A few nights ago I became aware of a Tumblr called Honest Reviews.
Its idea, essentially, is to try and get people to stop supporting awful Canadian music. Spoiler alert: the blog thinks most Canadian acts are awful. The blog does not go easy on any act, no matter how established or unestablished. Diamond Rings can be insulted just as much as a much smaller act.
The blog does not hate every Canadian act, but there are far fewer instances of them liking one. They’ve so far found to really like Cell Memory & Castle If, Legato Vipers, B-17 and a few others.
Up until last night, the person (actually persons) behind the blog was unknown. I was convinced that the initial man behind it was Josiah Hughes, who has a reputation for being a bit of a shit disturber.
As it turns out, the man who started it is Paul Lawton. I was initially a little surprised to find this out, but it made sense to me almost immediately afterwards. I’ve actually “worked” with Lawton several times over the last year or two. He’s involved with Ketamines, a really cool psychedelic rock band. He also does stuff for Mammoth Cave Records, which puts out lots of other cool music as well.
My first reaction to the blog was far from a positive one, but as I’ve been thinking more and more about this, I can’t hate this blog. Lawton is coming at this as a long-time music fan who genuinely feels that the Canadian music industry needs a serious revitalization.
As a music blogger, I’m probably part of the crowd that he dislikes, as on Grayowl Point I only write about music that I like. I’ve struggled with this idea for almost as long as I’ve had a blog, but I believe it’s the best solution. I’m not going to write about things I dislike, because I do not want to encourage music that I think is bad.
I’ll also admit that I do like a lot of the music I listen to. This may be a problem to some people, but I appreciate some catchy synth-pop as much as I might enjoy soft-spoken folk or an instrumental jam band.
So I can’t hate what Lawton is trying to do. He really is trying to get people to wake up. There are a few aspects of the blog that I’m not a fan of, the main one being blanket dismissals based on a listening (usually) of recorded music. There are numerous examples of bands that I’ve listened to whose music I didn’t generally care for, but ended up really liking when seeing them live.
There’s also quite a bit of facetiousness but whatever, I think everyone is entitled to be facetious from time to time.
The blog has certainly gotten a fair amount of attention already, and I’m curious to see them carry on as they go through the list of Canadian artists playing at Canadian Music Week. They did publish a pretty scathing article about Canadian Music Week in general, which, unfortunately, is hard to disagree with.