Here at NCS, we have an uncomfortable habit of forgetting our friends’ birthdays. But hey, we forget our own birthdays, too. So there’s that.
For example, we overlooked the fact (for the second year in a row), that November 21 was the anniversary of the first post at NO CLEAN SINGING. We are now two years and two days old. Still not potty-trained, but old enough to have discovered the fascination of our own genitals. So there’s that.
Our credibility as arbiters of taste and intelligent assessment of music is still highly suspect. However, this hasn’t stopped bands from asking us to listen to their music or prevented most metal labels from sending us albums to review. And over the last 30 days we’ve had 57,808 page views and 32,475 unique visitors from 131 different countries (only about half of whom are trying to interest us in receiving large cash transfers from the estates of dead Africans in exchange for our personal details). So there’s that.
Since our launch, we’ve published 1,498 posts (including this one) and received 14,406 comments (only about half of which are my own). We haven’t missed a day, publishing at least one post every day since we started, even on those many days (including today) when I was viciously hungover.
We’ve remained reasonably true to our founding principles: We still don’t run ads; we still don’t spend much time slagging bad bands or posting negative reviews (preferring to concentrate our time on music we can honestly recommend and not writing about the music that doesn’t impress us); and our news reporting has also been reasonably true. (more after the jump . . .)
Over time, we’ve devoted increasing amounts of space to Exceptions to the Rule, i.e., music that includes clean singing. I blame this on the other writers who inexplicably continue allowing us to post their pieces at NCS. I do my best to counterbalance their insurgency by focusing my own posts on really ugly, vicious, intestinally disruptive, reptile-brain music with vocals that strip paint from the walls and make ears bleed (and if any of the bands whose music I’ve reviewed are reading this, I mean this in the nicest possible way). So although we’ve broadened the scope of our musical coverage, and have confused the shit out of people who take the title of this blog literally, we still mainly concentrate on the kind of extreme metal that omits clean crooning. So there’s that.
(Andy, this means that I still don’t intend to re-name the site NO, CLEAN SINGING!)
I continue to have a shitload of fun with this blog. Yes, part of that is due to the continuing opportunity it gives me to use my favorite word, which begins with F and ends in UCK. But mainly, I have benefitted hugely from the chance to interact with bands, with our writers (both regular contributors and guests), and with the wonderful community of people who have chosen to spend some of their time each week visiting our site. I’m certainly not objective about this, but I also think our Comment sections are among the best in the metal segment of the web. And it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Our readers are clearly the most intelligent metalheads on the planet. This can be objectively proven by the fact that they read NCS. So there’s that.
In closing, allow me to thank all of you for giving us a reason to forge ahead with the third year of NO CLEAN SINGING. We will continue to do our best to earn your continued attention, and to give you reasons to recommend us to your friends (or at least your enemies).
Now, please make a wish and blow out our candles, because this bit of birthday celebration is for you, too. And in lieu of a happy birthday song to accompany the blowing, I leave you with a bit of fucking Mayhem.