Frankie Palmeri has been under scrutiny for many things over the years, but the recent Cold Souls Clothing scandal tops the cake. These days, with the hardcore/deathcore community being as close knit as it is (though not as much as it was even just five years ago), fans wouldn’t allow something like this to go over easily. I, for one, refuse to let this go without my word on this issue, as I’m very much against this type of thing. I was only vaguely aware of Cold Souls Clothing even existing and I never checked it out till I saw the news of it being shut down.
Before we delve into the actual shirts of question and Frankie's half assed “apology,” let’s dig a little bit deeper into his other projects and paint the complete painting of douchebag. First and foremost, there’s Emmure. While there are a lot of fans that support the band, in the adult world I find these people very few and far in between. Their music and imagery is meant for the 13 to 17 year olds of today because most people my age can see through them. The imagery is that we can all be super tough guys that don't take shit from anybody, anti-everything, beat up people, and talk about video games. While they used to be one of the most respected bands in the hardcore genre with such releases as The Complete Guide To Needlework EP, The Respect Issue, and the classic Goodbye To Gallows, they fell apart when the original members Joe and Ben Lionetti left the band due to internal conflicts amongst themselves.
According to Lambgoat.com in a statement written by Joe Lionetti, “one night there was an altercation in the band that split them down the middle even more so then they already were, so we have officially left Emmure.” Being that Frankie’s douchebaggery is very well known in the music scene, it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out that Frankie started the beef. Considering the Lionetti brothers are the original members, as in they were making music before bringing Frankie along, they should have kept the name.
Their music, even back in the glory days, has been noted to include a much more then normal influence of esteemed hardcore/deathcore band The Acacia Strain that pre-dated Emmure by years. Just listen to both bands older material and connect the dots yourself. However, a few years ago, vocalists from both bands traded blows in Clifton Park, NY after Emmure's show when Vincent Bennett approached Frankie and asked to discuss what problems. Tensions arose and, according to an unnamed label source and an Acacia Strain band member, Frankie sucker punched Vincent and they fought for a few minutes. Frankie was punching Vincent over and over with Vincent laughing at him saying he wasn't going to hit back. Frankie attempted to put on some brass knuckles (a real bitch-made move) and, according to Vincent, he dusted him and won the fight, which is fitting.
Someone who is willing to take over a band that he didn't start and sucker punch and pull out a weapon on a lone, unarmed person? The canvas is already a nice shade of brown. How did this get started? While the details are foggy at best, it would seem it was the outcome from The Acacia Strain's song "Skynet," in which they refer to Emmure for ripping them off. If you took the time to listen to both bands, you would see this is undeniably true. The entire song is filled with hate, as evidenced with "Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery. / Why would you ever want to be like me?.. / Even if you apologized to me right now it would mean nothing."
Emmure's craptastic song "R2 Deepthroat," from their worst album to date Felony, was their response to TAS's "Skynet." "I'm so happy that you just can't stop talking shit... So much for plagiarism / So much for you to waste your breath running your mouth... So do me a favor / The next time you see her / Ask your girl what my dick tastes like." I would think that a four year old can write a better song aimed against the bully in his kindergarten class than this. Especially the last line, I mean, if you can find a man or woman that hasn't had more than one partner, then you should start playing the lottery. The term is misogynic and highly irrelevant. His exceptional grammar skills should be used in grade school textbooks. Comparing the two songs, it's clear that "Skynet" is the clear winner in every way.
Which brings me to my next point of Frankie and Emmure, and that's the lyrics and song titles. The song title "I <3 EC2" is one of the most sellout titles I've heard as it is referenced to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud system for music. "Drug Dealer Friend" is the now infamous song where he expresses his joy in watching a guy sucking another guy's dick.Yes, it's about man on man. I'm not against homosexuals in any way, but I can spot a voyeur in the closet when I see one. He's a big time conspiracy theorist that has overlapping beliefs, such as "Area 64-66," which talks about UFOs, and the scriptures of the Nephilim who are said to be sons of God ("Eulogy Of Giants"). Despite that the Nephilim were only mentioned two brief times in the Hebrew bible, there are at least seven different interpretations of what the scant few passages really mean. He's only one secret gay trip from becoming a Scientologist.
I could go on and on and pick apart every song, but I think this track by track with Alternative Press of their album Speakers Of The Dead really speaks out on it's own.Metalsucks.net provided excellent commentary on the breakdown. Let's bring out Frankie's unoriginal alter-ego Thanos Reignz. His first track "A Preview Of What's To Come," is not only crappy rehashed Garageband 4/4 beats, but is also entirely unoriginal. I tried finding this track online for your listening un-pleasure but it has dropped off the face of the earth. Which is funny, considering it's entirely unoriginal and is stolen from other works. Not only was it stolen, but he never mentioned any samples or gave credit where credit was due. The Tumblr page that hosted the track has since been deleted after it was pointed out for the 312435th time of how unoriginal Frankie is. However, he has released an extremely terrible demo through his Bandcamp page, although it's only a matter of time before an electronic music aficionado picks apart these tracks and shows where they really came from.
