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Pounding New Metal

October 30, 1988

In "Metallica and the Poetry of the Power Chord" Gold praised a group that is already on the top (and has been for two years) and, in so doing, insults a generation of lesser-known but influential punk musicians, writers and fans.

"Populist rock 'n' roll that erases the line between performers and audience" was not invented by Metallica, but by their influential punk predecessors years before. "Elaborate stage posturing" vanished long before Metallica ever stepped on to their huge stage and "Guitar solos were pared to a minimum while tempos increased precipitously" while Metallica was still practicing their major scales. Punk music has always been reductionist.

I can not understand why, though Gold's descriptive statements applied to both punk and "new metal," he did not give any credit to the influence of punk on this "new" music.

Does he really think "Metallica invented American speed metal"? Perhaps as a fashion statement (long-haired punkers), this is true. But musically, they invented nothing. They borrowed ideas from others, just as all artists do.

But good critics give credit to influences. Metallica is not to be blamed. Only the critics can be blamed for misinforming musical audiences based on their own misinformation.

GREG GRAFFIN

Los Angeles

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