Back when The Alcohol Seed was merely a seed of thought and not the blossoming site that lies before you, there were three primary ideas for its focus. The first was old content and the second was new content. From the former eventually rose the still nascent SEEDBANK series, a simple way to explore what I’ve come to regard as important and virtuosic work, while the latter I’ve tackled and will continue to tackle by way of the old-as-time album review.
The third focus, and the one that I was most excited about when I started putting in the hours, was to review submissions that I imagined being sent in from all around the world. Until this point, I have been staunch about not allowing artists to send in digital submissions. The reason for this is simple. I believe whole-heartedly in the value of review and criticism. Without it there would be no method to the madness, no way to speak about and organize thought around a constant flow of new albums. The average music review is undervalued, and the great ones are criminally so.
For these reasons I thought it not too much to ask for a physical copy of a submission, if it meant that I was really going to spend the time listening to the music and providing a thoughtful response. Some reviews do not have the necessary written formula to back-up an impassioned response, but 9 out of 10 reviews are, nevertheless, impassioned. Reviewers are seldom paid, so what would be the point of writing a review at all if one didn’t really want to say something meaningful about it? But times are tough. Postage is expensive, the news moves too fast and so much music is being pumped out that maybe mailing things just doesn’t seem as efficient as it once was.
I understand that the musical landscape has changed. Not even five years ago, when in the throes of my previous blog, did I have a thought to any possible resistance to mailing in demos. I got demos in the mail all the time. For a brief while this was the case with The Alcohol Seed as well, but activity has all but dried up on that front for months now. I am getting with the times. I am changing my policy to now allow for digital submissions. This site is too important to me to be left bit in the dust, and I would love to see the submission section thrive again.
Thank you for your readership and long live the review. You may find the revised submission policy here, and please, if you are a fan, help spread the word.