Who writes press releases? C'mon, own up, somebody must think them up. Unless of course they're produced using a random word generator, which would make a lot more sense if this were to be the case. It is unfortunate that the PR's attempt to sell a band can easily backfire and cause the band to come across as pretentious, and a million sonic miles away from the adjectives printed on the page. Having received many CDs over my tenure with Room Thirteen, the accompanying press release is always cause for amusement. Their intention is to make the reader want to rip open the packaging and throw the disc into the player as fast as possible, making the music contained within sound like some kind of holy grail. Which of course is total nonsense. But a trend has emerged from reading so many press releases, which is, the larger and more successful the band, the less building up the press release does, allowing the music to do the talking instead. The following is a selection of my favourite sentences and phrases from press releases. At the end you'll realise why the writer doesn't sign their name at the bottom of it.

This feature was initially inspired by the band Gallows. A promising hardcore punk band, but their press release said, 'Bored of listening to haircuts and no-clue dorks harp on about shit flash in the pan bands' If that sentence isn't ridiculous enough then try this piece of literal fodder, 'focused on dragging punk rock out of the grasp of wannabe male models and making live shows an event where the crowd feel threatened for their personal safety... Live, the band leave everything destroyed in their wake.' and so on zzzz. Of course all of this is just media bullshit, but oddly enough the band had concocted their own auto-biography which is printed on the actual CD packaging. Apart from it being a story of hardship and woe, it states, after a fight broke out at one of their shows, 'thanks to the strength in numbers the situation was quickly defused and the rest of the evening was spent cleaning the blood from the floor and making sure the younger half of the crowd made it home safely.' Strange words from a band who 'leave everything destroyed in their wake.'

I had read the above items before spinning the disc, and all of a sudden I was finding I couldn't take 'Gallows' seriously. In my hands I had the debut album of a hardcore punk band with the "explicit intention of fucking some serious shit up," a band who are considered "the underground's best kept, and most volatile, rock n roll secret," yet for all their chaos they want to make sure everything's tidied up and all the kids are sent home at the end of the show.

'The result is a raw portrait of modern England in all its faded horror. This is an England of Big Mac boxes and cancer-ridden lungs, of back street deviants and skies that crack and splinter. Perpetual witching hour.'

I am sure even at this early stage you're understanding what this feature is all about.

'Its airy vocals swooping like swallows on a summer's day, accompanied by the soft tintinnabulation of tiny bells...it's certainly a palette cleansing experience par excellence.'

When the press release has such phrases as 'Capulet appear to want their listeners to be lulled into a false sense of security,' and 'Long passages of minimal sound and barely detectable intent.' the pretentious, self indulgent claptrap alarm bells start to ring, and with the phrase, 'In a realm where you can't lie passive with a handy lyric to act as a life-raft.' The alarm bells are stepped up to a full-blown red alert. What the hell does a 'handy lyric to act as a life-raft' mean?

'Former Cell Mates answered their calling in the fruitless, barren wasteland that was the music scene of the new millennium. Armed with cheap guitars, premium lager and fatigued by the numerous insipid indie bedroom dwellers, punk rock fashionistas and pretenders to the rock and roll throne.' (This powerful paragraph was followed at the bottom of the page by gigs dates including 'The Cricketers Arms' in Sheffield. The nub of metal I'm sure you'll agree.)

Of course, where would the press release be without the seemingly made up words, or a word that only English Language professors will profess to have knowledge of? Ebola decided to start a metal-core project 'that didn't fall into the homologation's whirl.' The PR goes on to state, 'The pieces prove the originality that marks this band not least because Stefano decided to sing in Italian, their home language.' A worthy note to put on their press release, but if a vocalist is delivering incoherent screaming, you can't tell if he's singing in Italian, English or even Ancient Hebrew for that matter, so who cares?

'Joel and Gbenga weave themselves above the dovetailing guitars. They sing the mantra of a suicide bomber as delay and distortion create a suffocating wall of sound.'

The bad simile comes out for the band Glyder, 'Like their forefathers, who chiselled the stone that was used to build ancient Dublin, the young Glyder band members have chiselled a magnificent debut..."

