The great beauty of the World Wide Web is that nearly everyone has the opportunity to write and disseminate whatever they want whenever they want from whereever they may be. Of course, this great beauty is also the great curse of the Web, because you get things ranging from the voyeuristic nirvana of webcams to websites devoted to scanning pets to individuals with too much time on their hands and too many opinions when it comes to music. It’s enough to make one shudder.
If you’re looking for evidence, search no further than Amazon.com, that epitome of Web-driven consumerism. If you’ve bought an album (or movie, or book), you can go to Amazon, pull up that particular item, and rant and rave to your heart’s content. It’s really no different than Opus (or any other criticism-based site), except you don’t have to register a domain name. For example, if you were to search for I Wanna Be Your Pants, you’d pull up comments like “[T]he most exciting six minutes of new music I’ve heard in a long time.”
Now, I realize this is just my opinion, and there’s really nothing to set my opinion above anyone else’s, but I’ve always been under the impression that such a statement should be reserved for the likes of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians, or, for that matter, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Now, those are opening moments that are exciting and thrilling, that make you reconsider the way you’d looked at music up to that point. I don’t have that sentiment when I think about an opening track like “New Hit Song” (the irony is that, in today’s music climate, this track might very well be a hit song).
Throughout the record, one gets the feeling that Huffamoose is just trying too hard to sound cooler than their music. They’ve got that post-whatever vocal delivery down, that wry, almost bored delivery that you find in the likes of Cake and Soul Coughing. I didn’t really care for it then, and I really don’t care for it now. Guys, let us know when you actually sound like you care about what you’re singing. Musically, it’s really nothing more than your fairly basic college rock. It might sound like the greatest thing to the guys on your floor, or in the local frat, and it’d probably sound pretty darn good to you after downing a couple beers.
Now, this whole record might be redeemed if Huffamoose actually had something good to sing. But, we’re not that lucky. It’s not really so much what Huffamoose is singing about, because I can take nonsensical songs. Rather, it’s how they write their songs that raises my hackles. Lyrics like “We find a piece of candy in the street and decide to eat it/She does a cartwheel into some prickly bushes and gets pretty cut up/” or “Some drunk guy yells obscenities at us and we turn into our parents/And driving past the school where we once played kissing bugs as children/She tells me that she felt younger when she was a little girl” (“Canada”) may seem innocuous enough on the screen, but when delivered by Huffamoose in that annoyingly contrived ultra-cool post-something manner, it’s just downright offensive. The only people who should be allowed to write lyrics like that are people with the sort of musical wierdness that can back them up, like Neutral Milk Hotel or… David Tibet.
A little Huffamoose trivia… did you know a documentary was made about them, and the various trials and tribulations they faced as a band? Man, if having your very own documentary isn’t reason to enough to ignore the ravings of some guy with his own website, I don’t know what is. But I do know this… if I want musical revelations, six minutes of exciting music, and whatnot, I’m not going to listen to I Wanna Be Your Pants. (Who the heck thought of this album title, anyways? I’m assuming some serious alcohol and/or doobage was involved.) No sirree… not even a hundred accolades on Amazon is going to sway my mind on this one.