The early 2000’s was probably the weirdest time for underground music; Numtal had just broken into the mainstream, metalcore was just finding its footing on a widespread
platform, but probably the weirdest movements that were birthed from the revolution of metalcore and basic EDM backing tracks was the weird grossly sexual scene music movement that was essentially the equivalent to a unicorn vomiting black sludge. Whilst it did captivate a nation of young 12-year-olds, when looking deeper at the explicitly sexually suggestive lyrics sung by that of Dahvie Vanity who is now accused of multiple sexual assault allegations it’s fair to say that some scene music was just straight up creepy and we didn’t do much to stop it.
It’s strange to think that almost 14 years ago MySpace set out for internet domination and with that brought us our first hoard of social media stars who used their newly found fame to launch music careers into the fresh new sound that grappled every concerned mother, known better as Scene music. Although it’s genre is open to larger artistic freedoms, what really defines scene music is the simplistic techno beat, weird sound effects randomly bursting in songs that typically nod to game sound effects and of course, the borderline creepy sexual lyrics that were sung by every 14-year-old with swept bangs and 40 neon wrist bands. This was the ‘revolutionary’ sound of 2006 that Dahvie Vanity, Jeffree Star, and many others leaned into despite their young audience.
Even bands that weren’t necessarily defined by scene characteristic did monetize on the profitable market of bright neon shirts with zombie cupcakes, such as Bring Me The Horizon and Asking Alexandria who had their albums remixed into EDM-styled tracks that arguably weren’t even that bad. Actually, a lot of bands creating ‘scene’ music had great potential and didn’t use the shock culture of gross oversexualizing young fans to acclaim their popularity.
However, the scene craze was followed by an uncomfortable shadow of disgusting sexual lyrics aimed at underage minors that in some cases served no other purpose but to sexualize young children. This is emulated most in the music of Blood On The Dancefloor who’s whole music career lies on the foundations of unmoving, oversexualized lyrics that make the current sexual assault allegations from multiple women as reported by The Huffington Post seem unsurprising. Obviously, artists are free to have their own artistic expressions in their music, whether that be sexual or not, but typically lyricists find a tasteful way to interpret their explicit desires to take away the tacky motel stinge, but no, not Blood On The Dancefloor.
Their most popular tracks ‘Call Me master’ ‘Sexting’ and ‘Candyland’ all contain explicit lyrics like “I wanna fuck you hard, I wanna feel you deep’ and ‘The dark side is how we’ve been living, Let me show you what you’ve been missing (You).You, you are, you are my slave, my little fucking disaster.” These show no attempt to express lyric talents and interpret sexual desires into tasteful music for a younger audience that doesn’t demonize or sexualize them. In light of his allegations, some have argued that Vanity’s actions were clear through is music through the beginning.
However, the issue with trying to shove all scene bands under the same umbrella is whilst many of them did have some genuinely weird songs, most made the effort to make the tasteful honestly just wrote funny joke songs. Attack! Attack! Is a great example with their late early 2000 hit ‘Someday Came Suddenly’. It doesn’t scream “I’m a grown man trying to sexualized 12-year-old girls’ but it does have just completely random and weird songs with lack-of, therefore, lyrical effort i.e. “Hot grills and high-tops” “Bro, Ashley’s Here” “The People’s Elbow” that just threw breakdown after breakdown along with some gang vocals. It’s not exactly a cult classic but it’s exceedingly less harmful than that of Blood On The Dancefloor’s “Sexting.’
But how was this a thriving genre for its short-lived lifetime if it was essentially ‘Now that’s what I call a sexual harassment lawsuit 2006!” collection album? Simply put, after the outrageous 90’s of Smells Like Teen Spirit anthems and Marilyn Manson naked on MTV the underground community felt even bolder to push the envelope of what society deemed ‘suitable.’ At its core, the alternative/punk/metal and rock community have always been about pushing societies expectations and whether we enjoyed it or not, scene music served its purpose of shocking the average pedestrians as ‘Call Me Master’ was blasted through Hot Topic malls across America. However, the scene epidemic grew at an even faster rate thanks to the technological revolution that offered teenagers a new way to express themselves; My Space.
Really we are to blame for fueling the scene craze epidemic and its weird psychosexual lyrics, there’s no escaping those pictures of you in high school wearing a ‘BOTDF RULES’ shirt with your swoopy hair and duckface. However, now we’re lucky to live in the age of ‘woke’ and exposed a culture that’s made us consciously aware of the music we’re listening to and the effect it has on our listeners. We’re now less likely to fuel the career of rapists and sexual abusers and honestly just have better taste in music, so good for us.