Music

Crazy Town: Darkhorse

Nikki Tranter

Crazy Town

Darkhorse

Label: Columbia
Amazon
iTunes
"So keep your candy-coated pain to make the vibe better, Now all the songs I'm writing sound like suicide letters."
-- Crazy Town, "Candy Coated"

Here's a challenge -- find me a band that's worse than Crazy Town. Can't be done, can it? Well, in case you were one of the few people in the world to suspect otherwise -- newsflash -- the band has sunk to new lows with its latest release, Darkhorse, with a bunch of snot-nosed twats replaying moldy old beats, while their leader screeches lyrics overflowing with idiotic sentiments so ridiculously banal that whoever gave this the green light should do what the band says on track nine and "jump the fuck off" the nearest bridge.

Crazy Town first invaded mainstream radio with a song someone at The Village Voice called "one of the greatest summer hits of all time". One can only assume the writer was paid to make such a statement because the rancid, overtly sexist, "Butterfly", with its vomit-inducing, double entendre "come, come my lady" hook, was seriously the most insipid piece of junk ever to stink up the international charts, let alone ruin an entire holiday season. Nevertheless, someone bought it, and it hung around like the smell or urinal cakes in a stadium restroom for far too long.

So long, in fact, that the band were able to put out a second record four years after the first one without people entirely forgetting their name ("you know, the 'come, come my lady' wankers?"). The band decided, this time around, not to alter its style in the slightest, and so begins yet another laugh-a-thon of forced rhymes, distortion and a lead vocal that sounds like I just hung my cat with a shoelace.

Opening the show is "Decorated", which seems to be about some guy who's drunk and stoned and in jail and is all cut up inside because life sucks and cops are mean and stuff. Here's just a sample of the delicate storytelling, courtesy of no less than three writers plus the band: "Who you motherfuckers think you are / Crazy Town hit 'em hard like our boy Bernard / Clenched fists as I pace the yard / So many tattoos I ain't got no room for scars…Me I'm hooked on the Kush smoking northern green / Catching cheap thrills off the pills I fiend". I fiend? I don't understand rap at all. Especially this kind of rap which isn't really rap at all, but just part of a New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys-type cloning thing with tattooed, punk wannabes becoming twisted douche bags saying "metal, rap and hip-hop sound cool together!" instead of nice, homely lads becoming teen idols. If that makes sense.

Continuing this parade of crap is "Candy Coated" which is as sickly as the title would suggest. "Now can you hear my ball and chain gang?" one of Crazy Town's singers -- I don't really care which one -- asks, before again going on to enthrall with yet another tale of druggie woe: "The sound of heavy metal that tastes like cellophane / Collapsing every vein like umbrellas in heavy rain". Drugs are a constant theme on this album, as is complaining, and, oddly, cellophane. But Crazy Town has a message, yo. It's not about damning the cloying, bitter addict; it's about giving him a fair shot. Consider: "My passion is pain / I do dirt to bury shame / I'm victimized / An institution's no solution / A place where you're defenseless / And guilt's the prosecution". Right. But, just when you though it was the system that screwed these guys up, we learn "Nobody knows me / Success has exposed me." It was money, fame and countess numbers of hookers that did it! Boo-fucking-hoo.

And so it goes. It's pile of junk (literally) after pile of junk on this album, with nary a shimmer of even the dimmest light suggesting something slightly above prepubescent might be found hiding amongst the tripe. Not a chance. It's all bitching about the man, about the law, the apparent perils of success (which seem only to involve being now able to actually afford heroin), and being "forced to grow" when "the shit goes down". It's enough to make you actually want to listen to System of a Down.

After just a second or two spent listening to Darkhorse, it quickly becomes apparent that Crazy Town's days are numbered. I take comfort in that, and so can you.

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image