2 June 2010

The new Aftermath digipaks have arrived!

A month late, but we finally got the corrected digipaks from the printers!!! Some people still think the misprinted version is cooler, but this new version is definitely as close as we wanted it to look: gone is the oddly placed catalog number on the front cover, and the weird pink halo in the inside... the print is also greener in general.

The misprinted versions has thus been called back and are now classified as a limited edition. We'll be selling the new corrected version for all orders starting today. Please head to the TQA store or the TQA Bandcamp (comes with instant download via Bandcamp) to buy it!

If you already bought the misprinted one and would like to get the corrected one, email me. I can include it in your next order or come up with some kind of arrangements...


To celebrate the occasion, Aftermath received a couple of positive reviews this week. First, an 8/10 by The Silent Ballet, which is has gained quite a hateful reputation lately for some harsh cold-blooded reviews in the past year or so. Some labels have even started to avoid sending material to them. Like some of my close friends who recently got burnt in their latest reviews, my past material has always been well-received by TSB. Needless to say that I was actually quite curious to see how Aftermath would fare through this new cutthroat honesty system:

And one in Vital Weekly, an e-mail magazine from the Netherlands, always nice to be reviewed by a publication that has been around for as long as them (since 1987) :


tno said...

might i ask what reviews at TSb can be considered "hateful?" i'm asking this as a staffer and founding member. harsh, sure. but not hateful. i'm curious about the reviews in question. if any can be considered as such, i suspect they are from writers who didn't last long on the site. or, if not, then they are probably fair in their assessment. i know some labels and artists are a bit too sensitive, and look to reviews as a free good press machine.

we aren't a monolithic group, so i just ask people to pay attention to individuals reviewers. yes we publish on the same site and have carved out some semblance of a "style," but we certainly do not all agree. We have something 30+ people writing for us at any given time. which is how an album may receive a mediocre to low score and still end up on our (scientifically calculated) year end list.

anyway, keep up the string of solid releases.


Hey, I would rather not name names publicly in the open, but I'd be happy to share some in private or in person. I'll also have to dig them up.

You mention paying attention to the individual writers. It's hard to ask that from the public. Even though you're a staff of writers, the review is still signed TSB, under the TSB banner, etc. That's the difference between for instance someone who reviews an album on their personal blog and a webzine.

I personally have no problem with you guys, so don't take that personal blogpost comment the wrong way... It's just a trend of opinions that I've noticed from my peers that follow the reviews on a regular basis.

I also agree that labels and artists can be too sensitive, but that's only because they've sink so much time and energy into their work. Some labels especially, still dare to sink a huge amount of money on releases to make them nice and unique.

In the end, we can argue that the reviews don't influence album sales or artists popularity that much. But here we are at an era where the physical format is in danger, more and more albums are being downloaded illegally & the whole 'industry' is struggling with sales - it's understandable that they fear bad publicity.

tno said...

I completely understand that, but even so, time energy and money don't necessarily make a good release. It's ok to fear bad publicity, and understandable, but good publicity has to be earned. There's no guarantee what reception a release will get, and labels should be aware of this when they submit releases. (Clearly they are if they stop submitting, though we still receive far more than we can cover.) We do what we do (something no one makes any money from, obviously) because we love music. We write critical reviews, not in the negative sense but in the sense of critique. And I think over all, with few exceptions, we are quite fare.

We have a team of editors and an EIC in order to create some unity under the TSB banner, but there is still a diversity of opinion. We often try not to let the same individual review an artist more more than once to allow for a diversity of opinion and avoid bias.

I think a lot of artists and readers also don't pay attention to our scoring breakdown, which has been up there since day one. (It's here, btw http://thesilentballet.com/dnn/Reviews/tabid/54/Default.aspx)

I didn't mean to suggest that you personally had a problem with us, I was just curious about the "hateful" comment. I've met a couple bands in the last year or so who've been a bit awkward about a 5.5 we gave them or something someone said. Sometimes it's even a problem they have with a specific person, which is unfortunate.

In an average week we publish 15 reviews or more, and if a few in a 6 month period slipped through an uncalled for nasty comment or something, it's unfortunate if it tarnishes the image of the site as a whole.

Anyway, see you at the Caspian show


I agree with everything you said. I've written about this in my latest entry as I wanted to post the interview. Seemed like a good opportunity to rectify some things. Let me know if you have any objections with what I wrote! Thanks.


See ya!