Blog Archive

Friday, October 24, 2008

Myoo-SICK Revues


This is where all of DNA's Myoo-SICK Revues are collected for the kids. Like DNA said on the front page, when you live music, it's okay to talk about music, and offer your opinion about music every once in awhile. Recently, DNA started to review bands, in the hopes that DNA might change everybody's lives or cure cancer. Okay, he started reviewing bands to get cheap shots in at no talent hacks, and to give a forum to some good bands that ought to be heard. If DNA says your band sucks, it's okay---it only means that your music means nothing, or perhaps even less. In the big scheme of things, that's only a little less important than the atomic bomb. If DNA says your band is awesome, however, then watch the fuck out. You are on a sky rocket to immortality. You should expect lots of sex, drugs and money coming your way soon. In the end, this too means nothing, or perhaps even less, but you'll be so much happier doing it.

Everyones' A Critic...


This is a feature that DNA has wanted to do for some time. Hopefully, he will make this a regular feature. After having established in this blog that logically, no music sucks, only the listener's ability to appreciate it does, he was swamped with literally hundreds of humble submissions from readers which really did suck. Hack songs, hack lyrics, terrible production, rehashed themes, blatantly ripped off melodies, you name it, DNA heard it. So, DNA might have to reconsider the concept that no music sucks. Many examples of DNA's own songs are not very likable, so DNA understands that some songs might take a lot of bourbon or weed to appreciate.

However, even music that sucks must have some redeeming value, right? Right? Well, DNA will be the judge. DNA will try to select a wide variety of music, popular, obscure, current, past, famous and not, and try to provide a critical analysis. DNA will try to be fair, to understand why something he thinks is terrible might be liked by somebody. AND, if DNA disses a band you like, then DNA will print your critical rebuttal if it is any good.

DNA expects that most of what he reviews will be easy to skewer, some of it will need to be skewered and hasn't been, and every once in awhile, he will find some stuff that has been skewered that needs to be admired, and even more rarely, will find something really good that has been missed.

Myspace seemed like a good place to start searching for artists who fit the above criteria. DNA went to Myspace, and went to the Top Artists tab. The top of the top unsigned artists today (11/2/07) was one Tila Tequila.

"Tila Nguyen was 1 year old when she moved to the U.S. from Singapore, but she's Vietnamese by heritage and blond by choice. As for what she does for a living, there isn't really a word for it yet. Nguyen, who goes by Tila Tequila professionally, is some combination of rapper, singer, model, blogger and actress. But what she mostly is is the queen of the massive social-networking website MySpace..." - Time Magazine

Okay, get that? TIME MAGAZINE???? Sorry. Instead of giving you a couple of quotes encapsulating the psychology of why anyone expresses any kind of interest in Tila, DNA will direct you to this well-written article in the New York times.

Seriously, take a moment to read it. It says everything DNA could about what motivates us as a culture. But, DNA isn't here to critique Tila as a human being, or a myspace phenomena, or MTV sl---uh, star, but as a musician. DNA looked for a long time for anyone actually reviewing her music.

Out of 819,000 hits for "Tila Tequila Review," DNA found only three actual reviews of songs by Tila Tequila. Some might argue that this alone is overwhelming evidence that, like so many have written, she is less artist than entrepreneur, which is the word they use for "whore" in the nice blogs. In the not so nice blogs, they use "whore" for "whore."

Here is a sample of her writing on the song, "Stripper Friends:"

All my stripper friends, all my ex-boyfriends, we all want the same thing, we all want the same thing.
Bodies in the bar, reaching for the stars, we all want the same thing, we all want the same thing.

Good writers write what they know. DNA is not surprised that Tila knows lots about strippers and has lots of ex-boyfriends. But is this enough meat to feed a song? Is the rhyme between the words "friends" and "friends" too forced? Or the one between "bar" and "stars" so complex as to undermine the depth of the subject? This review is already too heavy, cuz DNA senses some IRON-y. Oh, and the pronoun "we" isn't correct as she uses it. Not to be a little grammar bitch, but it should be "they." C'mon, it's a fucking pronoun. This alone should tell you the level at which she writes.

We are led through a litany of simple rhymes, a simple theme, and a droning refrain, in the mode of any number of pouty-mouthed (and also potty-mouthed) so-called bombshells. Why do our current pop singers sing like they just had dicks in their mouths? Oh. That must be the answer.

