Throw in the Towel, Please (part I)

I recently skimmed through the latest issue of Alternative Press magazine and I decided that there are a couple bands that, out of respect for themselves and all music lovers, should really throw in the towel. I’m asking nicely . . .

1. Poison the Well

( by Mike Parker

First of all, you guys put on a boring live show. Us audience members would really appreciate it if you acknowledged our presence. Maybe make some eye contact, Jeff. Hand us the microphone once in a while. Try showing a little enthusiasm. Maybe ask the crowd how they are feeling or give an anecdote relating to the previous song or the upcoming song. Could you tell us a couple fun tour stories? Or are you having any fun at all? *Yawn*
Second of all, your new album, Versions, was just plain weird. I don’t think you guys can be lumped into the post-hardcore/ metalcore genre anymore. So if you were looking to span the genres and avoid labels, well done. It starts off fast, fun, and exciting with the song, “Letter Thing,” and it’s downhill from there. In the next track, Jeff is kind of chanting but it’s hard to make out under the heavy guitar and bass drowning him out. They probably didn’t want anyone to notice the awful lyrics. The songs get progressively slower and weirded. They have added horns, piano, and various other instruments. Experimenting is all good, but this is pushing it. Also, Jeff used to sing . . . well. On this he is either chanting or mummering. Speak up! Belt it Opposite of December-style!
As for lyrical content, in previous albums, Opposite of December, Tear from the Red, and You Come Before You, the music was a lot harder and faster with some of the most creative break-up lyrics ever (“Why does your name leave a bad taste in my mouth when it rolls off my tounge?” “Emotions catch up with me, but I’m too fast for them,” etc.) This album has some very different lyrics. “I am a snake. I let my children, let my children go” are lyrics featured on the track, “Nagania.” Ok Jeff, you’re a snake. You have always been good with metaphors. I guess this one is just over my head.

Thanks for making some of my favorite music of all time, but you can stop trying now.

2. The Ataris

What happened guys? Or should I say, what happened Kris Roe? You’re the only original member of the band left. You took what was The Ataris and molded it into an ugly money-hungry monster. After signing to Columbia with your fourth album, So Long Astoria, the music has gotten poppier and poppier. Today, you guys might want to consider going under a different name. Even on The Ataris’ website, Kris Roe admits that he was sick of what The Ataris used to be: “He was completely disillusioned by the music his band had been playing.” In fact, the website doesn’t include any older pictures of The Ataris. Kris, you’re denying your roots! Why didn’t you just call the quits on The Ataris and label this mess something else. I would have so much more respect for it and you. He describes their latest release as “the most daring, dazziling, and inspiring Ataris album yet.” Well I guess I am old and bitter. Fuck this experimental shit! This isn’t The Ataris!
Your band used to consist of drums, bass, and guitar. Today you have the addition of keyboards and lots of effects peddles, apparently. Oh yeah, Kris Roe, didn’t you used to hollar sometimes if the song saw fit? Today your voice could lure my grandma to sleep. I mean, hey, you’ve got a nice voice and all of the new teeny bopper fans must swoon to the point of no return. Well, it makes your old fans want to cry. I don’t remember any soothing 15-second long “Ooooooooooh”s when you couldn’t come up with lyrics on the earlier albums. Your lyrics have always been pretty good, and that aspect of The Ataris has not changed with the new album, I’ll admit. I can still poke fun at your fashion choices . . .
You used to wear Dickies shorts, converse, and spikes in your hair. Today you dye your hair black and wear nothing other than black button ups, black dress pants, and black ties (at least in your sophisticated photo sessions . . . what kind of illusion are you going for here?!).



circa 1998
( by Piper Ferguson

This has been my first edition of “Throw in the Towel, Please.”

Thanks for tuning in.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s