Being the end of the year, I was naturally asked in a tweet what Hinder’s been up to so critics could vote for Hinder on Pazz & Jop (as everyone who’s awesome did in 2012 and 2006). Sadly, Hinder fired singer Austin Winkler less than a month ago. While the split was allegedly amicable, they have yet to say they’ll be changing their moniker out of respect for the departed member, in the vein of Kaja, Wir, Tap and Pixi. Though I may be speaking from a place of heated emotion (much like Winkler on 2010’s All American Nightmare, which I truly regret not voting for), I am offended by the implication that this major change in line-up will not be acknowledged.
So while I appreciate wanting to tell the Village Voice which ten synthscapes you liked most this year (there were so many!), I think the true Hinder fan should abstain from the process. Yes, this means that music fans will have literally no way of knowing what the best albums of the year are, but it is important that we send the band a message. We didn’t send one when Bill Berry left REM and look what happened.
Full disclosure: I totally forgot I voted for Hinder last year before receiving this tweet. Embarrassing, yes, and perhaps I was overpraising the band’s current output due to past glories. However, considering the only Talking Heads album to top Pazz & Jop was Little Creatures, I can rationalize this as part of the tradition.