After Donna Summers' hit "Love To Love You Baby" stunned people with its steaming sensuality, any number of "pop" artists have attempted to breathe, moan, and groan their lyrics in an attempt to make their rather pedantic and forced music to sound raw and sensual like that. That was distilled into a very sick vintage in Britney Spears, and has been guzzled by a whole generation of singers who think that "sexual" and "sensual" are the same thing. This whole affectation of over pronounced consonants, as if the singer's tongue is too thick for her mouth (which is exactly the effect they are going for, so sad little boys can think about that girl's tongue, maybe with a stud in it, and what she would do with that), and over-exaggerated hyperbole must stop.

Since she tells us that "we all want the same thing," and the rhetorical device tells us that Tila is the "everywoman" who can tell us what that is, DNA has to ask, "Why the fuck wait until 3 minutes and 9 seconds into the song before you let us know what that is?" Generally, holding a bit of information like that to create artificial interest or tension, or to inflate the importance of the concept is an example of weak writing. DNA guesses that Tila is guilty as charged. Here is the wisdom she imparts at nearly the end of the song:

We all wanna live we all wanna learn how to love without getttin burned We want to be loved, are we good enough? Yeah, yeah.

No, no, we are not good enough. Not yet.

So, she doesn't distinguish herself as a singer, or as a songwriter. The production values aren't bad, certainly passable, but are nothing that can't be done by somebody with a computer in his basement. The beats, the arrangements, the musical talent which is required to write the music itself is fairly small. Does she distinguish herself in any other way? Well, she poses in some of the same ways as porn star Asia Carrera, and Asia actually has some pretty impressive skills, so DNA guesses that counts for something. Look at them side by side.

Asia Carrera............................... Tila Tequila..........Put them together and you get Tia Carrere!

She certainly has marketed herself into a position of fame, has a TV show, has millions of myspace friends, and has a single that DNA's son has heard on the radio. Tila Tequila is no different than any number of the relatively talentless, relatively nice to look at women who are made into "stars," with the exception that she actually "made" herself without the help of Warner Brothers or Disney, which is saying something. DNA thinks it is saying that the bar, officially dropped by reality TV and OJ, has reached a new lower equilibrium. This should not surprise us. As long as good singers, and good musicians are still able to be heard and seen, why do any of us care if Tila can titillate the lowest common denominator? She ain't no Aretha Franklin, hell, she ain't even a Mariah Carey, okay, fuck it, she ain't even at the level of Fergie or the Pussycat Dolls. Still, when your retarded half-sister sings in front of the family at the reunion, shouldn't everybody there clap, and is it wrong that some of the family really thinks she is good?

PROS: She kind of looks like a bobble head of herself, already. Marketing genius if she gives out bobble-heads at her concerts.

CONS: Her writing is simple, her sense of melody basic, her concepts fairly low-brow ("I don't wanna fuck your man" comes to mind), her delivery uninspired, and her affectation of the "sex-kitten" does not come off as sensual, but as soft-core porn, which considering DNA's comparison of Tila to Asia Carrera, should show you how bad someone trying to be "hard-core" sexual looks when they don't have the courage of their convictions, and just wants to appear "hard-core." Asia Carrera, DNA respects. Tila Tequila, not so much.

PROS: Tila proves that the democratizing power of the internet works.

CONS: God help us all from the river of shit her wave of success has unleashed. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

DNA debated a long time about even reviewing her music, because DNA is only adding to the number of hits that her name gets every day. This is like an endorsement, no matter what her music is like. But DNA really couldn't find any good reviews of her music, so this was justification enough. Just because it is shitty doesn't mean it gets a pass. In this respect, Tila is experiencing a case of the emperor's new clothes. Once public affection has died, once her looks fade, and nobody cares about the trailer park parade she is currently leading, then people might look back and say, "No, I don't see it. I don't know what I liked about her," and she might say, "Wow, I really didn"t have very much talent." DNA doesn't want to throw stones, really. DNA doesn't have a lot of talent, either. DNA makes no claims other than it is what it is. A last word: Who has millions of fans but does not have a record deal? Tila.

Time For Another Myoo-SICK REVUE...

