Before I say anything else, there is one thing we need to get straight here: I am, how shall we say it, somewhat opinionated. “Strong-minded” is my mother’s way of softening up the often-hurled “you have an opinion on everything!” insult that I hear from friends and enemies alike. I like to think it simply makes me a more interesting person to be around, since I tend to either love things or hate them. I am rarely lukewarm and never without a handful of different comments on any given topic. As long as we’re clear on this.
So you can imagine my shock and utter disbelief, when asked to review gob’s The World According to…gob album, when I realized I really didn’t have anything to say about them. After listening to the album’s opening track, “For the Moment”, I thought, “hmmm, this is a nice, catchy, pseudo-punky pop song—a lot like Blink-182”. Then I listened to track two, “I Hear You Calling”, and I thought, “hmmmm, more Blink-182”. By the time I got to the end of the disc, I was picturing the members of gob romping around some TRL video in ‘N Sync silk and humping beach paraphernalia a la Christina Aguilera. You know. Just like Blink-182.
And it occurred to me that I was going to have a hard time stretching “They sound just like Blink-182” into a 500-word review. I mean, as far as I know, “They sound just like Blink-182” is only six words, assuming you actually count numbers as words, which, for my purposes here, I do. So this leaves me approximately 494 words short of a review. Surely, I reasoned, there has to be something that separates this band from Blink-182. Then I discovered that gob are Canadian! This, I thought, was my ticket. I listened ever so carefully for any Canada-specific references. I thought, certainly there would be some snide comments about ice hockey, or Bob and Doug McKenzie, or Bryan Adams, or at least South Park’s “Blame Canada” song. (I know, I know—South Park isn’t a Canadian series. But I was desperate. Work with me here.) But it was to no avail. As far as I can tell, gob might just as well be American. Or Blink-182 could be Canadian.
Then I thought, “Just because they have a similar—okay, identical—sound, that doesn’t mean that their instrumentation will be identical”. But it is. So then, I thought, “Hey, I’m a lyric slut. Surely the lyrics aren’t the same!” But, with the exception of gob being a bit less kitschy and a bit smarter than Blink-182, well, the lyrics are basically the same. “Certainly, I reasoned, the melodies and harmonies cannot be interchangeable”. Oh, dear reader, but they can. It was a desperate moment for me, both as a reviewer and as an opinionated—er, strong-minded—woman.
But then, in my moment of desperation, I found it! I discovered the difference between gob and Blink-182: in their band photo for the album, gob are wearing clothes! Everybody knows that Blink-182 are always naked. Always. And gob, as far as I know, at least sometimes wear clothes. So there you have it. Blink-182 go nude, gob wear clothes. I just knew there had to be a difference in there somewhere!
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/gob-world/