PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
Crabcore is a faux-genre label given to eurodance influenced screamo bands that are strictly defined by the body contortion of the band’s guitarists during performance. Also known as the “CrabHammer” or “C*ck Duster,” the term describes a guitarist’s ridiculously low (and quite uncomfortable looking) stance while playing guitar during heavy break sections of songs. It is often associated with bands that are an amalgamated style of modern metalcore, deathcore, post-hardcore and pop music.
The crabcore pose was popularized by the Ohio metalcore band Attack Attack! who introduced the “crab-like” dance in their music video for the 2008 single “Stick Stickly.” The pose can be seen at 1:16 in the following video:
The characteristic pose can be traced back to extreme metal bands that would play vertically and separate their legs while headbanging for added effect. Metalcore and deathcore bands would later adopt the pose where it becomes associated during “breakdown” sequences; usually a slow tempo movement where the guitars’ lowest string is played in repetition and the vocalist shouts or growls a short phrase.
The joke began to pick up steam on popular music forums such as Absolutepunk and Ultimatemetal. On June 15th, 2009, the first Urban Dictionary definition was submitted. The Guardian reported on the trend describing Attack Attack! as “a cross between Enter Shikari and the Vengaboys” on June 23rd.
To accompany their, er, unique sound and live aesthetic, Attack Attack! have their very own genre name: crabcore. But, unlike all the other genres covered in this column, crabcore isn’t defined by sonics or BPMs or lyrical content, or tied to a geographic location. Crabcore is defined by the body contortions of the band’s guitarists when they perform. This is the lolloping crab-like stance adopted while a guitar player shreds, and it’s not dissimilar to a sumo wrestler having extreme muscle spasms while readying themselves to engage with an opponent.
On July 13th, 2009, former Attack Attack! vocalist Nick Barham was asked about crabcore in an interview with Hardtimes, and said that the band has embraced the meme as a publicity stunt. In an interview with the Village Voice from South by Southwest 2010, former Attack Attack! frontman Johnny Franck described what he thought about the label “crabcore”, and was asked what he thought about Internet fame. A Facebook fan page has 11,657 likes, a Last.fm page has 625 members, as of September 27th, 2011.
Google Trends shows a sharp increase in the searches for “Stick Stickly” when the term “Crabcore” was coined.