Remember the guiding principle for this recurring feature: After having established in this blog that logically, no music sucks, only the listener's ability to appreciate it does, he was swamped with literally hundreds of humble submissions from readers which really did suck. Hack songs, hack lyrics, terrible production, rehashed themes, blatantly ripped off melodies, you name it, DNA heard it. So, DNA might have to reconsider the concept that no music sucks. Many examples of DNA's own songs are not very likable, so DNA understands that some songs might take a lot of bourbon or weed to appreciate.

However, even music that sucks must have some redeeming value, right? Right? Well, DNA will be the judge. DNA will try to select a wide variety of music, popular, obscure, current, past, famous and not, and try to provide a critical analysis. DNA will try to be fair, to understand why something he thinks is terrible might be liked by somebody. AND, if DNA disses a band you like, then DNA will print your critical rebuttal if it is any good.

DNA expects that most of what he reviews will be easy to skewer, some of it will need to be skewered and hasn't been, and every once in awhile, he will find some stuff that has been skewered that needs to be admired, and even more rarely, will find something really good that has been missed.

This week's experiment in uhh, hmmm, music? is the band Hollywood Undead. DNA doesn't really want to direct you to their myspace page, but in the interests all things fair, you can go here to listen to them. DNA is sorry in advance. Really. Okay, not really, DNA listened to them way too many times over the last few days for research purposes. This was way harder research than DNA's Master's Thesis. Why? Because nobody was torturing DNA while he completed his thesis.

Now, before you think DNA has lost his objectivity, DNa will give you some Hollywood Undead background, and ultimately end with an enlightened discussion of Emo, Screamo, and the final word from someone who can be considered the expert.

First off, Hollywood Undead has, gulp, over 12 million pages views on their myspace page. 12 million page views! Over 33 million listens to their songs. DNA can't even get more impressive italics to show how fucking unreal that is. Let DNA put it perspective. Britney Spears has about 19 million listens to her music on myspace. Hollywood Undead has about 100,000 more "friends" than she does. Who have they shown their pussies to?

DNA will get into the actual review in a moment, but again, he has to ask: for a band that seems to command so much myspace respect, why aren't they signed? Why don't they have a snocap store or are on iTunes or have some other method of online distribution for their music? Why are there a million (okay, only several hundred thousand) mentions of them around the web, but only a few honest to God reviews? And why are the actual reviews (not just fan comments) almost uniformly bad? Also, DNA noted in his research, that either you have people who think Hollywood Undead are the worst band ever, reconceptualizing the actual meaning of the word "bad" by the horrible-ness of what they call music, or that people think they fucking rule, and are inviting the 7 member-band for continuous 7 on 1 orgies across the country. The 7 on 1 orgy invitation appears to be both from male and female listeners. Meaning, Hollywood Undead is so cool, that even straight frat/thug/gym/macho guys get hard-ons for their music, and could handle being the catcher as long it was one of the guys in Hollywood Undead popping his ass-cherry.

At least, that is the gist of the commentary DNA has read.

What do they sound like? Well if you listened to Linkin Park (or 75,000 other bands that sound as bad as they do, the way they do), then you have an idea of what Hollywood Undead sounds like on a good day. Overall, production is good, but not great; again, as with the Tila Tequila review, the beats, loops, and sound are reminiscent of some guys with too much time on their hands and a nice computer in their mom's basement. They copy the "schtick" of many other popular bands, covering their faces, except that you get the feeling that they are covering their faces because otherwise, fans would see that these guys are kind of geeky, not cool. Slipknot, they are not. But, it seems to be working for them. Lyrically, there is some inventiveness, the words certainly flow, but the subject matter, even when one gives them the benefit of the doubt, and is willing to entertain the idea that the lyrics are tongue in cheek, can't help but think, "yeah, tongue in cheek, between ass-cheek, directly in ass." DNA is trying to say the lyrics are base, (not lots of low frequency, but as in low-brow), sophomoric, puerile, yeah, that's the right word, puerile, (look it up, gangsta-wannobe).

