Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don't Tell the Hipsters She Wants Revenge Lives!

So I’m about to inspire the wrath of hipsters everywhere when I say this: I like She Wants Revenge. I’ve heard all the complaints lodged against Justin Warfield and Adam 12. They’re cliché and trite. Their lyrics suck. Their songs all sound alike. And worst of all, at best, they’re derivative of Joy Division; at worst, they’re straight up plagiarists.

I understand all of those arguments and, in many ways, agree with them. Their schtick is a bit overdone, to the point of annoyance. Their sound is pretty monotonous. They are too much like the 80s bands they claim to update, stealing stuff from The Great Ones, such as Joy Division/New Order, Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, and the Cure.

And worst of all? They approached their first self-titled album like they were reinventing the musical wheel with Warfield making grandiose statements: “There are plenty of bands operating within a context and genre right now, but if you take away the wardrobe, belts, and make-up, what is really being said? If it's nothing that's okay too, some music is just for dancing or wallpaper. But we are trying to speak to people as we were once spoken to, and whether that results in dancing, crying, or people wanting to f--k to our music, then so be it. We take this very serious.” Sure you do. Too bad no one else does.

But you know what? I still love them. I loved their debut album enough to drag both Maise and Mr. Maise to their concert at the rather shitty Metro during a Cubs night game (the Metro is directly across the street from Wrigley Field, making parking during such events an absolute clusterfuck). I couldn’t get enough of their infectious monotony, to the point where coworkers caught me on more than one occasion rocking out in my office. This was particularly embarrassing when I was caught rocking out to “These Things”, which if you’ve seen the video, you’ll know it’s not entirely appropriate subject matter for the office.

Their second album, This Is Forever, offers much the same as their first album: Lots of insipid lyrics. Lots of monotonous tunes. Lots of riffs plucked straight out of 80s goth-rock. And I still love it. Admittedly, this album loses some of the catchy hooks that had me bopping to their last album, but after listening to it regularly for the last few days, it’s grown on me, perhaps like a fungus. From the industrial-sounding opening instrumental, “First, Love”, to the rehash of “These Things” with the song “She Will Always Be a Broken Girl”, to the catchy close, “Rachael”, the music is fun and oddly addictive, despite its flaws.

Moreoever, if you enjoy SWR’s general kitsch (which I do), you’ll enjoy this album. Just don’t tell the hipsters.


Gabriel said...

Okay. I liked their record as much as the next mopey dumbass with eyeliner and a desire for a more exciting and stylized life than the one I lead, but COME ON.

1. This is the worst live band ever. EVER. I saw them just before their record came out at a very small club in Los Angeles, and the lead singer yelled at the kids for moshing. Yes, he yelled at them.

He then DEMANDED that they "be sexy". Um, twat was that? Yes, he demanded everybody "BE SEXY!" This coming from a 33 year old hip hop has been who thinks if he grows his crappy hair out long we won't notice he's balding. Nice try, old dude.

2. The first record was fun because it reminded us EXACTLY of music we already like. This is a incredibly genius approach to music making I admit -- I did the same thing with L'orangerie Stank, in fact -- but do they think they're fooling us with their word play in changing song titles?

Joy Division: "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
SWR: "Tear Your Apart"

JD: "She's Lost Control"
SWR: "Out of Control"

JD: "Something Must Break"
SWR: "Someone Must Get Hurt"

It's really a carnivale of retardation, that first record. but it had a vibe, and was catchy, so, even more powerful!!

But you hit the nail on the head here reviewer -- there are NO HOOKS on the new record. It's fuckin boring! And not "mope rock droney oh i'm so sad i wanna dance in the mirror with myself naked" kinda way, but as in, "God, will this shit just end, I want to go to Del Taco and get a f'ing burrito!" kinda way.

No Hooks = CRAP, as Angelman would likely say.

Furthermore, "First, Love" isn't industrial, unless you consider 1987-era Depeche Mode "industrial", because that song is a straight up, flagrant rip off of "Pimpf", the track that opens up Music for the Masses.

I mean, the guys even use the same keyboard patches. SERIOUSLY, Justin Douchefield and Adam Wank - GO FUCK YOURSELVES.

maise said...

I think, "Be sexy!" is a totally valid command.

maise said...

I enjoy SWR live, but I do have to say that I didn't get a sense of the GAYNESS til I got a good look at them onstage.

Oh and Gabriel? Moshers are retarded.

Gabriel said...

Yes, it's always an excellent idea when your rock band is not getting people jazzed up the way in which you want them to be to simply COMMAND them to do it.

That's why you always hear Trent Reznor intone "Be overwhelmed by my potency, bitches!"

Ro said...

Especially if there are retards moshing. Jesus.

But yeah, you just kind of made my point, Gabriel. They make "new" old stuff. It's not insightful or fresh, but it's still fun. Fun enough to make you buy This Is Forever, apparently. So don't go getting any high horses, there, Gabe.

maise said...

Whatevs, Trent's always making us clap and telling us "LET'S GO!"

Gabriel said...

What made you think I bought it?

Pffft. You old people with your antiquated senses of value.

maise said...

No, Gabriel's sugar daddy, Angelman, bought it for him.

Ro said...

Gabriel, stop being a two-faced whore. You know you liked it AND bought it. And I have no doubt that when commanded to "be sexy", you twisted your nipples with the best of them.

Gabriel said...

I have never bought a She Wants Revenge album or song in my life.

Are you going to start selling me on the importance of respecting my elders and telling me I shouldn't wear black either, Grandma?


BE SEXY, already.

maise said...

When commanded to "be sexy," Gabriel licked his own nipple and started breathing heavily on everyone standing within a 20-foot radius.

Ro said...

Or he just ate some french fries.

maise said...

You know, that was actually pretty hot, in a saturated fat kind of way.

Gabriel said...

I at french fries to make everyone FEEL sexy.

I don't need to command it when I wish those around me to feel the aura, the danger, the sensuality. I am these things.

maise said...

Um, I believe it was Justin who brought sexy back.

Gabriel said...

Brought it back?

Shit, nucca. It ain't never been away.

Danny Angel said...

Moshing is awesome.

Have you ever heard Anthrax's CAUGHT IN A MOSH? Great song.

Or Testament's INTO THE PIT?

If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

Or be sexy.