Pitchfork, the notoriously harsh and honest music publication, have been accused of changing Sun Kil Moon’s album review score following some disgusting comments the frontman, Mark Kozelek, made of their contributing editor, Laura Snapes.
Wednesday 10 June saw the official review of Universal Themes by Mark Richardson posted online, which panned the record, slapping it with an average score of “6.0”, as well as a scathing paragraph detailing Kozelek’s ongoing awful commentary over past 18 months – including the appalling, misogynistic comments shot at Snapes.
Once Pitchfork posted the review to Facebook, readers erupted, asking for fellow Pitchfork writer Ian Cohen’s original review, citing a screenshot of Pitchfork’s twitter that stated that Cohen had written review of the album that was published, then swiftly removed on Tuesday 2 June, eight days before Richardson’s appeared online, as Reddit (via Uproxx) reports.
Kozelek, just a night before (Monday 1 June) sung a disturbing impromptu song about Snapes during a Sun Kil Moon gig in London, singing the words “Laura Snapes totally wants to fuck me, get in line, bitch, Laura Snapes totally wants to have my babies” because she had apparently been asking people around him for face-to-face interviews (you can read the full story here.)
Readers have since accused Pitchfork of deleting Cohen’s apparent review, believing the publication didn’t want to write positively of Kozelek, instead opting for a piece that would defend their editor. Cohen was a huge fan of Sun Kil Moon’s magnum opus, Benji, which he gave a “9.2” Best New Music score, as well as hitting #7 on Pitchfork’s Best Album of 2014 list.
Pitchfork have built their reputation on being honest, merciless and impartial when publishing a review of music, however if the twitter screenshot is real, the publication may have let personal conflict get in the way of their review.
Of course, it’s easy to understand why Pitchfork would not want to sing the praises of an artist who attempted to crudely bully their editor in front of 1900 people, however altering an album review to take a musician down seems kind of petty.