Actually, it's the lyrical content that bothers DNA, cuz it plays right into some stereotypes that DNA saw prevalent among the douchebag "think with their dicks or other more impressive muscles" crowd that he so often purposely antagonized while a student at SIU. The problem is, this band is supposed to be part of this "screamo" underground hardcore scene that opposes the establishment, right, except that, they and their fans kind of share the same knee-jerk, 'fuck you, faggot' attitude that is normally representative of the establishment. How can they be cool and anti-establishment if they are dicks and mouthpieces of the crap we all hate about the establishment? Oh, right...THEY CAN'T.

Let's get right to the music, shall we? The first song you hear upon clicking their myspace page is "Dead In Ditches."

That's when we, that's when we, that's when we ride
that's when we, that's when we ride on these bitches
That's when we ride on bitches
You fuckin' faggot snitches
So don't you try, we packin' 9's
We leave you dead in ditches
That's when we ride on bitches...

Okay, DNA just barfed in his mouth a little, and had to stop typing. No, not from being disgusted, from laughing so hard he contorted his stomach and chucked a little up. Instead of listing all of the lyrics, DNA will summarize: They play with the metaphor of a gun being both a symbol of toughness, and also a symbol of virility. It is clear as they talk about packin' 9, (ostensibly, a Glock 9)and shooting, that they are really talking about sexual conquest...wait a fucking minute, is DNA actually doing this? Actually providing a critical analysis of a song about fucking so 'good' that the boys in the band leave ho's dead in ditches? Okay then, how about this: the boys in the band say, "we packin' 9's." You know what that really means? They look at each others' dicks, and they have measured them. Because they are absolutely sure they are packin' 9's. They say it alot. Who do you know who looks enough at other guys' dicks to know exactly how long they are? Just by looking? Sorry, Hollywood Undead, you can't be mad at the "fucking faggot snitches" if you got a thing about measuring dicks. While we're there, about the use of the word "faggot." There is not a single word left in the English language when used in the off-handed, incidental, but still perjorative sense that it is used in this song, that doesn't more aptly display ignorance, stupidity, intolerance, etc., etc. Just the kind of thing your angry, disaffected youth wants to be associated with...if they are fucking fascists. Congratulations, Hollywood Undead. DNA will now buy Elton John, Liberace, Barry Manilow, and Judy Garland records on fucking principle alone.

The next song is "Bitches." Yeah, DNA laughed too.

Bitches I hope you know
bitches I hope you know
bitches I hope you know
I won't stop til I hit that ho
Baby come say hello
And get your junk ass over here let's go

DNA hopes the bitches know, too, that these guys sound like Weird Al when they try to sing, which is really demeaning to Weird Al, who actually is pretty fucking good. From this point of view, DNA is glad Hollywood Undead don't sing very much.

DNA can say, that without reservation, this is some of the worst stuff he has listened to, and for that DNA is glad. Every one elses' music seems better now. Even 2 Live Crew had their moments----"Hey, we want some pussy!" DNA can identify with that. DNA just can't identify with "Bitches." Nor can he fathom how anyone who can hear and understand English could identify with "Bitches." You know who are the bitches? Yep, Hollywood Undead.

Why are they bitches, though? Not only are the posuers (or however the fuck you are supposed to spell that word when you mean not the real deal), but they have completed what the establishment needs to have happen to "win." They have taken a genre that at one time was reactionary and revolutionary, and reduced it to a cliche, and made it the vehicle in which the establishment now rides. Don't believe DNA? Read the "influences" the band lists on their myspace page: "HOLLYWOOD California, Designer Jeans, Camo, Cigarettes, Mickey's 40's, Bud Ice, Pro Tools, OUR FANS, TATTOO'S, Cahuenga blvd, Pla-boy Liquor, ASS, partying, Subway Sandwiches, Finger Snaps, Scene Hair, Sidekicks, Dumb fuckin girls, Freestyling, HXC, Brassknuckles, Riding Bikes Drunk, clubs and bars...." If this doesn't sound like the wet dream list of the dick-headed, frat-boy, pumped up on his own beauty jock from high school/college. The establishment has co-opted cool. Fuck. DNA is glad he is uncool.

Now, here is the problem DNA has. These guys are so wrong on every level. It takes work to be that wrong. It takes brains, and it takes talent. In fact, in the back of DNA's mind, a little voice is saying, "They're fucking around with you, DNA, and with the hundreds of thousands of people who call themselves 'fans.' They are so spot-on parodying everything that is wrong with the tatooed, muscled, thug-life poseur dickheads, and the slutty, wish they were prettier, and only assess their own value based on the size of their asses and tits airheads, that they have to be laughing at them. Otherwise, they really are the theme music for the most pitiable generation of sperm and egg to have ever heaved their way down the fallopian tubes.

