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The Ankles
Kill Themselves
Maggadee Records
www.maggadee.com/ankles.asp


Uh oh, it's soapbox time again.

Part of my job as a music reviewer is to support the indie music industry by providing coverage of bands that operate outside the envelope or umbrella of the major label juggernauts. In nearly every artistic industry, "indie" serves as a label that can brand its respective products as either "not mainstream" or "low quality." The latter is a label that the independent music industry can ill afford, especially the (collectively) artists themselves. Most of them make less money in a year than the operating cost of J. Lo's trailer for a single (ugh) concert.

This brings me to the other part of my job: to cull the chaff from the wheat. In the age of "let's download everything", indie needs to establish itself as more than merely an alternative, but better as well. The patrons of the arts are no longer kings and queens, but Joe and Jill Blow. And they can get it all for free now, so if the bands wanna eat, they better convince the public that patronage is a necessary duty and not merely an inconvenience between them and their listening pleasure, 'cause Joe Blow don't make the kind of scratch he did a few years ago to fritter away on some band's one good track and 14 other shitty ones.

Which brings me to The Ankles' Kill Themselves: Somebody already used the most obvious joke in their review, so I've lost out on that rimshot. I can sift through the gigantic mass of CDs that Dave (The Editor) gets every month and find a dozen bands like this: a tone deaf singer paired with unimaginative songwriters with serviceable skills who haven't the foresight to be bad enough to create some sort of novelty-appeal; mining a nearly-dead genre (post-grunge emo for those who care) for that last bit of marginally profitable ore.

Par or sub-par is the worst place to be. Not bad enough to hate, not good enough to like or love. Kill Themselves is most definitely chaff. Truly, not even worth a review, but it was time to say something and so an example had to be made. (Sorry, but you're it.) I'd like to say that it's for their own good, but it's not. They've got their indie label contract and so they will continue to make bad to mediocre music until their potential audience realizes that they basically suck.

And now you know that they exist, something I'd rather you not.

-JD

Track Listing:

1. Twelve Count
2. Paradigm Eyes
3. On Ice
4. Temper, Temper
5. Something to Be Said
6. Sparkling & Beautiful
7. Everything Curves
8. Hands Out of Pockets
9. Pale and Young
10. Little Dinosaurs


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Mike Doughty



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