'Vermont's DrowningMan has been noted by many as a pioneering conspirator in the mixing of metal, hardcore, indie-rock and noise elements, which has spawned many descriptors and definitions, most including the words 'chaotic', 'spastic', or clever pigeon holes such as screamo...DrowningMan is back to re-stake their claim as the creators and champions of the schizophrenic, sarcastic niche in hardcore that they created and will always own.' (Sarcastic Hardcore, that's a new one on me.)

Supposition comes to the fore with WWIII. The press release's opening statement 'Metal heads all over the world know Mandy Lion's story by now.' I've been into metal for over 20 years and hadn't heard of Mr Lion until their new album landed on my door mat. Such phrases could be said for the likes of Ozzy, James Hetfield or Axl Rose, but Mandy Lion?

'Instead the music relies on scavenging guitar interplay which allows each guitar line to combine creepily and deviantly with the other.'

A few bands in their press releases claim to be the originators of their particular sub genres. Caliban, in their biography say, 'Caliban didn't jump on the metal-core bandwagon recently but rather led the way representing that genre at home and internationally.' Like wise Liar say '10 years ago Liar were a band that helped kick-start the whole metal-core genre.' Ninefold's Press Release states, 'Ninefold have returned to the scene they helped create.' and finally Bleeding Through say this about their new album, 'The Truth is a trend-proof middle finger toward the over-saturation that threatens to destroy a scene this band helped to build.'

Whatever your opinion of the above bands and their claims to building musical scenes, one can't deny Arnocorps assertion, 'It should come as no surprise that the pioneers of action-adventure hardcore rock and roll claim to be the greatest band of all time.' I for one can't think of any other 'action-adventure hardcore rock and roll bands,' if you can then please let me know.

'The inspiration was drawn from a deep misanthropy, crushing sorrow, severe depression, emotional and physical pain and frustration resulting from dealing with the average person. Utter disgust and hatred for modern society and government, the flawed infrastructure in which it rests, a rejection of the politically correct hypocrites that turn a blind eye to Nazi style mob censorship and the wailing ignorance of minority groups that claim to be a majority and cry discrimination when they don't get what they want.' (I'm not sure what this has to do with the music, but I reckon they have tremendous trouble leaving the house to buy a bottle of milk)

The press release is almost guaranteed to have a sentence full to the brim of adjectives. Take this example from the bands Disarm. 'This ain't no big haired bandwagon jumping 80's cock rock dinosaur resurrection.'

'There is something hiding behind all this cynical nonchalance - bleeding hearts and uncertain dangers.'

I fully understand the need for the press release, but far too many times the bands in question are dressed up by clumsy and unnecessary wordplay. This isn't the band's fault I hasten to add, it's the PR companies themselves who perhaps are writing about a band they know nothing about. In Disillustion's press release they say, 'This overwhelming dichotomy of tempest and melody, groove and dynamics, beat and bombast, pathos and coolness is turned into great songs.' Which means extremely little but sounds quite clever, especially the phrase, 'this overwhelming dichotomy of tempest' which as far as I can tell means, 'this overpowering whirlwind which is divided into two.' I could be wrong as I was using the dictionary meanings to piece the phrase together. As a challenge I found a random word generator on the Internet to see if it could come up with a more understandable sentence to that of the above. This is what it created. 'This disliking show of stress and demand, inspiration and tidying, rules and abuse, workstation and throws is turned into great songs.' Not bad for a first attempt I'm sure you'll agree.

As long as there are new albums, there will be press releases. Some will be no nonsense, some will be fairly flowery and others will be utter tripe. Hopefully in a years time, when I've collected enough examples, I'll do a part two to this feature. Until that point I'll leave you with my favourite press release sample from Varsity Drag which, when read between the lines, suggests that Ben Deily was holding back the Lemonheads for years until he left the band.

'Ben was responsible for most of the finest moments on the Lemonheads first 3 albums, before splitting with Evan Dando who would in turn mould the Lemonheads into the mass grunge-pop multi-selling pioneers they became.'

Please email any comedy press release samples to pete.worral@roomthirteen.com