engage’s “Alive or Just Breathing” for instance had a lot of soul in its clean vocals, the clean vocals in Shadows Fall on the other hand are just like “hey let’s throw on some clean vocals because that’s the popular thing to do nowadays”.
            And the lead vocalist’s screaming/shouting style starts to annoy me after some time. There’s nothing threatening about his vocals, it’s more of the “oh look, that geek is trying to get angry” kind. Say what you want about Randy Blythe, but in a way his vocals are quite unique and have presence. I saw Lamb of God live when they were still in their “upcoming era” with “Palaces” and “Ashes” and I really enjoyed them a great deal (still enjoy those albums every now and then). Never had that with Shadows Fall.

          • Eliza

            I like LoG and Randy’s vocals. My biggest problem with Shadows Fall is that, while, just as you said, they’re good musicians and they can construct good riffs, there is nothing that stays with me after the song is done and I don’t feel like I want to ever listen to it again. This may sound weird, but, to me, replay value is important.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Spot on. Forgettable and bland is worse than colossal misfire.

          • i remember having a conversation with a friend about good cop / bad cop vocals…

    • Óðinn
    • Owlswald
    • hieronymus bossk

      you mean ankle-long dreads don’t scream “tough guy” to you?

      • I wonder how much fecal matter is stuck in those things. I would guess a not-inconsiderable amount.

        • Dubs

          Question for people with dreads/long hair/hair, what do you do with your hair when you’re pooping?

          • Well I doubt they let their dreads just plop into toilet

          • Dubs

            I do too, but I dunno how the other half lives, you know?

          • It’s a whole different quandary if they’re standers vs. squatters too

          • Dubs

            There are a lot of logistics to deal with if you have hair.

          • Owlswald

            I sense an upcoming article topic is in the works…

          • Dubs

            I have no hair on my head or bottom, but hair everywhere else, so I’m not certain I am the right one to pen this article.

          • Logistic #7: where to find the time explaining to other dudes how to grow it out properly (which mistakes to avoid)

          • I just had a vision of someones back hair dreads plopping into the toilet. Ugh.

          • Dubs

            I’m certain that, in the history of all things that have happened, someone with dreads has definitely dropped their locks into the crapper.

          • I don’t have my hair that long anymore but when I did I’d just bring it around my head and let it hang to the side.

          • Scrimm

            When it is as long as mine is it can be an issue honestly.

          • Eliza

            You can always tie it in a ponytail.

          • Spear

            Avoiding having it drop in the toilet is easy; just tie it back and swing it out to the side. It’s car doors and seat belts you have to watch out for.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            And getting it caught in escalators. If it gets stuck in an elevator door, those things are coming out brutally and painfully!

          • there is only one rule in my household: no hair in the bathrooms.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Use it for toilet paper?

      • YourLogicIsFlushed

        Weirdly enough, I have seen ankle-long dreads with enough organic life in them to create sounds, sounds that could have been yelling “Hey! Tough Guy!” at me, but their lung capacity isn’t so great so it was a little muffled.

        • hieronymus bossk

          What if they weren’t dreads, but a massive cordyceps colony protruding from the host’s head?

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I met them once. They’re very nice.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      I AM IN A METAL BAND THEREFORE I AM TUFF AND WANT TO FIGHT YOU. I WILL TOTALLY HIT YOU WITH MY FISTS.

  • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

    The Shadow’s Fall is super cringey.

    • They tried too hard.

      • Eliza

        I find it somewhat ironic since most of their fans are probably emo kids.

        • Having been to two of their shows, it seemed more like middle aged dudes more than anything. Just my observation.

          • Eliza

            Really? Interesting. I wonder what the appeal is for this band?

          • The riffs and licks! They are top notch.

          • Eliza

            They’re not bad, I’ll give you that.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Riffs >>>>>>>
            Licks <<<<<<

          • Owlswald

            I never understood how they became so popular.

          • Eliza

            I generally don’t understand why popular things are popular.

          • because they are very easy to digest.
            there. now we can officially be called elitists 😉

          • Eliza

            I guess we just have to embrace it.

          • Rob M

            Right place, right time…They came out when that very melodic style of metalcore was getting popular and musically they were very similar

          • I cannot even believe I am about to comment of band styles, but, I never thought they were even remotely metalcore. Waaay more thrashy than metalcore. I do not think it helped they were from the epicenter of metalcore. Guilty by association maybe?

          • Rob M

            Probably a bit of that as well…

            …I dont think they were a metalcore band, at least not at that point, but they were definitely a melodeath band, which meant they tended to play around with the same kind of riffs

          • I feel like that is a fair assessment, my sloth frand.

          • It was at the same time when Lamb of God was getting a lot of hype. They seemed to be competing against each other at the time.

          • Rob M

            Yeah…along with Killswitch Engage dropping their S/T album as well…the whole (Ugh!) New Wave of American Heavy Metal (double UGH!)

          • Exactly.

          • nbm02ss

            Yup. Right around the time that nu-metal started falling off. Or maybe they contributed to it losing popularity? I don’t know.

          • Waynecro

            When Of One Blood came out, there was a rumor going around that Shadow’s Fall was a Christian band. I knew a bunch of church kids who used this rumor to convince their strict parents to let them listen to Shadow’s Fall. In comparison with all the Christian “metal” coming out at the time, Shadow’s Fall was fucking awesome.

          • I seriously dig The First Noble Truth of that LP. Pretty next album.

          • Waynecro

            I liked “Crushing Belial” a bit. Good riffs and harmonies.

