Horror can be a funny genre. Most of us fans of the macabre can love an over-the-top scarefest as much as an psychological puzzle when done well. Books seem to have a harder time grasping this concept than film does, but fans of all horror should check out Scotto Moore’s new book, Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You. In Your Favorite Band, a music blogger becomes the first spread the word about a mindmelting new indie rock group and soon finds himself in the middle of war between dimensions.
Your Favorite Band weaves together Internet community closeness, rabid fandom, and an appropriately emo sense of doom. The narrator, unnamed, spends his days blogging about new bands he finds on the Internet from his Portland home when he finds a mysterious band, Beautiful Remorse, that blows his mind. However, when the lead singer invites him to a show in Austin, the narrator watches in captivated horror as his band’s show turns into a riot. It turns out that his new favorite music causes people to harm themselves and others. At a show in Houston, the lead singer opens a portal to another dimension. The tour only escalates as it pushes on and on to cool, hipster towns like Lawrence and Appleton, where eventually interdimensional aliens possess human bodies and battle, with our narrator caught in the middle..
What to say about this strange little book? To start, hurrah for bloggers and underground indie bands! This novel(la?) revels in procrastinated youth, sloshy college rock, and hilarious tearing apart the starving artist romance. The friendship and passion behind the fans of Beautiful Remorse resonates with fans who choose hang out on Bandcamp, Reddit, and Tumblr. The narrator’s blogging and music nerdiness clearly come from a place of love, but recognize that hobby’s shortcomings. For example, the stupefying popularity of the throwaway term “allurebient,” which the narrator coins to describe Beautiful Remorse, shows the inflammability of dumb words across the Internet. When the narrator has a blogger he’s never even met pick him up at the airport, it echoes the way that modern friendships form. However, the pointed Internet humor gets quickly overwhelmed when people get killed and aliens begin destroying college towns. While it doesn’t need to be a long book, once Your Favorite Band gets going it quickly builds momentum and speeds away a little too quickly from its’ fun underground base and into chaos. A little more of the cartoonish worldbuilding or maybe more hints of the supernatural in the beginning could have smoothed over a rough climax.
Maybe I’m having a hard crush on this book because of the closeness of the subject matter to my own life, but I’ve run through few books so quickly in a long time. Horror fans will love the apocalyptic ending and fellow net geeks will absolutely grok this narrator. Appropriately enough, you may never have heard of Scotto Moore, but I’m certainly going to be watching out for more from him. Highly recommend.
Find more bizarre sci-fi stories and plays from Scotto Moore at his website, scotto.org.
Four out of five stars.
Page count: 124
Favorite quote: “The damage she was doing to the world was incidental to making sure I heard the rest of the album.”