As we continue on with this series, there will be more and more bands that I have yet to cover that will get their first cut into this series, as with this episode states. I initially wanted to do a 'agonizing anthem' series, taking a variety of songs that makes hipsters 'feel' like rebel rousers, but for now, let's get some new bands in the mix. The rating as always, 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. Cold War Kids - Love Is Mystical
(Pretention Level - 4)
This is perhaps not the best single to tackle this band firsthand, as I rather tackle their very first single, 'First', since it is ultimately superior in all forms to this song. Nevertheless, Cold War Kids is sort of a hard folk rock variant, but frankly, they are pretty indistinguishable from the lot, especially if the majority of their songs is songs like this, that have this soulful vibe and tread on cliche waters with treating Love as some kind ephereal voodoo juju, like as if I hadn't already heard that a million times before (From a certain mode of depeche, for example). While the song isn't that envelope bending, nor the lyrics are, the song is at least serivceable radio play that you can dance to, and the band itself don't seem so mired in their own self righteousness for making a song about making Love a metaphor.
2. The XX - On Hold
(Pretention Level - 5)
The Xx have had a much more storied career, as I know that from the internet's busiest music nerd Xthony Xtano, but this song is the only single that has managed to get the XX on the radio waves, and my sentiments are very much the same with my reception of Cold War Kid's second single, although to a much more infuriating aspect. On Hold goes for a somber, melancholy pop vibe, with a female/male singing duet that sound as dour as the instrumentals, making the affair extremely sad for the sake of it. While I guess this song would work as a sort of long midnight drive song, I don't know how it could work in a unironic dancing number or feel good midday song. This is definitely a breakup song in pop indie format, and for that, I don't think the XX are really going to have much momentum along the way.
3. X Ambassadors - Renegades
(Pretention Level - 9)
Holy Shit, how have i NOT tackled this piece of shit band. From the title, to the lyrics, to the instrumentation, this band is so full of themselves that I rather call them X'ed Ambassadors rather than ex-ambassadors. I also, in a fit of lacking sleep, made a very silly poem in regards to the line where the band literally think they are Steven Spielberg or Stanley Kubrick in terms of pushing the grain, when the song in question doesn't push any boundaries other than my fucking patience. This song would most definitely fit the 'agonizing anthems' playlist, but as I said, I didn't have a full collection of songs to go with it, so it gets to be a shallow reminder of how you can think of yourself better because you don't have a platinum CD record. Guess what dumbass?
4. Portugal, The Man - Feel It Still
(Pretention Level - 7)
So I have heard prior singles from this band, but since Portugal the Man is the most obscure of the '(name) the (noun)' bands, I can't remember if the lead singer is male or female, which is what makes one aspect of this song infuriating. The offending line 'I'm just a rebel just for kicks' basically sums up the entirety of this song, as the singer with his/her androgynous voice recalls a time when people used to 'care' about being rebel rousers, 1986 or 1966 (to keep with the rhyme), because I'm sure that making music to a higher up label REALLY shows your stand against them corporations or other vague entity, right? Nevertheless, the title itself is also silly, considering that it could be that you do in fact, feel it still, but still can also mean that something becomes still and not that it perseveres throughout, so the title is almost intentionally setting off my OCD. Why not 'Rebel Just for Kicks'? It's basically what this song is about anyway. While the song is fortunately short and short lived, it has a big whiff of the renegades vibe from the previous song of trying to get some hipster douchebags to feel like they are fighting the SYSTEM MAN with this shit.
5. Cake - The Distance
(Pretention Level - 2)
If there was any band that fashions themselves as the new 'Red Hot Chili Peppers' it could be this band. A variety of clever lyrical input and strong analogies (I could go all day about the analogies found in 'Rock N' roll Lifestyle), combined with a heavy deluge of drum pads, guitar strums, jazz flutes and even hip hop grooves, Cake most definitely blends all the Los Angeles themes perfectly in tow, if only the Singer's voice didn't sound like a literal Ben Stein impersonator. This song does extremely well in giving you the impression that someone is going the distance, with action-movie oriented drum crashes and guitar riffs, with the Singer, while still sounding bemoaning to raise or lower an octave, goes with rapid fire procession of words referring to a number of analogies to winning and racing and running the course.
So that is with this episode! I will in no doubt do the next episode on some really shitty anthem songs that want to get the folks at Portlandia to start a panty burning tribunal to stump the trump!
Listening to: PORTUGAL, THE MAN
Playing: THE DISTANCE
Eating: SOME EX AMBASSADORS
Drinking: COLD WAR KIDS