THE POINT: Let’s be nice
We started FFS because we love music, and we didn’t think some of the best stuff was getting the coverage it deserved.
The main point of the site is to rave about bands we like and recommend them to our readers. We don’t want to kick people who’re bravely putting their work out there in the balls.
Having said that, if you expect something to be really good and it’s not, then please do feel free to say so. On the other hand rubbishing a demo by some unknown bleeding heart teenager isn’t okay. Writing harsh reviews and thinking up clever put downs is fun, but it’s just not very nice. And one man’s poison is another man’s very nice song. Or something.
If you’re writing for us, we already think you’re great and you probably know a lot of what follows already. But here are some reminders just in case…
- Keep it light, interesting, informative and – if it comes naturally – funny. Let your enthusiasm for the music come through.
- Don’t be too verbose and be inventive with description. If you need an adverb there’s probably a more appropriate verb.
- Write the way that feels most comfortable to you. It’s much better to keep things charmingly simple and to let your personality come through than to try to be too clever.
- This sort of writing should be much closer to the way you speak than to the way you would write an essay. It’s often worth reading what you’ve written aloud. If it’s difficult to do, the piece is probably too wordy and should be simplified.
- Keep sentences short.
Try to avoid:
- Saying “I think”, “seems to be” etc. Stuff like that is taken for granted in a review. The whole piece is your opinion and should be authoritative.
- “Band X sounds like Band Y on heat/the bastard lovechild of frontman A and frontwoman B” and other rock critic cliches.
- Obscure references. We’re inclusive – we never want to make people feel silly for not knowing something. Do feel free to mention little-known bands, but as if you were introducing them to someone for the first time.
- When quoting lines from songs use “double quotes”, not ‘inverted commas’. Separate lines like this: “We sat together in the park/As the evening sky drew dark”.
- Song names should be in ‘inverted commas’.
- A name of an album/EP/single should be in italics.
- If you’re writing a live review/feature that mentions several bands, band names should be in bold the first time they’re mentioned.