LETTERS-March 2003
Celebrating Diversity at EAR CANDY!

If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing.
-Kingley Amis

Well, it took more than a year and a half, but we finally got our second “fan” letter here at EAR CANDY. And like the last “fan” letter, it was someone who disagreed with one of our reviews. But, in this case it isn’t a band member (that we know of), but rather a fan of the band.

The “offending” review was in our last issue, a review of the CD by Quadrophonic, called “Terminus”. Our staff writer, Jon Gingrich, rated the album a “0” out of “5” and went to great lengths to explain his reasoning. So, in the sake of fairness, we have reprinted both the original “offending” review and the rebuttal “fan” letter (complete with its interesting take on “slander”). Finally, we will feature a return to high school government class, with a refresher course on the true definition of “slander”.

First, here is the “offending” review from our last issue:

Quadraphonic, "Terminus" (Independent Records)
Rating: "0" out of "5"

I often wonder how people in ten years from now will look back and remember the decade in which we currently live. Sure, there’s September 11th, reality-based television programs, reactionary patriotism, and the nasty conundrum of being able to hate the Middle East all whilst loving the comforts of our fuel-guzzling SUV’s. I envision a myriad of themes parties, DJ’s who specialize in what will be called “00’ Music Night” at local dance clubs. There, children of future generations will placate our decade by deriding it, displaying both bemusement and an ironic reinterpretation of our confusing times by brandishing t-shirts bearing the logos of eXXXtreme beverages and unshelving their parent’s dusty Playstation 2 consoles, while the sounds of The White Stripes and Trail of Dead play over the sound systems ad nauseam. And of course, no “00” party is complete without scornfully revisiting the “nu-metal” phenomenon that gripped our generation with the wrath of a plague. This is the stuff that “where are they now” specials are made of – it is the template upon which the children of future generations will say…what in the hell were our parents thinking?

Quadraphonic, just like the Limp Biscuits, the Korn’s, and the Puddles of Mud before them, are the patron saints of cultural misidentity. These Fubu wearing crackers put on the ultimate minstrel show with this train wreck of an album, the aptly entitled “Terminus” on Indie Records. The music, or lack thereof, is a combination of rap and rhyme accompanied with a generic loop of “chugga chugga” guitar riffs and double bass drumming, with lyrical content displaying a proud badge of juvenile hoodlumism that can be found in any mall food court. Like most “nu-metal”, the music, including (but not limited to) song-structure, lyrics, riffs, the fucking cover art, are the product of a hardcore-by-numbers, lowest common denominator attempt to reach the widest appeal simply by copying others who have done the exact same thing a hundred times over. Let it be known that there is good hardcore music out there – just listen to Agnostic Front, Sick of It All, or early Slapshot and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Early hardcore took punk’s nihilistic view of the world and added a working class brashness to it. Hell, some of the newer hardcore bands are pretty good too – there’s Hatebreed, Walls of Jericho, and Snapcase just to name a few. These bands arguably sound more metal than hardcore at times, but the stuff that makes hardcore what it is – the diffidence, the anger, the hatred – is all still there. If you follow Quadraphonic’s convenient re-writing of history however, it’s as if all the aforementioned underground musical variations never occurred. Opting for a life of top 40 complacency over actually digging for new and exiting music, the world according to Quadraphonic is one where modern heavy music is the direct descendant of Vanilla Ice. These kids bought the kit, got the tribal tattoos, and then they wrote the songs. The blueprint, as well as the source of their rage, is unbearably transparent. Song versus are mumbled, chorused are screamed. The former being the effects of wanton wallowing in white suburbia, the later being a poetic apex for Christ-like martyrs. It is the moment where they face their futures as middle-management hardware salesmen and say to the world: “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!!” And the predictability of the music doesn’t stop there. Guitars are tuned to drop-D, the low E string is played out by itself for entire versus. I can predict with an eerie accuracy exactly where the drummer will begin the double bass and when the mumbling for versus will begin. It’s like I’ve heard this album a thousand times before…Of course, let’s not forget the delicate prose that these clowns can pump out at will, words that putter out of their unevolved maws with the tact of a drunken monkey and fall like a turd into my drink. “You feel the pressure, baby.” Yeah, I do. In fact, right now I feel the uncontrollable pressure to jam a screwdriver into my ear. At the end of the day, however, I have decided that I will keep this album. I will bury it into a time capsule, leaving it for future generations. There, when “00” days at clubs are finally announced, I will dig up the CD, take it to my favorite local DJ, and put it into the system so all the kids can see the real train-wreck that was my generation. See kids, finding irony in past musical movements isn’t always that fun.

Review by Jon Gingrich

Secondly, the rebuttal “fan” letter:

Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 22:03:51 -0800 (PST)
From: (name and e-mail withheld)
Subject: Quadraphonic Review
To: earcandy_magazine@yahoo.com

I recently read the review given by Jon Gingrich on Terminus by Quadraphonic.

It is apparent this man has never seen this band nor has any idea what he writes about. The review is nothing more than a personal attack on the members of the band. I hope you will take the opportunity to see this group live, and rethink your views.I`m surprised they haven`t sued you for slander

(name withheld)

Finally our public service announcement - Government 101 (Definitions):

What is defamation?
The law of defamation protects people against harm to their reputations. For a statement to be defamatory, it must be a false statement, not just someone's opinion. For example, suppose that Lee told Mary something false about Beth that caused Mary to have a lesser opinion of Beth. Beth may have a defamation claim against Lee.

What is the difference between libel and slander?
There are two types of defamation: libel and slander. The term "libel" refers to written statements or some other sort of tangible materials that are defamatory. For example, someone whose reputation is harmed by a false newspaper article may be able to sue the newspaper for libel. The term "slander" refers to spoken statements that are defamatory.

What are some defenses to a defamation claim?
One defense to a defamation claim is truth. A truthful statement cannot be the basis for a defamation claim.

The definition of libel is as follows:

a. A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.
b. The act of presenting such material to the public.
2. The written claims presented by a plaintiff in an action at admiralty law or to an ecclesiastical court.

The definition of slander is as follows:

1. Law. Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation.
2. A false and malicious statement or report about someone.

More to come...I'm SURE!