There was an article in “Rolling Stone” recently which said that there is a
whole new generation of young teenagers discovering and giving a boost in sales
to classic rock albums. This is good news, because it would seem to signify the
death knell for interest in modern and boring rock bands such as Yellowcard, who
are doing that done-to-death punk pop emo crap all over again, and to decent
sales. Apparently the kids relate to this stale ear candy that will never, ever
hope to compete with those classic albums such as Who’s Next, Axis: Bold As
Love, Dark Side of the Moon, and Houses of the Holy.
This is the current problem with the state of so much of today’s popular rock
music: there just isn’t anything to it. It’s cookie-cutter crapola with no
artist development behind it. But then again, a band like Yellowcard is so
completely one dimensional that any development the band does get probably goes
into its shoes and choice of energy drinks on tour. No, the majority of the
radio bands these days are only expected to put out one album, maybe a couple
hit singles, a big video, and a tour. Then they get forgotten while the next
soundalikes take their places, and the cycle begins anew.
Oh, but Yellowcard have that violin player. Wow. That means they’re great?
Hardly. This stuff might just be the thing for pimply-faced 17-year-olds, but
once you get out of the Vans Tour bracket, you can just take a pass on this dull
nonsense. Seriously, whoever thought that punk would become such a watered-down
confection for the sensitive kiddies to connect with? It used to be about
anarchy and change and politics and the like. Now it’s about singing whiny songs
about candy-ass relationships and how tough it is to live these days. Gimme a
fucking break. If anything, it’s easier for the youth.
These guys can’t even take the time to be grammatically correct. On the
dense-as-merengue tune “Down on My Head,” Yellowcard hit us with such
ruminations as “I never thought I would wake up in bed / Watching the world
coming down on my head / I’d sleep like a dog if you would never of [sic] said /
This is the world coming down on your head.” Damn, but that’s way deep. Repeat
until you’re beyond sick of it. Damn fine message there, boys.
But wait! It gets even more intellectual on the moon/June/spoon “City of
Devils”: “Flyin’ along and I / Feel like I don’t belong and I / Can’t tell right
from the wrong and why / How I been here so long.” It makes you wonder how much
time and “heart” they put into this goo. I’m sure the rhyming dictionary was
well thumbed for these tunes, else you wouldn’t have such stirring ruminations
like the ones in “Waiting Game”: “I wait for a lonely breath / I wait to surface
from this depth / Wait for the light to take me away / These images I’ve kept /
In my head / More than ever / I need to feel you / More than ever / I see the
real you.” Fucking terrific.
Is it any wonder we “older” listeners (that usually means anyone over 25 by
industry standards) bitch so much about the current state of popular music? This
is what it has come down to? A jerked-off melody everyone else is doing for a
chance on the next NOW That’s What I Call Music compilation. For the most part,
there is no “state” of rock music today. It’s just in this retarded limbo where
we have bands like Yellowcard pandering to a youth who would prefer to whine to
their music than actually groove to it. There is nothing redeeming here. Not in
the words, not in the music, and certainly not in the Kmart style. It’s only a
matter of time before Yellowcard’s number is up. It may as well be before they
bother recording that next waste of time.