. . .

Until recently, "hinder" to me was a racquetball term. Then readers mentioned Hinder twice in comments this week. I took this as a sign (a bad one). Dutifully, I looked up the band, only to be shocked that it had over 100 million MySpace profile views. (Don't visit their MySpace yet, though - I'll explain why below.)

The technical term for this is "false consensus effect". Just because you and your buddies like metal doesn't mean that everyone else likes metal. Yes, there is a world out there, and it listens to Hinder. (The world is a bad place.)

Hinder's music is repulsive yet fascinating. It's post-grunge like Nickelback and Creed, but with opportunistic feints at glam rock and metal: music-making by focus group. The result isn't really music. It's hooks, spiky haircuts, and airtight audio assemblages that embody the principle of "Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!" I am in awe of its ruthless efficiency.

Some metal bands are, too - namely Edguy and Sentenced, whose later records moved from metal to hard rock. They only wish they could write hits like Hinder. So I've put together 10 audio clips from Hinder, Edguy, and Sentenced. Your mission is to guess which band did which ones. DO NOT USE ANY RESOURCES OTHER THAN YOUR BRAIN. Don't use MySpace, YouTube, Last.fm, audio recognition software, or even your own music collection. That's no fun (not to mention needless work), and it's cheating.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED.

Put your guesses in the comments box. Number them 1 to 10. Don't look at other people's answers, because they're probably wrong. (Or right - maybe this is really easy, I don't know.) This contest closes at midnight EST this Sunday, May 9. I'll announce the winner and results on Monday, May 10. International entrants are welcome. The winner gets a super-sweet, hardcover Pushead book. (See details here.) In case of a tie, I will determine a winner randomly. Good luck!

— Cosmo Lee

...

HINDER or METAL?
(Possible answers: Hinder, Edguy, Sentenced)

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