          • HA listening to that RIGHT NOW

          • Eliza

            Christian metal is something that I know next to nothing about, apart from the fact that it exists, I can’t say anything about it. But it says something if those other Christian bands made Shadows Fall look cool.

          • Waynecro

            You’re fortunate. I was subjected to a lot of awful Christian “metal” and “punk” when I was a kid. Some youth pastor was always pushing the shit.

          • Eliza

            The Orthodox Church sees anything that is not church related as the Devil’s creation, so maybe I was lucky I only got to listen to the chants and not Christian rock.

          • Guppusmaximus

            I’m not certain (at the moment) about the era when Shadows Fall made their debut, but, in the late 80s & early 90s Christian Metal was pretty damn good.
            Touriquet,Devastation and Believer were the ones I dug…
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ5szpjsE8o

          • Waynecro

            Of One Blood came out in 2000, and all the Christian stuff I was hearing at the time was fucking terrible. That’s a generalization, of course, because I’m sure at least a few bands were OK. I just wasn’t fortunate enough to hear those bands.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Yea, I can only imagine. I highly doubt that there were any “ok” Christian Metal bands in 2000. If my recollection is correct, Metal in general was starting to make a comeback (notable albums – Necrophagist, Arsis, Dream Evil, Stratovarius)

          • Waynecro

            I seem to recall liking some stuff by Living Sacrifice, but they formed in the early 1990s. They were starting to get lamer by the 2000s.

          • Guppusmaximus

            That’s pretty much how I remember it. In the late 90s I was still listening to 80s & early 90s Metal except for the Modern Acoustic artists that were still releasing solid albums (Ken Bonfield – Homecoming / 1998), the revitalized Jazz Rock scene (Attention Deficit, Spaced Out) and the continued interest in the Avant Garde (Fantomas’ s/t & Directors Cut reshaped Music, in my opinion).

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I recall Zao being a Christian Metal band. They seem to have quite a cultlike fanbase. As far as metalcore goes, you could do much worse than Zao.

          • Waynecro

            I never got into Zao, but I knew a lot of people who did–some of whom typically hated Christian anything. The band’s popularity always surprised me.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to them either, but I’ve heard much worse bands than them in the genre.

            The only metalcore that ever did anything for me is Killswitch Engage’s “Alive or Just Breathing”, Poison the Well’s “The Opposite of December”, two LoG albums (“As the Palaces Burn” and “Ashes of the Wake”), two Chimaira albums (“The Impossibility of Reason” and “Chimaira”) and the entire discographies of mathcore bands such as Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Botch. That’s all I need from the genre.

          • Ghost Thief (2013) is p rocket doe

          • Waynecro

            The Hammering Process is the last one I heard.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            thanks for listing off those bands so i know never to listen to them

          • Guppusmaximus

            LOL… Your loss 🙂

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            mmmmmmnah

          • Guppusmaximus

            I dunno. That Believer album, imho, pioneered the Progressive Thrash movement and Devastation had some heavy ( and groovilicious) Slayer worship on ‘Idolatry’, however, Tourniquet was probably the weakest though Psycho Surgery was pretty good. You should check all of them out…

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Yo mang, new Ihsahn good? I’m gonna pick it up tomorrowz and it would be good to know if it is good.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            do it now and have no ragrets

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            I can’t now it’s 23:40 my local record store ain’t open I have to wait until tomorrow or it will be a crime and I’m no criminal

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            criminally insane, maybe

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            yo, dis pretty good.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            dat progginess

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            All de progginess without the sogginess.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls
          • CT-12
          • Eliza

            The only Christian metal band I know of is Stryper.

          • CT-12

            Not as heavy as the bands you listed, but I dig these guys as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt4Z5PxgoYA

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I like Shadows Fall.

          • Eliza

            That’s fine. It’s not like there’s the worst thing ever.

  • Scrimm

    I think these are the best/worst ones yet. Jeez…

    • Hey Scrimm, you know where I can find a copy of the original Phantasm DVD for under $80!?! I’ve been looking for a copy for about a year now and can’t find anything for a reasonable price.

      • Scrimm

        FUCK dude I just gave a spare to a bandmember, would have totally sent it your way. Yeah theyre all out of print at the moment and getting pricey. A used copy shows up every now and then at the local record store for under ten bucks. I could keep an eye out, but the restored version that just premiered is supposed to be released on blu ray really soon. word is all 5 will be out before years end but I’m not holding my breath for part 5.

      • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

        There are a few on ebay with low numbers at the moment.

      • sweetooth0

        Man, I couldn’t fathom that so i did a quick search and those things are going for ridiculous money right now. I imagine it must have something to do with the soon to be released 4K remaster, the others would be out of print.

      • sweetooth0

        amazon.com has about 30 or so of them used for 25-30

  • Óðinn
  • Waynecro

    This article is great, and you are great. Thank you!

  • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

    beware the Cougarwormpanda!!!

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    I like Atreyu.

  • RustyShackleford

    hmmm…now you’ve got me thinking we need to do a battle of California metalcore vs. Massachusetts metalcore…as an east coast man I’d say MASS would win hands down. Yup.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Since Bleeding Through and Atreyu are both from California, it means that Massachusetts almost directly wins.

  • Lacertilian

    I like this topic quite a bit, would be interesting to see some more. It’s also nice for someone else to do all the painful sifting through swathes of shithouse fan vids to find the decent ones.
    I remember seeing some great Tool ones a long time ago, have to dig around for them.