Update, November 17, 2020: I never expected to say that one of my favorite albums of the year came from a sparkling water company, but 2020 has brought us lots of surprising things, hasn’t it? If you didn’t catch the news the first time: Back in May, Liquid Death gathered its favorite hate comments from social media and online reviews, and then had members of Arsis, Malevolent Creation, Divine Empire, and Upon Infliction turn them into an absolutely fucking brutal death metal album that will make you want to windmill and hydrate. Understandably death metal is not for everyone, so if you’re the type who can’t handle 22 minutes and 12 seconds of pure audible assault, Liquid Death is ushering the holiday season with a brand-new punk album to pogo your ass off to.
Greatest Hates, Volume 2 features the talents of Ashrita Kumar (Pinkshift), Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms), Chris #2 (Anti-Flag), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), Jen Razavi (The Bombpops), Jer Hunter (We Are the Union, Skatune Network), Joe Principe (Rise Against), Josh Lewis (The Bombpops). Paul Miner (ex. Death by Stereo), and Tim McIlrath (Rise Against). With tracks like “Think It’s Funny to Joke About Eternal Damnation?”, “Blood Everywhere???”, “Another Contribution to a Very Sick Culture,” and “Fuck Your Ads,” this album is a true reflection of our tense modern times. The lyrics are yet again the work of average, ordinary people who used their free time to write hate mail to a small beverage company. Some of my favorite bits of pure, American-made poetry:
I will report you to all the government officials if you do not take down your falsified info // the public is way too gullible to not believe that shit
So once again, remove the ad, and notify me // and I won’t drive your business into the ground for spreading false information and brainwashing
—“Remove the Ad”
What the hell? // Who came up with this crap?
This bullshit is for single dads. // What coke head green lit this idea?
—“Unnecessary and Unimpressive”
I don’t know if it’s beer, joining a satanic cult, water, or some kind of death mountain country club...
I can’t believe Satanism is promoted by this company!
—“Good Try, Devil”
Greatest Hates: Volume II is currently available on all streaming services. If you’re one of those types who believes that the only proper way to listen to music is on wax, Liquid Death has opened up pre-orders for the vinyl edition, which will be released in January.
Original story, May 2, 2020: I am a woman of eclectic tastes and passions, who is enamored by the beauty buried deep within chaos. I relax to heavy metal and find an almost religious solace in mosh pits. Hate mail, outraged internet comments, and expressions of umbrage in Amazon reviews are all obscenely hilarious to me. (In fact, after my first cookbook was released I slapped one of my favorite online reviews onto my business card and kept it there for two whole years.) And, perhaps less related, I love seltzer, and I keep a mini fridge in my living room fully stocked with sparkling water.
Earlier this week, I received a press release informing me that all these passions of mine were miraculously coming together in a single promotional campaign. At first I became incredibly suspicious of this too-good-to-be-true news and swept my home for hidden cameras and listening devices. I threw on some Gojira, slipped into a deep meditation, and tried to determine if I had possibly been incepted by a PR firm. It all seemed too good to be true! I have been waiting my entire life for a sparking water brand to understand me on a spiritual level. Today, I am reborn.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you have not yet had the pleasure, let me introduce you to Liquid Death, which has become my new favorite brand of still and sparkling water for three reasons: It comes in aluminum cans, which are infinitely recyclable; their branding is satirical and, in my opinion, brilliant; and because they took a whole bunch of hate comments from their social media and online reviews and turned them into a legitimately excellent death metal album:
The album’s vocals are from Torin Ridgeway and Jim Malone of Arsis; the band and production squad is made up of Rios (Malevolent Creation, Divine Empire, Upon Infliction), Matt Laplant (Nonpoint, Skindred, Malevolent Creation, etc.), Seth Ringler (Upon Infliction). You can listen to the full album here and find the album artwork + lyrics here. And for the seltzer-loving metalheads who enjoy angry commenters and are major audiophiles, you can order Greatest Hates on vinyl, because Liquid Death does not fuck around, nor should they.
I really hope other brands are paying attention to this, because this is exactly the kind of excitement I crave from my consumer packaged goods. Maybe I should mount a Twitter campaign to convince Hot Pockets to start experimenting with dubstep.