By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
And at what point was it cool for hard-rock vocals to be whiney and high but sound forced low and growly? Wasn't Vince "Slim-Fast" Neil worth at least one lesson?
Beware of any combo that touts a front man as its one comely faction. The two band photos included in the packaging see the smooth-skinned singer sporting black eyeliner and spiky blond locks preening in the foreground while three cherub-faced goobs lurk back, mixing in with the shadows. The devolution of pop is never more aggrandized than when the Exies top a Lenny Kravitz cop with lines like, "Sly's got a family stone/And all the cat's [sic] groove along."
And then there's a negative side here common to all contemporary "rock 'n' roll" records: no fuck-you snottiness, no working-class pride, no ferocious interplay and, worst of all, no swagger to make the cervix of a teenage girl glisten. Just loud rock music that aspires to nothing beyond filling time and space.
3 Doors Down
The Better Life
Think, if you can stand to, of Soundgarden. Then remember it in all of its force-fed sonic cliché and seppuku-inducing FM-happy credo. Then picture a sun-drenched Texas landscape strewn with tract homes, fatherless children, bleak swing sets and men with grisly facial scars. Imagine four slack-shouldered dullards, phlegmatic since birth, attempting to shape that into a "rock" sound. I mean, it is the sound of a rock.
I'm Diggin' It
Why, do you ask?
Because all this reminds of Ms. Alecia Elliott, the latest teeny pop tart mired in porn (pre)-tension: well put together, lighting-flattered and very buxom. Only she's a little bit country. If Nazi scientists had focused their efforts on creating the perfect Nashville country-cum-porn starlet, Alecia Elliott is it.
What price Nashville?
And if that don't make you just a little concerned and somewhat sad, then you are more messed up than me, brother.