Lastly, where do they get the genre, "screamo?" From "emo," obviously. But then, what is "emo?" You think you know, but you don't, not really. Short for "emotional hardcore," or "emotive hardcore," whatever the fuck that means. Here is the definitive response to what is "emo," from the only trusted source on the net, Wiki.

(The passages below were copied right from the Wiki "emo" page. Fuck it, they said it better than DNA could)

In 1985 in Washington, D.C., Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto, veterans of the DC hardcore music scene, decided to shift away from what they saw as the constraints of the basic style of hardcore and the escalating violence within the scene. They took their music in a more personal direction with a far greater sense of experimentation, bringing forth MacKaye's Embrace and Picciotto's Rites of Spring. The style of music developed by Embrace and Rites of Spring soon became its own sound. (Husker Du's 1984 album Zen Arcade is often cited as a major influence for the new sound.) As a result of the renewed spirit of experimentation and musical innovation that developed the new scene, the summer of 1985 soon came to be known in the scene as "Revolution Summer".[1]

Where the term emo actually originated is uncertain, but members of Rites of Spring mentioned in a 1985 interview in Flipside Magazine that some of their fans had started using the term to describe their music. By the early 90s, it was not uncommon for the early DC scene to be referred to as emo-core, though it's unclear when the term shifted.

The difficulty in defining "emo" as a genre may have started at the very beginning. In a 2003 interview by Mark Prindle,[13] Guy Picciotto of Fugazi and Rites of Spring was asked how he felt about "being the creator of the emo genre". He responded: "I don't recognize that attribution. I've never recognized 'emo' as a genre of music. I always thought it was the most retarded term ever. I know there is this generic commonplace that every band that gets labeled with that term hates it. They feel scandalized by it. But honestly, I just thought that all the bands I played in were punk rock bands. The reason I think it's so stupid is that - what, like the Bad Brains weren't emotional? What - they were robots or something? It just doesn't make any sense to me."

The bottom line is what started as a movement is now simply a fashion, which is really the only proof DNA needed to see that Hollywood Undead aren't being duplicitous, they really are bad. They are called "screamo" because they look "screamo," not because they represent some social movement, the way bands like Fugazi or Bad Brains did/do.

Lastly, the fact that they are a myspace phenomenon only goes to prove that myspace has very little actual power to effect change, and has linked the lowest common demoninator together. Where else could dickheads find the theme music to fuck bitches to?

Pros: Every now and then, a little humor, or some inventive lyric, makes it to the light of day (keeping that little voice in the back of DNA's mind whispering).

Cons: Predictable, limited, puerile, white-boy, posuer, wannabe, masturbatory fantasy life soundtrack which has been done better by just about every skinny kid who picked up a guitar and felt like Superman.

Pros: They do make it sound cool to have some bitches around.

Cons: Based on their popularity, and we all know how wise it is to listen and follow something because lots of other people are following it, Hollywood Undead will probably have the next bad reality TV show on right after "A Shot At Love" with Tila Tequila.

Pros: Their name isn't half bad. DNA was intrigued when it saw the name Hollywood Undead. That sounds like a band ripe to subvert the ingrained idea of life in Hollywood, right?

Cons: In other words, with a name like that, they sounded like they should have the potential to rock like the Groovy Ghoulies, Man Or Astro-man, or The Reverend Horton Heat, but instead they didn't. Instead they sucked the life right out of the name "Hollywood Undead."

Time For Another Myoo-SICK Revue

It�s been a week or two, and it is time again for another DNA Myoo-SICK Revue. Instead of taking potshots at passing supertankers (Tila Tequila and The Hollywood Undead), DNA is going to narrow the focus a little bit, and do a review of some local talent. Carbondale has always been a fertile ground for new music. The Carbondale Nightlife does a great job of highlighting new local talent, and will review records in a more holistic way than does DNA. The whole idea is that whether you like the music or not, these guys are out there making it, and deserve respect.

