We have finally made it to the 10th journal episode where I dig my heels into some cretinous alternative music that just so happens to get airplay on the radio. Since this is the anniversary episode, I figure that I delve into artists that I have covered prior, albeit with different singles in hand. Some are better than their predecessors, and others are even worse than before. I will also be covering 10 different songs instead of the usual 5, just to spice up the anniversary a little bit. As usual, the rating below:
0 - Honest Humility
1 - Objective Self Inflection
2 - Barely A Ball Grab
3 - Some Justified Pride
4 - Gaze Yourself in the Mirror
5 - Decidedly Indecisive
6 - Smelling Your Own Farts
7 - Sunken in Pseudo-Success
8 - Absolutely Up Your Own Ass
9 - Self Congratulatory Autofellatio
10 - Pure Pretention, Incarnate
1. Young The Giant - My Body
(Pretention Level - 5)
Definitely a step up from my previous affair with Young The Giant's 'Something to Believe In', riveting guitar strings and drum orchestra accompany the entirety of the song, with the only downfall being the singer's inability to sing at the same level as the instruments are, but just barely. Also, the lyrics are pretty cliche and predictable, a 'being myself' romp of a song, but at least this song doesn't bore me to tears.
2. Neighborhood - Sweater Weather
(Pretention Level - 10)
A long time ago I made a parody of this song in video format, on a youtube channel that I have all but tossed away. Nevertheless, this song deserves it's satiricization, for not only being one of the most overplayed songs during late 2012, but it is also boring, unusually melancholy and dark about 'wearing sweaters' in southern california, the most first world of first world problems imaginable. Not only that, this song is unbearingly long, with a horribly drawn out 'refrain' to the chorus that is half the speed as the chorus the first two times. While unlike with Afraid where I can actually get the idea of the song, at least Afraid managed to keep it's chord intact, as the singer sings really fast through the second set of verses, opting not to condense them in the same length he did in the first set of stanzas. So yeah, fuck this shit, this is like a Hipster trying to be Emo and this would be a part of their catalogue.
3. Head And The Heart - Rhythm And Blues
(Pretention Level - 9)
Continuing with their predictable band name is their predictable song titles, because never have i EVER heard a song that was called 'rhythm and blues'. And on and on with their predictable format is their entre of guitars and drums, even if it does make this song just a tinge more enjoyable than All We Ever Knew, but it still reeks of this 'coming of age' artsy fartsy Cinema OST that will nab forty different awards before the movie has even come out on theaters. Head and the Heart, you got your head in the sand and your heart is rock solid with the pretention of satisfying some kind of stupid niche; might I suggest calling it quits while you are still ahead?
4. Imagine Dragons - Believer
(Pretention Level - 7)
Imagine Dragons, still teetering on mainstream and indie, still manages to teeter between interesting and boring. This is the latter. Believer, for more or less, sounds way too much of the same things I have heard, the drum rhythm too familiar with Bishop Briggs 'River', the chorus sounding too similar to AWOLNATION (other than Imagine Dragon's singer's horrible singing voice on the chorus), not to mention the title of the song is 'very' original indeed. It's overall too dissimilar from other attempts, and doesn't do what it is imitating into new turns, but I guess it could be used as gospel music in the correct format.
5. Grouplove - Itchin' On A Photograph
(Pretention Level - 6)
One of the older singles from Grouplove, and one of the more 'authentic' attempts of a single, having much more hard rock and guitar ensembles throughout other than the more synthetic endeavors that they have done. Grouplove is still trying to do a 'modern hippie' style though, even if it has harder rock edges to it. The singer of course still has trouble screaming or speaking up, sounding like he's losing his voice in that attempt, as he desperately slant rhymes photograph with anything that has an 'ah' noise at the end of it, but I will say that Photograph has a bigger, more pounding flourish than Welcome To Your Life did, and didn't have this generalized 'you are beautiful' tone to it like this song does.
