By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
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.