*Sigh* I was rooting for you Straight Line Stitch. I want so desperately to really enjoy their music and proudly declare to the world 'I'm a fan of Straight Line Stitch' but...I find that if I think deep down inside-it would be wrong for me to lie to myself. Just as I tried to lie to myself to get into Wicked Wisdom. It's not that SLS is a terrible metal band-no the metalcore is decent enough but, alas, tis' the vocals.
The problem I'm experiencing with many black womem (pfft-more like the three that I know of which includes: SLS, Wicked Wisdom and Roulette) who go into the harsh vocal side of metal is that they try to imitate their angry white male counterparts and it never ends up sounding right. It's really forced and cheesy. This isn't to say that Alexis Brown cannot growl with the best of them, but it seems like if she keeps on forcing the vocals in a few years they'll be shredded up and unusable. Add on to that the awkward R&B sections in songs like 'Remission', and 'Eucharist' its' just...something isn't right. Metal is metal and R&B is R&B. I mean, can you imagine a random death growl in a BB King or Alicia Keys song? Maybe its the mixing or bad recording. Now, some of you might say that diversity in metal is a good thing-whicih I have absolutely no problem with diversity as someone who desperately looks for any faces that resemble her own in this music genre but you have to do it right. Am I highly critical? Yes. Because I know what many of these hardcore heavy metal fans are thinking when they see and hear a band like SLS:
-It's gimmicky to have a black person in a metal band
-It's gimmicky having a black FEMALE in a metal band
-It's gimmicky just for the fact that they are metalcore
And all other assorted judgements. I like a few songs of SLS's like 'Black Veil', 'Faceless and Inhuman', etc. Plus, I would much rather listen to them than that Maria bitch from In This Moment but I just can't really get into them because just like Wicked Wisdom and that myspace band Roulette-there is something off about it. And I'm not saying it's because they're black but maybe because they haven't really listened to enough metal music to really form a vocal style unique to themselves.
Never the less, I'm rooting for you Straight Line Stitch and I hope you make it big.
There will probaly be a part two to this entry or a whole 'Women in Metal' post in the future.
(By the way, when searching for this picture I tried to find the most ethnic picture of her, being as all the rest of the professionally done pictures seemed to lighten her skin -_-)