BRIDGING THE ROCK/DANCE GAP WITH SKRILLEX
Rock and dance have had a rather up and down, Cox/Arquette relationship over the years. Rock music basically started out as "dance music" but as lines between black and white music became more distinct, with rock becoming more white and dance becoming more ethnic and gay through the '60s and into the '70s, there was a very wide line drawn by the disco era. Rock acts like The Rolling Stones, KISS, Blondie, Queen, and Rod Stewart tried to work in the rock beat to hit records, but failed cred, while disco acts like Donna Summer and The Village People tried rocking it, only to fail. After that, the cold war was on and disco was dead, leaving the burgeouning dance music of '80s keyboard bands far from rocking.
In recent years acts like The Killers, Scissor Sisters and Linkin Park have lifted the unwritten ban on crossing dance and rock in a respectable, quality way. So the next step is for a full-on rocker to go full-on dance, with no reservations.
Finally, Skrillex is going there. The project/band came out of the mind of guitarist Sonny Moore of the post-hardcore (think crappy bands from the Warped Tour) band From First to Last; with screaming frat boy vocals and bravado, it's far from anything fun. However, his new EP, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (out now on Big Beat/Atlantic) is all fun for all. With a mix of straight up Jersey Shore house and British Dubstep, Sonny takes his guitar-influenced shredding and grinding and puts it to his mousepad creating a dirty, manipulating seduction of a record. Outside the grind, he even takes it mainstream dance for two delicious vocal tracks, "Without You Friends" and "All I Ask Of You" (not from Phantom!). And you really get your money's worth on this one: On top of five great new tracks, you get remixes by Bare Noize, Zedd and Noisa that never break the mood of this prelude to Skrillex's long-awaited full length CD. Maybe with this musical bridge we will draw a few more of those hot straight boys onto the dancefloor.