I originally intended on pre-ordering "Empire", but a fund shortage prohibited it from happening. When I got the cash to do it, I decided to hold off because by the time it got to me it would have been days after I could have it in my hands if I got off my ass and went to a store. Since the selection of independent record stores in my immediate area is pretty slim (Play It Again in South Side Bethlehem is the only one that comes to mind that sells new CDs), I decided for curiosities sake I would check Best Buy's website to see if they were selling it. They were, so this morning I got up and went to Best Buy.
First off, I fucking hate Best Buy. There is not one redeeming thing that I can think of about the store. I've spent a lot of money at Best Buy over the years, but that is simply because other options are virtually non-existent. Small video stores have pretty much vanished, along with small record stores.
When I got to Best Buy today, I went directly over to the CD new release section, because that seemed like a logical place to start. It was nowhere to be found, but that's probably just because how much shelf space Lil Wayne's new CD was occupying. So off I went to scour the shitty music section to find Madball's place in the M's. Since Best Buy has pretty much squashed their music section it didn't take long to find Madball sitting on the shelf between Loverboy and Madonna.
As I'm walking to pay I notice two things, one that I know for fact is Best Buy's doing and the other that I can only hope is just for Best Buy's audience. You can see in the picture that there is a brief explanation of who Madball is, so anyone just randomly picking up the CD gets an idea of what they are in for. If you can't read it from the picture here is what it says "Madball are an iconic force in hardcore as Slayer has been to thrash. Like Hatebreed, Madball's rise from the streets to dominating stages across the earth is nothing short of legendary". I have absolutely no problems with Slayer or Hatebreed, but I feel it really sells Madball short to have to include two bands that have both had commercial success in order to get the ignorant masses to give this record a listen. The second thing I noticed is that Best Buy classifies it as "Hard Rock". Come on now. That immediately lumps Madball in with the likes of Staind and Nickelback, are you fucking kidding me? Could they have picked a more generic term that's even less fitting then calling it "Metal"?
I'm not even remotely trying to call Madball out as sell outs. I get why their CD is being sold at Best Buy. There aren't a whole lot of other options. I hate Best Buy, but unfortunately if it wasn't for that devil of a store, I wouldn't be sitting here with "Empire" blasting while I write.