Crazy Town: Darkhorse

Nikki Tranter

Crazy Town


Label: Columbia
"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.

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