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Why E-Zines Won’t Review Your Band

Written on March 12, 2008 – 10:10 am | by whiskeychick |

Demons of StupidityAs I was gettin ready to relaunch the site here I dug through a shitload of artists in my favorite musical fishin’ hole just hopin to find a few worthy of mention. I also threw out a few pieces of bait to see if I could hook a prize bass… sadly all the little guppies that bit weren’t worthy. So instead of shinin reviews and great new artists to showcase I’ve come up with a list of reasons why 95% of the bands that contact us do not get showcased.

  1. Travis Woodruff - Overall Travis seems like a predictable, safe, mildly pleasant-to-the-ears pop/traditional country singer. However, this portion of his profile was like a slap in the face to us:”Band Members: There’s only me and a wonderful assortment of musicians that were kind enough to play for me in the studio. Sorry I can’t mention them all, but they know who they are and that they are much appreciated.” If they were on your album, they should be in your CD sleeve. If they’re in your CD sleeve you should have the respect and decency to credit them whenever the opportunity arises. Some of the most respected and revered country musicians started their careers as studio musicians playing backing tracks for selfish schmucks like your ass and without them your “album” would consist of you singin karaoke in a can.
  2. Any Rockabilly Band - Unless you have a unique hook, image, or midgets that travel with you, then you simply blend into the many thousands of bum bum bum bum stand-up bass quartets that seems to be popping up out of the woodwork. Rockabilly music is a heritage. A culture. It’s painfully obvious when a group of half-assed musicians who couldn’t make the grade in their preferred genre’s throws together a band to match the latest trend. You want to see it done right? Take a look at Rev Horton Heat, Soda and his Pawn Shop Three, or Heather Rae and the Moonshine Boys.
  3. Cover Bands - Sorry guys, but if I review your Led Zeppelin Tribute Band then I have to review ALL of the little kiddies living off the glory of musicians who clawed tooth and nail to become a legend you’re willing to copy, and who has time for that? We here at DH would rather use our time to introduce you to new and original music. I will make the rare exception if there is something truly unique about a cover band’s approach, like Drunk Prom Date who is an experience too colorful for words and will most likely be covered in a separate article in the near future
  4. Commesso - You have 3 songs. Your profile looks like a 3rd grader made it and is nearly unreadable. You are experimental/progressive rock contacting a country music site for reviews. You have no pictures of your band, no bio, backstory or blog to pull from, and do not respond to emails. What the hell were you thinking?
  5. PR Firms and established artists - Unless you are branching out and creating your own label don’t bother. We normally do not re-issue press releases and we do not promote big-label artists. Read about the website before you pitch to it and know who you’re trying to market to. We are here for the indie, do-it-yourselfer who actually needs the exposure. Thank you and have a nice day.

At the end of the day, my advice to you is this: Create a web-presence that really shows who you are as a musician or band. Know who you want as fans and solicit that crowd. Be ready to tell them why they should be your fan. Do your homework on e-zines, magazines and other publications in your genre’s and shop yourself to the ones that fit you. And finally, take a look at what your five favorite artists/influences are doing to make themselves known and take a few pointers from them.

  1. 4 Responses to “Why E-Zines Won’t Review Your Band”

  2. By Buckshot George on Mar 27, 2008 | Reply

    Good stuff. One of the big problems I have with reviewing music is when I have a connection (some kind of friendship as generally that’s how I find out about artists) and then the CD cannot be considered anything but garbage and really they need to be going back to the drawing board and get the right musicians and WAY better songs. I couldn’t possible tell the truth about that CD and hurt someone but I can’t give it the glowing review they expect either. Someone very close to me lives for his own Commesso operation and is dumping a lot of money from his pocket into too. A lot. Dumping money on expensive pro mastering of a rough draft that should be for personal reference only and not released, not a good finished product. Bad idea. When he really needs to keep looking for the right people and work on it before entering any studio.

    Oh we need to get you a Jim Bachmann CD to review. That’s a guy that can home record a highly listenable album on his home computer on the cheap (not super pro quality but good enough)

  3. By Jim Moulton on Feb 14, 2009 | Reply

    I used to give these kind of folk bad reviews, but I decided that was not helping anyone, if someone gets my address and somehow, they usually find it, they will send me the next big thing. VERY rarely, it will be good, like recently I received a gal named Megan Monroe to listen too, I was not too thrilled, familiar with the producer who is famous for reusing background tracks for diffferent songs.
    I listened to it, because I was excited about a new disc player I had, it sounded remarkedly good, she truly had written some very competitive stuff to go up against even alot of Nashvilles’Best.
    Here are what I look for in a CD.I review Bluegrass, alt/country and some Nashville Country; No country pop. A pro looking 1 sheet is not too hard to do, If I get a CD with a picture of a cowboy on it, I usually throw it away. The recording can not be filled with clipping and sound bad, I’ve had even large label CDs that fit this bill. Listen to your CD against a big label CD, like Vince Gill. How much difference is there, is it worth it to spend $600 to get someone like Hank Williams or Doug Sax to master it, if it is a good recording , that is a small amount of money to bring it up to Pro standards.

  4. By Travis Woodruff on Dec 28, 2010 | Reply

    I find your comment about my music very interesting. Glad you “seem” to like it, but everyone has their opinion. As for your comment about my “ass” in regards to not posting all the names of musicians on my CD; it’s because I don’t know all the names. Some of the tracks were cut without me present and who was hired to record the tracks is not known to me. As it says in the sleeve it is merely a selection of demos and worktapes put together FOR FANS that wanted to hear me. So, as your “review” was never requested and seems to be useful only for you I’m glad I mattered enough in your world to rate a review. I hope you find plenty others to attract your attention in the future.

    However, I would be curious to know for where you base your “expertise” and you might also consider listing your sources. I never sent you a copy of my album to review. In fact I never intended to sell as many copies as I did. It was only meant for fans. If you’re not one, then what is your point?

    Still, I wish you all the best in finding plenty to write about regarding the music industry that someone will eventually read.

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