CD Review of Being and Becoming by The Smashup

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Being and Becoming
half starno starno starno starno star Label: Warcon
Released: 2005
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“OK SHUT UP! The dead guy’s got the floor!” OK, already! Let’s tune in now to another “punk” band the Smashup and their song “No Name” from their car wreck of an album Being and Becoming. These lyrics set a new standard for half-assing it through unintended hilarity. But don’t let me get in the way of this bombastic stinker. Let the band put it straight to you.

OK shut up, the dead guy’s got the floor
I might just get emotional so bear with me
OK shut up, we both know the rules
This is a 50 yard death grip dash for fools
And anyone else convinced of the divinity of their pee-pee

In case you don’t know, the band is making fun of how tough it is in the music business. Especially if you’re unpopular and no one knows you or your band’s name! Well, there’s bad news for the Smashup, then. Punk’s been dead for eons, and this crap that you’re passing off as “punk” isn’t punk, but you’re well aware of that, undoubtedly. What it does sound like, however, is emo shred mixed with a dash of hilariously bad hair metal. Is that British accent a real British accent or a Sears British accent? Ah, let the band tell it to ya again.

Musically we are a collective melting pot of all our influences. We hate that everything is supposed to fit into a specific genre these days. (What the hell is “emo?” Emotional-core music? Uhh..isn’t all music emotional?)

Oops, and here I just tagged them as emo. OK, so my synonym for “emo” is “shit.” Yeah, we’re still on the same page. And you gotta love that “isn’t all music emotional” question. What 15-year-old’s blog did you steal that from? But let’s get back to the music. How about “Violencer, Pt. 2”?

Swarming pain, licking flame, heart in a grease fire
Immolate, subjugate all that I stand for
Rising bile walk a mile down in my shoes remove
Silencer violencer break off the safety
I close my eyes, inhumanize I see bullets arrive, hornet to hive
And so I push, train, burst brain! No emotion! No emo!

No ticky, no shirty! These guys are really hurting. And you’ll be hurting just as much when listening to their songs. But wait! These guys turn down the rip-roaring angst for the gentle “Dreams.” But no matter, because the sentiments are just as corny and contrived as their angry shit. Witness, “I just want to lie next to you in this bed / hear your heart beating / I need this feeling to last me forever and ever / Oh God don’t let this end.” You betcha. Sadly, that last line brings back memories of Styx’s “Don’t Let It End,” which, even sadder, is better than this dreck. At least Dennis DeYoung could bring about the realism needed in a crappy song like that with his semi-operatic yelping. The Smashup doesn’t even have that going for them, as their vocals are completely second rate and show no emotion whatsoever.

But this band’s big message is about how ordinary they are. Well, no argument here. On the band’s online blog, there’s an entry about their gig at the Fillmore. It ends along the lines of, “See? I’m no God. I’m like you.” No, you’re not like me at all. I have better taste in music, and will never be listening to Being and Becoming again. Good luck with that whole career in music, though. It’s sure to get you through those ordinary summer job doldrums, if nothing else. Ah, but I forgot: you’re all about those doldrums. You boys could take a page from the Scott Stapp book of rock gods: It’s good to be the king. But then, you’re probably above the old slurparoo as well. Taco Bell’s calling, gents!

~Jason Thompson