The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Bad Press

Here at The Daily Campus, we receive a plethora of free stufffrom record labels eager for some good reviews.

Sometimes it’s little more than a sampler of agroup’s latest efforts, sometimes it’s a full album.For the longest time, this mountain of music has remained untouchedfor fear of what lies beneath its shrink-wrapped surface of badcover art and exclamation mark-laden cover letters.

After all, if a record label has resorted to sending fullalbums to a college newspaper, they must be desperate.

But no longer – I have taken it upon myself to diveheadfirst into this stagnant pool of mediocrity and bring to thesurface the very worst that music has to offer.

You may not agree, you may think I’m too harsh, butthat’s the nature of this business.

This is Bad Press.

 

Polysics

Neu

Who are the Polysics? I think the sticker on their album says itbetter than I can: “Electronic synth-pop punk rock fromJapan.” Skeptic that I am, I didn’t believe that thisbizarre mixture of genres was physically possible to pull off. Tome, it was like saying “I am an African-American-Asian-Cubanrefugee-Irish-Columbian metrosexual physicist stapler.” Itjust doesn’t compute.

But after listening to Neu, I realized that the”electronic synth-pop punk rock” description is eerilyaccurate.

Just imagine what it would sound like to combine those genres.That is what Neu sounds like.

Kudos to you, Polysics, for pulling that off.

The fact that they also managed to bring it to America is alsopretty admirable, so kudos for that, too.

However, just because the Polysics proved that you can combinethese genres doesn’t mean that you should. Like concoctionsof mayonnaise, orange juice, and toothpaste, some combinations arecompletely unappealing no matter how you package it.

“Punk rock” and “electronic synth-pop”are polar opposites, and you can tell that they don’t mixwell. Sometimes Neu will sound “punk,” sometimes itwill sound “electronic synth-pop,” but you never hear amixture of the two.

Like oil and water, punk and synth-pop are virtually impossibleto completely mix. You have one, or the other, but never both atthe same time.

Neu is catchy at times, but… Polysics, we need totalk. Have a seat. Lollipop? No? Mind if I have one?

Now, it’s obvious you like the synthesizer. That’sokay, there’s no shame in that. I like the synthesizer, too.But the synthesizer is something best used in moderation, youknow?

When you start to sound like the illegitimate love child of acicada and a Nintendo Gameboy, you might want to cut back abit.

Are we on the same page here, Polysics?

Okay, good. It’s been nice talking to you. Here’syour complimentary spoon. Watch out for the bears on your way out,they like to eat bands.

 

CD Tex, Vol. 18

Various Artists

Apparently, this is some kind of compilation album filled withcountry music. The promotion copy I received is very plain, withjust a song listing on the back and information about the companythat released it, but not much else.

So if you’re absolutely dying to own the latest volume ofCD Tex, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’tknow why on earth you’d really want to own it, but hey,whatever floats your boat.

Country music is probably the most maligned and stereotypedmusical genre around.

Now, I’m as open-minded as the next guy, so when I makefun of the music on this particular CD, don’t think I’mmaking fun of the genre as a whole.

I’m sure I’ve heard one, maybe even two countrysongs that weren’t god-awful pieces of garbage, so I canassume that there might be a few other songs out there that Iwouldn’t hate.

But back to CD Tex, Vol. 18. The music on this CDisn’t terrible. I’ve heard terrible country musicbefore — you can’t listen to it for more than a minutebefore you start compulsively reaching out for sharp objects tothrust into your ears to stop the pain. The music on CD Texrepresents the middle-ground of country music, populated byrelatively unknown groups who are distinguishable from each otherby only the narrowest of margins.

They sound the same; they write about the same things, they playthe same instruments the same way. They just have differentnames.

This is the kind of country music that perpetuates the myth thatcountry music is only about women, booze, and trucks. Some of thesongs on this particular album even manage to combine some of thesetopics, like 3 King Rodeo’s lovely little ditty, “IDon’t Drink About You Anymore.” You read that right.”I Don’t Drink About You Anymore.”

Do I really need to say anything more? That one song title saysmore about this album than I ever could.

In summary, CD Tex, Vol. 18 is little more than eighttracks of derivative, simple-minded country music that may appealto the steadfast country fan, but does little to thaw my cold,elitist heart.

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