[We're not sure a seemingly uncontroversial band has ever generated as much controversy as Mumford and Sons have in their brief stint as folky chart-toppers. To celebrate their show tonight at Desert Sky Pavilion, I asked representatives from both sides of the (surprisingly heated) Mumford & Sons debate to argue their point. Taking up the Con position is Troy Farah (previously unhappy with Justin Timberlake), who's actually a lovely and sensitive human being. Read the Pro-Mumford side of today's debate here. - Ed.]
Many people I know like Mumford & Sons. For example, there's my grandfather, who thinks they're named after his favorite Redd Foxx vehicle. There's also my great aunt, who likes how much they remind her of life on the prairie. Most of all, there's the seemingly endless supply of women who get wet whenever a mandolin is involved. Or maybe it's the beards. Or maybe it's how they dress like extras in The Walt Disney original musical Newsies. Fuck if I know.
I'm not going to argue with them, because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. If you enjoy this band, you're already an emotional wreck or incredibly old-fashioned -- I don't need to exacerbate the issue. But I do have to scratch my head and wonder where the attraction comes from.
I think some people just enjoy crying. A lot. Not that I'm above it. In fact, I probably cry more often than is "manly" to admit, especially during movies like Little Miss Sunshine. But I don't fucking enjoy it. You can weep for yourself all you want, little lion man, but you didn't even bring any chips or beer to this pity party. And that blows.
America is a nation of pansy-ass fuckheads and some people would say that Mumford & Sons feed directly into that. After all, the bulk of their songs are about kneeling down and whimpering. But I wouldn't go that far, because I blame The Shins for this mess -- they were the first to make it cool to be completely testicle-free.
But the worst thing about Mumford & Sons has to be the multitudes of bands that are ripping them off, like those Lumineers jackasses and every indie band I see wearing suspenders. I would blame the Avett Brothers for this eyesore, but I think they took up the banjo as a joke at first, and then it turned out to be actually decent.
See, while the Brothers are as authentic as a three-dollar bill, their subject matter is less about crippling self-doubt and more about kicking ass and kissing cute girls who speak in broken English. I can relate to that -- I can't imagine relating to a band that's all about being so goshy-darn sad.
Sons' strained religious references (either be gospel or don't, stop fucking it up) are the most inauthentic piece of their tawdry discography. I get it, you have a complicated relationship with Jesus, just like your complicated relationship with your mother. And on "Reminder," when they sing, "You never see my bleeding heart," it's hard not to laugh at this bald-faced lie. Your bleeding heart is smeared all over your snotty sleeve.
I guess I lied, too. I did want to hurt your feelings. What are you gonna do, cry about it?
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