U.S. Girls – “Mad As Hell” (Singles Going Steady)

"Mad As Hell" is a stark reminder that some aspects of the US haven’t changed much, no matter the resolution and color vibrancy of our current tech.

Tristan Kneschke: At this point in the Great Clown Presidency, fatigue has set in, which means that when overtly political works emerge, it’s easy to roll our eyes. But not so with “Mad as Hell”, which provides a novel angle. Taking its title from the famous Network rant “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore”, the video digs in further, appropriating World War II imagery to critique our current political climate. A deluge of screaming news headlines, a decapitated head of state, vintage political cartoons, and Meghan Remy styled as a dancing Rosie the Riveter interspersed throughout the archival footage make this video cohesive and poignant. While the anachronistic time capsule points to a simpler time for some, for others, it’s a stark reminder that some aspects of the US haven’t changed much, no matter the resolution and color vibrancy of our current tech. [7/10]

Steve Horowitz: Like a sugar cube laced with acid, this U.S. Girls track features a sweetness that hides a hidden kick. Meghan Remy’s old-fashioned style vocals come right out of the girl group songbook, but she combines it with pounding drum rhythms to create a seemingly innocuous song with dangerous implications. As the title suggests, she is mad as hell, and she’s not gonna take it anymore. One wouldn’t be surprised to hear a bomb go off at the end. However, she’s craftier than that and more creative. The song folds in on itself to reveal layers of meaning. The writing may be nonlinear and even non-narrative, but it tells a story nonetheless, and one feels crushed by the experience in a good way. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Under the moniker U.S. Girls, Meg Remy does in song what so many of us wish we could do in real life: pens a break-up letter to war. “Mad As Hell” is a tongue-lashing aimed at political figures who lead us into war against the best interests of humanity — the unhealthiest relationship of all, and one U.S. Girls decries with lyrics thinly veiled as a lost love pop song. It isn’t hard to tell who Remy is really mad as hell at, especially as black and white war propaganda films play behind her and the faces of early American presidents flash onscreen. Unambiguous protest music with some very catchy beats. [7/10]

Ian Rushbury: If you’re nostalgic for the early ’80s and a bit of a fan of the Ze record label, then this will make you dance for joy. Imagine Tiffany fronting the Waitresses, and you’re in the right ballpark. There’s a nifty, disco bassline in the chorus too. The singer isn’t very happy, but I’m not quite sure why. Maybe she’s upset that it isn’t 1982. That upsets me sometimes. [6/10]

William Nesbitt: Reminiscent of Blondie, early Madonna, and the Angels, the vocals are smooth as a velour tracksuit. The pseudo-disco musical backdrop works surprisingly well. I can boogie down to this. It seems like an amalgamation of stuff I’ve already heard, but it’s a good recap. The song is nonstop politics as is the video. The highlight is four versions of Meghan Remy performing a synchronized dance in what looks like polyester leisurewear while a bomb explodes behind her/them. It’s so political I’m surprised that there isn’t a link at the end to either a voter registration website or a petition to impeach you-know-who. [7/10]

Evan Sawdey: This song asks the question “What if, instead of going proggy and synth-y following Young Americans, David Bowie just leaned harder into disco?” You’ll like the answer. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.00

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