What approach should be taken? Surely, the reviewer shouldn�t talk down to his subject, or treat the local guys as lame just because they are local. DNA got that attitude a lot when he was in bands years ago. Some band from Austin could suck balls, but, man, they were from Austin, and we can see you local fuckers anytime�..Also, if you talk about a band like they are meaningful, it might be because they are good, and it might be that others will think of local bands with a more global perspective. Also, a lot of reviewers try not to compare a band to another band in a review, because it is a stereotypical short cut, and also because reviewers tend to see those kinds of reviews as juvenile, and not representative of the band or a good way to showcase their own literary and musical knowledge. DNA says FUCK that. Sometimes, saying a band sounds like so and so works.

Innovation, like mutation, occurs in the cul-de-sacs, in the backwaters, in the places that are relatively untouched by the constant push of the raging rivers. In these incestuous little pools, single voices can shape or change the bigger picture. Unfortunately, but inevitably, as bands become more regional, and less local, their ability to affect that pool is necessarily diminished. Once a band gets to a certain level, they no longer swim in those tepid waters. Presented here, now, is a band firmly sitting in the silt-y mud of a forgotten bank of the Big Muddy River outside of Carbondale, and we in Carbondale are all the better for it.

The Dammit Boys.

Many of the band�s compositions show the strong influence of surf, rockabilly, and the kind of white trash rock that would make the guys in Monster Magnet proud. The Dammit boys would probably be blessed as the appropriate music for the sacrament during a sermon by the Reverend Horton Heat. What DNA thinks most people miss is that there is something else thrown in there, some European gypsy-king vagabond element that transcends the typical genres like garage, or punk, in which the Dammit Boys get dumped. Not that they musically resemble Camper Van Beethoven, but like Camper in spirit, they capture the feeling of old world mystery in a very hard to define way. The cut �Toluene� is a fine example of this fusion. The Bustos blood, originating from the Castille area in Northern Spain, must be running heavily in the veins of lead singer and guitarist, Mortimer Bustos.

Some people in music scenes are larger than life. Mortimer is one of those guys. He has a voice that is reminiscent of Tom Waits�, but Mort is not trying to emulate Waits at all. He uses his voice the way true vocalists use their voices: with the understanding that the voice is an instrument with a range that all other musical instruments only pay homage to. Although DNA first met Mort as a bass player, DNA has seen Mort play guitar, on which he shines. If frozen dog shit in a coffee can was an instrument, Mort could pick that up and play the dog shit out of it, literally and figuratively.

Mort is pretty fucking cool. Judge for yourself (pic of mort). But, he isn�t alone. Dave Marquis, the bassist for the Dammit Boys, is quiet, reserved, disarmingly quick of wit, and kick ass on the bass. Not kick butt, not, could punch you in the face if you weren�t expecting it, not open hand slap your chest until your tits turn red, but KICK ASS. Overly flashy? No. Unassumingly adding the brass knuckles to the fist of the Dammit Boys? Hell, yes.

DNA doesn�t mean to slight Dave Raymond or Time Beaty, the other guitarist and drummer, respectively, of the Dammit Boys by not heaping up their praises. Although DNA has known those guys for some time, he never had the pleasure to get to know them better than as a gawking spectator to their fucking onstage awesomeness.

If it sounds like DNA is a little biased towards the Dammit Boys, maybe cuz he knows them, or something, then you would be wrong. There are lots of bands that DNA likes a lot. Bands like DEVO. Now, the Dammit Boys are not like DEVO. See how this proves DNA is not biased?

Actually, DNA did some objective, experimentation with the music of the Dammit Boys in an attempt to limit the influence of DNA�s own history with these guys. DNA played 20 songs at random from his iPod. Then he listened to the Dammit Boys. Then DNA asked himself: Whose voice sounded cooler? What song rocked more? When you hear �Sky Hammer,� you can imagine the sweat dripping off of Mort�s face as greasy bodies are swaying in the 70�s euphoria that leaks from that song like smoke from a raunchy old bong. Seriously, DNA put the iPod on shuffle and started to compare bands. Now, by chance, the iPod cued up the song �Rock Your Ass� by the Supersuckers first, which was a shitty place to be if you were the Dammit Boys! Nobody rocks out with their cocks out the way the Supersuckers do. That was a tough draw for the Dammit Boys right out of the gate. But, OK Go? Dammit boys smoked �em. Wolfmother? Made �em wanna run home to momma. Coldplay? Didn�t wanna play anymore. In short, the Dammit Boys� records are worth buying. So. You. Go buy them.

