"With the sharpness of a psychopath’s knife, this CD
cleaves neatly into two teen-oriented music styles. The
ubiquitous (when it comes to the pop-charts) hip-hop, and the
supposed "cred" of alternate rock.
Most of the hip-hop is inoffensive, if uninspiring; as slick
as it is soporific. With two notable exceptions.
Public Enemy strut their poetic genius with What What, which
not only features the repetitive refrain of their slyly
tautologous title, but includes such subtle gems as
"I’m gonna make it more better now". Brilliant.
Yes, I am Joking, Joshing, Jesting.
And on the subject of "what". What the extensive
list of graphic mutilations, which comprise the lyric to
Lifelong’s I’m The Killer (Killer Rap), has to do with
parody escapes me. Even assuming Alanis Morrisett’s
extravagant understanding of "irony", I could only find
one line with a hint of it: "I’m gonna cleave you
girl/Treat you like slut/Mutilate your organs/And shove ‘em
up your butt." Hilarious.
Backing up to the guitar-based alternate-rock that fills out
the first half of the CD, I must admit that it contains two of
the better tracks I’ve heard in a genre that generally has
me reaching for the double-reinforced earmuffs. While Fountain of
Wayne’s Too Cool For School and Save Ferris’s The Only
Way To Be can’t be said to demonstrate that there’s
more to playing a guitar than patching it through a quagmire of
distortion and strumming a few basic chords, the fact that these
songs feature singers who can hold a pitch, a couple of hummable
melodies and even – shock, horror, this is truly Scary!
– a hint of dynamic variety, suggests there may be some
entertainment value to this genre beyond the joys of the mosh pit
But before we get ahead of ourselves, Oleander, The Unband
and, unfortunately, Australian success story Silverchair, turn up
the volume and the bad taste to remind us that not everyone
appreciates the difference between white noise and music."
(August 30, 2000)