Finally, we come to the cream of the turd crop, which is his, or was, his "hard work." I never realized that sitting on Photoshop for probably two hours tops is classified as hard work. Oh wait, I'm sure it took you longer than that. Let's pick apart the ignorance one by one:
First up in the peanut gallery, we have this totally not offensive shirt. Bands have been making offensive shirts for years, such as the now infamous banned Cradle Of Filthshirt, that targets problems in society. COF's view was that religion in general is a sickness that must be cleansed. However, there are certain events in history that shouldn't be sported as fashion or satirized. The Columbine Massacre is one that falls in that line. Those kids were not shooting first and asking questions later. These kids were planning this attack for an entire year and it wasn't even supposed to be just a shooting. If they weren't so bad at wiring the propane bombs, they would have wiped out nearly 600 people. They were going to gun down the survivors. Then they were going to drive their bomb filled cars into more crowds on live TV. They did this not out of resentment and hatred towards individuals (though that had a part in it), but more towards a mass contempt towards humanity and to cause devastating infamy for the world to cower in their power.
"Shoot first ask questions last." Frankie clearly did not real deep into Columbine enough to see that this was not some petty hatred, as most of his shitty songs represent. Klebold and Harris were out for far more than simple hatred.
Now for the second shirt. This one actually could have passed, even though the quote screams BRO!!!! However, he chose a terrible picture to associate with the saying. In case if you don't know, it's a scene from the movie American History X that shows a fictional skinhead blowing smoke into a black persons face. If you're one of three people in the world that hasn't seen the movie, it is about two brothers that are raised into the skinhead way of life. Terrorizing and killing Africans, Asians, Jews and anybody else that wasn't white and American. One of them gets caught while giving a African a Chelsea grin and goes to prison, where he gets raped and has a change of heart. He comes out of prison trying to show his younger brother the ignorance behind white power, but it's too late at the end.
By attaching the quote "violence is a way of life" with a picture that, in that certain instant, is pro-racism, you're going to have a bad time.
Now for the final masterpiece. This pic is wrong in many ways, so let's start out with the generalities. This is obviously about 9/11. This is anti-Sematic and the shirt can be interpreted as Muslims are a national threat. I've only seen a very small handful of jokes about 9/11 that made me chuckle, but that's because they weren't really aimed at the actual incident. My guesses are that he Googled "muslim/arabic symbols" and this popped up and he slapped it on a shirt. However, further research would show that this symbol is actually the symbol for Emirates Airlines, a Middle Eastern based airline company. So for those who would know that, that makes this shirt twice as terrible! To associate 9/11 with an airline company that is Middle Eastern... Can you imagine what someone would go through if they wore that shirt around them? They would be stoned in the middle of the street for sure.
All of these shirts were made for one purpose only, and that is for the shock value. We all know that shock culture sells very well, but there is a line not to be crossed. Frankie just went on his Photoshop or whatever program he used and came up with some of the most offensive shirts ever just because he thought they would sell. What if those unfortunate idiots who would actually buy these shirts were wearing them in public?
Frankie Palmeri, you have done nothing of any value to society since The Respect Issue, and even that is debatable. So what do you have to say for yourself? This is his copping out, half assed, bitchmade "apology." Seriously, this guy doesn't give a shit. He's like one of those shitty hipster kids that take Instagrammed black and white photos of themselves with pentagrams and upside down crosses because the "shock value" is "hip" and "chic." By the way, upside down crosses is a Christian symbol, not a Satanist symbol, you fucking idiots.
He claims that this was becoming a successful business, which meant it would have been that much easier to pick out the useless morons of the world and terminate them. Out of the "apology," my favorite was that he said he doesn't condone violence. Um... Emmure entire musical and apparel image is all about violence! Example 1 (for the caption), Example 2, and Example 3. But example 4 is the one that puts that statement to shame.
To say that he used Cold Souls Clothing as a reflection of the things that occur in our lifetime that shape our moral values is ridiculous. He says how we live in a society where media throws the harsh reality in our faces. He says that by getting offended by these designs, you miss the entire point of his "satire." I'm glad that he actually had the balls to say he made these shitty shirts for satire. It makes writing this piece that much easier. But by reading his statement, in between the words "asshole," "insensitive," and "waste of air" running through my head, I started to feel a little sorry for him. I mean, this guy just didn't know where the limit was and went over it without thinking. I bet he's all red in the face because he didn't know where the limit was.
Just kidding. Frankie Palmeri, you are an insensitive scum of the earth. I hope that everyone can see through your mindless and idiotic rambling. You need to quit everything and go back to your hole from where you came. Congratulations for being the Dave Mustaine of the hardcore community.
And also, Emmure leggings is probably the worst merch I've ever seen.