6. Lumineers - Ho Hey
(Pretention Level - 10)
If you're going to criticize indie hipster music, you got to start from the roots. And here we are, like a time capsule of all the things that make hipster music hard to take seriously, with Ho Hey, a stupid title that hinges on that rhythm (when it should be titled 'Home Hey' since he says home in the chorus), folksy acoustics and 'coming of age' cheers and aahs throughout, as these douche nozzles where their fine trimmed fedoras and black suspenders that don't suspend anything but your own disbelief that such dreks of music could even be taken seriously. It might be woefully short, but god damn if someone hasn't gone up to me and said how 'moving' this song is.
7. The Shins - Simple Song
(Pretention Level - 8)
Nothing is 'simple' about this song, OK? This singer literally says 'i saw your face on a football field, and a kiss that I kept' and THAT is somehow is supposed to be a song about someone who works themselves to the bone (ironic, isn't it?), this song isn't going to be simple in any capacity. While Simple Song is certainly less annoying and folksy than New Slang, with heavier rock strings in the accord and a drumset that you can actually discern rather than someone droning on the maracas or whateverthefuck. Why the 'chorus' of this song is lighter than the verses is beyond me, or why the tight instrumentation didn't get used to that same extent, but nevertheless, I kick the Shins right in their shins yet again.
8. Andrew McMahon - Fire Escape
(Pretention Level - 8)
Ah, Andrew McMahon, our favorite possessive father whose looking out for his girl, jumping through the fire escape, presumably, to see if she's not doing something he doesn't like. In fact, the verse structures, the buildup to the chorus, and the choice of instruments almost seem like it's yet another repeat of 'Cecilia and the Satellite', just that instead of his 'daughter' it might be a girlfriend or wife. Despite the name of the song, the 'fire escape' is them just hanging on the roof as they enjoy their 18 craft brews and tight jeans and sweater scarf (for the weather, of course!). Something tells me that Andrew McMahon is not going to have a illustrious career, much like Gotye did (hoo boy). While Fire Escape isn't as divisive in it's message, it still hinges on the same conventions from his previous single, albeit a notch up on the volume to the chorus, so Andrew, you better be swinging on that pole of relevancy as tight as you can, bitch, because the pit is bottomless.
9. Atlas Genius - Molecules
(Pretention Level - 3)
After all the negativity prior, it's nice to come across a song that works for me, from a band that has been more or less drab or boring. This is a refreshing change from Trojans, as we get more philosophical lyrics about our sense of being or who we belong to, with some catchy bass/guitar strings and hyped drum beats throughout, a huge change from their attempt to sound folksy with any care in the world to sound different from the rest of the turds in the lawn. Even the singer manages to sound like he doesn't have 4 different cotton swabs in his mouth as he sings, in fact, he sounds like a completely different singer from Trojans, but I'm not sure. Nevertheless, if Atlas Genius keeps up this hard rock/synthpop style they are going with, I might give them a second listen.
10. Milky Chance - Cocoon
(Pretention Level - 10)
Oh For fuck's sake. I was hoping there would be something worth my fucking ears to give credence to on the last one, but nope, it's fucking Milky Chance stealing my dance from Atlas Genius and putting me in a figurative and literal cocoon with their boring ass music. Annoying 'eeh/ow' noises that 'supposed' to be the rhythm of the song, if there is any, as the singer immediately makes me want to skip the song as it sounds like they recording him sleeptalking and autotuned it where they need to, because you'd never expect to autotune someone who HAD A LITERAL MONOTONE. Even the beat structure is way too similar from Stolen Dance (or is the name of the song Milky Chance?), so like with Andrew McMahon, Milky Chance has NO CHANCE to ignite interest in their fans with their music that stupid hipsters will unironically think it's deep somehow. The milk's run sour, fuckers.
HOo boy, I didn't think Round Twos would be filled with such drab pieces of shit. But fortunately, it is over, tune in to the next episode of HHH.
Listening to: BELIEVERS
Reading: RHYTHM AND BLUE
Watching: FIRE ESCAPE
Playing: A SIMPLE SONG