As an avid fan of punk music for over a decade, I, just like many other fans of the genre have come to anticipate the Vans Warped Tour each summer. One of my fondest memories from summers past was when I attended the tour in the summer of 2007. The bill was great and included such storied punk bands as: Anti-Flag, the Bouncing Souls, NOFX, Rise Against, Against Me! and many, many others. The bands all put on great shows and did a great job distracting myself and the other energy-filled fans from the blistering heat. But this year on warped tour something else is grabbing the headlines: controversy. When a reader first reads that statement they might laugh because Punk music has been shrouded in controversy ever since its inception in the late 70’s when the Sex Pistols burst onto the UK music scene, but the controversy today lies in whether or not certain bands music fit the warped tour bill. One such band is New Mexico’s own Brokencyde.
Brokencyde’s style of music is labeled as “crunkcore” which is mixture of screamed lyrics and hip-hop music. They hail from Albuquerque, New Mexico and released their first album I’m Not A Fan, But the Kids Like It on June 16, 2009 through Suburban Noize Records. The controversy that surrounds Brokencyde has to do with the quality or sound of their music and many prominent bands in the punk scene today have gone out of their way to speak out against the band. While on tour with Brokencyde, Senses Fail front man Buddy Nielsen would even go as far to trash talk the band in between songs during his bands set. Geoff Rickly, the front man of the popular screamo Thursday was recently videotaped at a show saying “Have you ever heard of a band called Brokencyde? I just want to say to that no matter what type of music you like, that sh#t sucks”. Even the LA Times has taken time to rip Brokencyde saying “Each element is so precisely calibrated to infuriate me, limp Cookie Monster screeching and enough Antares slathered about to make even Kanye bleed out his eye sockets”. Hate them or love them it seems everyone has an opinion on Brokencyde. One fan has even gone as far to write a resolution to Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman saying that he will boycott the warped tour until Brokencyde has been taken off the bill, due to their use of “racist and offensive lyrics” (in the song BREE BREE the band, which has no black members, says the N-word). The resolution can be found at http://www.punkbands.com/news/15951/. Even with all the controversy surrounding them, Brokencyde remains on the tour. Warped Tour will be in Chicago August 1.