[11 September 2006]
Ah yes, Pessimism and Satire, once twin pillars of ‘90s modern rock and punk, now two withering equine bones that countless bands refuse to stop kicking. With their best steel-toed Doc Martens on comes Chicagoland’s Logan Square, and their debut disc under that moniker makes damn sure that it’s got the right angle and velocity to make dust out of yesterday’s race winner. Let’s see, sickly green saturated buzz bin artwork depicting dank hospital corridors and x-rays? Check. Middle-school grade lyrics tarted up in junior college pop punk gloss? Check. Why do I have the feeling I’ve written this entire review before? Because too many bands with undeniable musical and vocal chops utterly waste their talents with embarrassing album-length screeds about some girl who had the good sense and taste to dump the lyricist’s ass. “Buried” is a prime example: “I wasted so much time with you my dear / While you masquerade and tell us both ten thousand lies” frontman Brad Chagedes emotes, seconds before admitting “I can’t pretend that I don’t miss you”. Brad! It’s not that I don’t sympathize, buddy, because I do. Breakups suck. But they don’t get better by writing confused (read: not “complex” or “deep”) schlock that is the fuel for so many Dr. Phils and Judge Judys. When you start “I’m So Sorry” by giving the finger to some girl who left you and moved on, and end it by telling her that when her heart is eventually broken by another guy you’ll “lick her face and get a taste of all the tears [she] should have cried before”, I have to root for the girl. As much as I enjoy a good face-licking, it’s not nice to gloat. And though, on the surface, a stated goal like “We tried to make it so anyone with a day-to-day problem could find at least one song that tackles what they’re going through,” sounds respectable and populist and all that, day-to-day problems are called such because they’re mundane, and are not the type that wallowing in Hyperbole and Immaturity helps any.