From the opening line of �The Mind Snare,� you too, feel like you �could walk right through this wall.� The song evokes the heady feeling you might have had the first time you listened to the Doors if you were 19 in 1969---and weren�t in Vietnam. On their myspace page, the band writes that this song is an example of some of the new stuff they are working on. Their new compositions reflect their continuing growth as musicians, technically and intuitively.

As usual, DNA did some internet searching, and found these interesting tidbits: Unlike the two huge myspace sensations DNA has reviewed previously, in the first three hits on Google, DNA found a review of the band, y�know, like you would expect, if the band were actually a working band. This was the first good sign. Next, reading some of the reviewers unsolicited responses to a show was also positive, such as, �if Mort and I were in prison together I�d definitely want to be his bitch."

Pros: A unique vibe that isn�t exactly any of the categories in which it is placed.

Cons: Those turned off by garage rock or surf or rockabilly might give them a pass, which is their loss.

Pros: When you listen to them, you are probably drunk, or getting there.

Cons: You can�t capture the contradictory minor key depression that weeps through Mort�s guitar playing in the midst of power punk energy very well on a CD.

Pros: The name, evoking the aggravation of an older Dad, yelling at those no good kids getting into who knows what behind the woodshed�

Check out the Dammit Boys the next time you are in Carbondale. You won�t be disappointed.

Another Myoo-SICK Revue....DEVO had babies!!!

Time for another Myoo-SICK Revue. This one has been a long time coming. DNA has only bought a couple of new records lately, new to him, at least. DNA is gay for the Supersuckers, so it has been buying up their stuff, and DNA is now carrying the torch for this installment's review subject: the band Polysics.

What do you need to know about Polysics? Well how about this? They're cool. They're from Japan. They've been around for over 10 years, but unless you're into import vinyl and CD's, you probably have never heard of them. Because at first glance, they look like a DEVO clone, circa 1980, even if you had heard of them, you might just pass them by, and say something like, "Fuck, I just don't get the Japanese."

DNA is here to say, "Fuck, DNA just don't get the Japanese," and that is okay. Polysics is not so much about the obsessive mimicry of Western styles that permeates Japanese culture, but about paying homage, making inspired quirky songs from the New Wave spring that still bubbles up on the side of Mt. Fuji, and also really innovating sound, and trying elements of different styles.

Far from being a DEVO clone, Polysics is a DEVO meets Man-Or-Astroman clone, and hell, aren't there hundreds of bands like that? Oh, that's right. There is one. Polysics.

In most myoo-SICK revues, DNA quotes some lyrics out of context to make bands sound really ignorant, but it is hard to do with Polysics, since most of the lyrics are in Japanese. Some are in English, DNA thinks, but in the end, it doesn't matter. The sounds of the lyrics are part of the brush Polysics uses to paint their old Korg Poly Six keyboards.

In the album DNA just purchased, called Polysics Or Die!!!! Vista, a greatest hits compilation (their second, actually) there are some songs or sounds that are a little too DEVO for their own good. It's hard to beat the boys from Akron at their own game, and unfortunately, when Polysics mines that vein a little too deeply, they sound more like a caricature than a creative force. However, on some cuts, like "I My Me Mine," they capture the guts of New Wave with very little of the glitter and black eyeliner that went with the typical synth band. The old analog synths deliver the "soul" of the biomechanical rhythm, but the fuzz and overdriven drums, frantic and frenetic vocals, and the tri-tone creepy synth texture on the top makes this little gem really shine. And, you can't get much greasier on a keyboard bassline than the song, "Kaja Kaja Goo," which must means something in Japanese and simultaneously points out how idiotic one of the more successful new wave synth bands, Kaja Goo Goo, was.

Here's a clip from YouTube:

The girl in the video isn't in the band, or so DNA has heard. She just kind of hangs out with them.

And you might as well see the rest of the story:

So, go buy the record. It's available on iTunes, or in really cool records stores. While you're at it, check out the Octopus Project, too. More fun in the same vein.

No comments: