Ever since Warzone’s Raybeez croaked a few years back, Victory Records has been paying tribute to him by slapping his name and birthdate and deathdate on the back of each of their releases. On the surface, a noble effort, but do the pukes at Victory actually think that it does poor departed Raybeez any honor at all by putting his name on a bound-up cheesy emo turd like this — even if it’s meant only as a posthumous tribute? It’s bad enough that he was cut down in the prime of his life, but to be affiliated (no matter how tenuously) with a product so devoid of anything he ever cared about or stood for — well, hell you might as well dig what’s left of him up and let Richard Simmons have his way with the corpse. That might seem like a tasteless thing to say, but these are tasteless times. How else could you explain the plethora of fame-hungry whores like Somehow Hollow sprouting up faster than all the bad “reality” TV shows across the face of the planet? Isn’t it bad enough that we have a dangerously dim-witted, stammering huckleberry manning the helm in the White House? We’re perched on the edge of utter annihilation, and you and I are expected to go about our lives with a quiet but ever vigilant stoicism. This is a volatile, savage era and we’re all already at the point of exploding like kumquats under the pressure of the dumb, evil density of the world around us. Do we really need — or even deserve — these tattooed dandies calling themselves “punk” or “hardcore” or “emo” or whatever and dragging their musical baggage into our lives? Aren’t we at the point where this should be considered “piling on”? Yes, I’m sure these sensitive lads have spent countless hours cultivating their punk rock attitude, primping their punk rock look. I’m sure that just one of their colorful limbs alone is imbued with more ink-stained punk cred than I could ever hope to swaddle myself in. They’re on fucking Victory Records, for chrissake, the Microsoft of hardcore. But something seems, um, hollow. Oh, sure, they’re tighter than Avril Lavigne’s cute little wifebeater and they are possessed of a lucrative lack of imagination that’s bound to propel them to a new financial stratosphere; no doubt they’ll be on the next Warped Tour, trading backstage hi-jinx with other corporate android “punk” bands like Good Charlotte and New Found Glory, all with their Vans footwear proudly displayed. They might even, for all I know, be cute in that very marketable sullen teen-angst, he’s-too-sensitive-for-his-own-good kind of way. But isn’t this really just a boy band in “punk” clothing? Wait a minute — it just occurred to me: maybe I didn’t think this thing all the way through; maybe there’s really nothing more genuinely dangerous than a truly, TRULY innocuous faux punk band. What could be more insidious? Punk is, after all, supposed to be dangerous, right? You know what? Fuck it, let Somehow Hollow and their ilk take the label, let “punk” be all theirs. It’s a label so played out and bastardized and commodified that who the hell would want it anyway, aside from a bunch of career-minded suckwad opportunists like these fucks? This isn’t even war; this is simple self preservation. That wise old sage Jello Biafra was right: if we’re going to snip the vas deferens of this wildly proliferating breed of emo-erectus, we need to shut off MTV and VH1 now. If nothing else, do it for Raybeez. No one, no matter how dead, deserves to be violated like this.