Creating a Monster

Creating a MonsterAbout seven months ago, Mark Carey and I brought Smells Like Sour to the web. Smells Like Sour is a hypothetical compilation series of New Rock songs, with a new release every six months. I've posted the songlists from the past two editions here and here and a database of all SLS songs here.

The idea was simple. The general public would be allowed to submit songs for SLS consideration and comment on those that have already been submitted. In a sense, it worked. All songs from the recent SLS10 were secured from submissions to the site, although all songs chosen were submitted by either Mark or I. Also, there are some fairly entertaining discussions going on about Finger Eleven's "One Thing", the merits of Good Charlotte, the merits of Simple Plan and more. So, in a sense, the SLS site is doing what it was supposed to do. Then why am I so displeased with the results seven months later?

Here's the problem. We've given a voice to the general populous and specifically those who might peruse the web for bulletin boards about their favourite band or tune. This is exactly the crowd I don't want suggesting songs for SLS. SLS is too important a franchise to leave in the hands of the general public.

I still visit the SLS site on a regular basis to see what people are saying about what and what songs they are suggesting for SLS11, but each time I'm greatly disappointed. I'm sick of songs being submitted that are way too old or others that are of a totally different genre. Futhermore, people keep submitting songs that appeared on a previous SLS or are really, really bad. Do people even read the rules? Of course not. When June rolls around and it's time to choose the best 80 minutes of the previous six months for SLS11, Mark and I will end up doing what we've always done: negotiate amongst ourselves from our own personal list of favourites.

I'm not giving up on the SLS site as I believe it still has potential, but something has to change. As it stands, it's nothing more than a place for pre-teens to confess their love for the latest boy band posing as punks, written in IM-speak I can barely understand. SLS deserves better.

In the future, I'll add a line to this site every time I hear a song I believe to be SLS-worthy. You're welcome to contact me if you have a suggestion or a comment about one of my submissions. I'll still submit these tunes to the SLS page, but tracking them here will save me from wading in the cesspool of crap that has become of our Smells Like Sour vision. It's truly starting to turn sour and that's disappointing.

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