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Archive for the ‘2006’ Category

89. Over And Over – Hot Chip

 There are many musicians that you should not piss off; Pink, Alanis Morissette and Hot Chip, to name a few. For what sounds like a reasonably typical dance song by a delightfully inventive band, is actually a thinly veiled middle finger towards critics. Following the release of their first album, Coming On Strongin 2004, critics thought that Hot Chip were anything but what the album suggested and instead labelled them as being too ‘laid-back’, ‘boring’ and ‘repetitive’. Two years later, the band took the critical reception to heart and wrote Over And Over. The lead lyrics start off their rebuttal to the claims against them; Laid back? Laid back? We’ll give you laid back.”, before starting to almost simultaneously explain their choice of the music they are playing. “Over and over and over and over and over, like a monkey with a miniature cymbal, the joy of repetition really is in you”. By these lyrics the band are able to creature a beautiful attack on their critics, explain their music and confuse the heck out of listeners at the end of the song with the repeated spelling of the words “Kissing, Sexing, Casio, Poke, You, Me, I”

Throughout the song, repeated beats and hooks and the fact that the main beat sounds like it is made out of some household objects, gives a great raw feeling to the song, which makes it sound as if the band are not only serious about what they are saying, but in fact, they are deadly serious. Electronic bands such as Hot Chip have a knack for really meaning what they say in their songs, and in the way that Over And Over is written, it can be clearly seen that they really disagree with their reviews and that they think their music is fantastic. Which it is.

Close Competitors

And I Was A Boy From School

When I first heard this song, it was not the original. Instead, I heard the cover version by British India, and instantly I thought this song was amazing. Sadly, I didn’t hear the original for almost a year. But when I did hear it, I was amazed! Such a beautiful song that features almost completely disjointed rhythms and beautiful jazz inspired synth notes. The song’s message is confusing, but the dulcet tones of the vocals make the message almost irrelevant as they suck you into their dreamy soundscapes and melodies. In short, a beautiful song that is only beat to the first position by a great song that is essentially about revenge.

 

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Very few bands exist that are able to incorporate politics with music and do it well. Other bands that are like this would be System Of A Down, Rage Against The Machine and Anti-Flag. However, there are even fewer bands that are able to incorporate this political music with humour and still drive the point home eloquently and directly. NOFX’s The Marxist Brothers is a prime example of such a combination. The band has long been known for their political ideologies and their hatred of George Bush (as was seen on their 2003 album, The War On Errorism), and their 2006 album Wolves In Wolves Clothing continues their politics as well as their biting humour and ‘semi-professional’ punk rock. The Marxist Brothers is a satirical view of communism and consumerism as well as the ‘million dollar hippes’, i.e, those people who insist they are human rights activists and non-consumerists yet still pay $50 for a t-shirt of Che Guevara despite the fact they don’t know who he is. With lyrics such as ‘I’ll get this one, put it on my card/I get frequent flier milage and a booklet of upgrades/So the next time I visit the third world, I won’t have to fly second class./The people revolution is going to be a podcast.’ It perfectly summarises the relation between consumerism and communism. The title of the song itself parodies the famous communist leader Karl Marx and the early 20th century comedy family The Marx Brothers, implying that communism is a joke. There could also be a possible allusion to their earlier song The Moron Brothers, which may indicate they believe communists are morons. Another excerpt of the song’s lyrics questions the real motives of these modern day communists; ‘We protested the G8/Got maced by female police/In hot black uniforms and boots/I got one’s email address.’ This just proves that these modern day communists are in no way interested in standing up for their beliefs, but interested in getting with any hot woman they see. The song delivers the classic wit and musical genius that NOFX encompasses, all the while delivering their concerns about the current state of affairs in the world.

Close Contenders

The Man I Killed

Originally, the NOFX choice for this countdown was going to be The Man I Killed. Coming from the same album as The Marxist Brothers, it follows in the same vein, concerning the final moments of a man that is about to be executed for killing a man. Not only does this song raise a good point, but it is delivered in such a raw and honest style that can only be described as genius. The song is allegedly about singer Fat Mike’s desire to kill George Bush (keeping in mind this was written while he was still in power), but the lyrics are so perfectly moulded to fit the scenario that it is almost perfect. However, I only chose to include The Marxist Brothers because the scenario faced is a much more present, and annoying problem.

Whoops, I OD’d

Whoops, I OD’d is another incredibly well written song. It portrays the final moments of the life of a man who has just overdosed and is aware that he is nearing death. As he deconstructs, an incredibly sad idea of death and drugs come out. Sympathy is felt for the central character as he laments about the shame he feels from the look on his wife’s face. The song ends with a reference to the death of Darby Crash, influential singer of The Germs. Crash told other members of the band ‘I’ll see you all at Okie Dogs, right before he went into a back alley and died of a drug overdose. According to most reports, as he was dying, Crash attempted to scrawl the words ‘Here lies Darby Crash.‘ but was unable to finish before he died. Oh, and if you’ve never heard of Darby Crash’s death, that might be because the poor guy’s death was overshadowed by the death of John Lennon, which happened the next day.

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