NXNE 2012 Special: No Good Bands – Part 1

CROOKED VALENTINE

Really, in 2012: a Drum N’ Bass Intro? Multiple pairs of leather pants? I was pretty confused by Crooked Valentine until I remembered that every action movie in the mid-90’s had an industrial-biker band in a bar scene. This band is clearly waiting for Strange Days 2 or a remake of The Crow to come along. And their lyrics seemed straight out of the plot to Robocop 2: “D to the motherfuckin’ Z/Welcome to the dead zone”- what am I, here to buy $1,000,000 of “Nuke”? I guess that’s valid because bath salts exist.

The guitarist and bassist in this band looked like identical twins. Sort of like if you made cute boys out of those two guys from the Misfits, and gave them dreamy Trent Reznor haircuts. And the lead singer: boy, howdy, did she ever channel what she thinks about sexy. At one point, the bassist sang into her mic with her shoulder all up in his trachea. HOT! And her sexy boob poses! Thrusting! Grabbing! Bringing attention to them constantly! This is a great ploy when Rage Against The Machine figures hard in your influence list. No, not lyrically. At one point, I am pretty sure she was singing “I think I’m self employed”, which is pretty weird to say over a heavy breakdown. FEEL WANTING A BOSS, LADY! FEEL IT!

Between songs, she started saying “I ain’t afraid of no ghost”, and then they didn’t play fucking Ghostbusters. They made me expect Ghostbusters and then didn’t deliver. How is that even possible? In another moment of professional banter, she said “This next song’s about SEX,” and then shrugged, like “What’m I gonna do? Song’s about sex. What’m I gonna do?” Is 4 songs into a set of Rage Against The Machine-inspired Industrial Dance-Metal the right time to be coy? And then those lyrics I thought I heard again: “Shout out to the motherfuckin’ T-Dot”? In the song about sex?

Around this point, she jumped off stage and sex-danced with the one guy in the audience who was certainly a virgin. God, I hope he doesn’t google them and find this article. Because then he’ll read me saying that every song was the same Bomb Track by Rage... with dumber lyrics. If this band succeeds, I’m going to be madder than if Mitt Romney wins. Virgin guy got really into a song called “War Machine”. Every chorus was like an ad for the title of the song. For instance, “War Machine” might as well have been “United Furniture Warehouse”. You know, I think this band may have invented the extreme jingle.

CTZNSHP

Side note about venues: I saw several bands play at The Rochester, and all I have to say is that a rock club shouldn’t have my office’s lighting onstage. It’s unseemly. And whose D to you have to S to get one of the like 17 waitresses to ask you if you want a beer?

OK, CTZNSHP.

Two things.

  1. A band with no vowels in its name can’t wear hoodies and plaid shirts.
  2. A band with no vowels in its name should, by law, have to write and record futuristic space-disco music.

They shouldn’t sound like Big Country.

Is there a need, in 2012, for more inspirational rock? Are people in dire need of music they can jog or psych themselves up for a job interview to? Moreover, it’s hard to believe a guy in a hoodie and SPerry Top-Siders “means” it. And, maybe it’s because I’m 34, but hearing about dreams isn’t great. Either it’s dreams like when you sleep which make no sense, or it’s hopes and dreams, which- let’s face it- I have barely enough time in my day to do things I WANT to, let alone ASPIRE to.

So, the singer in this band is no Bono. Guy thinks he’s Bono. I don’t even like actual Bono. And why are 23 year old singers always on about one night stands? How many have you had, two? Maybe? It’s fine. However, some of the lyrics weren’t fine: “All my friends/All my loves/Kool Aid Brains/Hearts of Doves” LOOK. If you’re gonna be fucking Keats up there, read some fucking Keats.

Why do guitarists with a bunch of pedals always act like playing the Am chord is so difficult? It’s not even a hard chord. It takes 3 fingers. Fingers aren’t even internal organs. Fingers aren’t even organs. (No vowels? That’s for an electro-funk group who wear helmets.) And what are pedal guys always doing with those knobs? Is he a guitar scientist? Hey Einstein Van Halen: what are you doing with those knobs?

“I remember you/I was cut in two”- so they’re singing about SAW now? (Why am I suddenly feeling bad that nobody’s here and I’m going to write about how much I didn’t like them? First of all, OF COURSE nobody’s here. Second, this guy’s in no pain. He has 43,000 pedals, manicured stubble, an expensive bass and at least 2 one night stands going for him. Plus, I want them to finish so I can see something worse) I think they meant this one ballad to really hit the audience in the soul. It didn’t. The problem with anthemic bands is invariably that they have a rousing march song. But if it isn’t rousing enough, they seem 59 times more delusional than, say, a retro hair metal band who legitimately believe they are bringing back hair metal. I’m sure CTZNSHP think they’re rocking out in front of me. But he’s singing about going home. I just left the house 30 minutes ago.

That’s like Semisonic OPENING with closing time.

About Matt Collins

Matt Collins is a musician (Ninja High School), cartoonist (Sexy), jock (Manhunt), and comedian (Matt Collins) in Toronto, Ontario. Please buy more Matt Collins. [Other Posts By Matt]