A song from the upcoming Vampire Weekend album was released today. And because I do not believe anyone has a right to criticize anything they’ve not experienced, I listened to it. All the way through. Really, I did.
I thought maybe that things might have changed in the time since their last effort. That since now even bands like the Strokes,who had at least a nanogram or two of rock respect with their debut album anyway, and have now gone synth, and lost what little respect they deserved, that perhaps VW would take it in another direction. That the surgically-remove balls of the individual members might have started to regenerate.
But no. It is the same lame-ass wimpy shit for which they are well known.
In fact with “Step” they might have out-wimped both Fun(period) and Foster the People, which is impressive when you think about it, as they are the reigning kings of lame. It probably goes without saying that I hate Ezra Koenig’s voice. It belongs on American Idol, to be cut in an early round. The production is so polished that Dusty Springfield might be a little embarrassed by it. And lyrically it’s a name dropping mess. There’s nothing profound, unless you’re deeply rooted in hipster-ism, then, sure, yes, this has meaning. It’s a throw away easy listening song that would probably be tolerable on an elevator, or in the supermarket when you’re shopping for candied yams. But to elevate it, or the band, to ecstatic heights is just nonsense.
And look, before one or two of you come to VW’s defense, this is my issue. This is not rock. This is not alternative. And yet somehow here are people who consider it one, the other, or both. There are publications who kiss their ass as if they were the new Pope. (Really to compare any part of any song by VW to Jandek might be the single dumbest comment I’ve ever read in a review in my 54 years.)
If these bands could somehow be put in the same category as music by Barnie the Purple Dinosaur, then I wouldn’t have an issue. Because that is where their music belongs. It’s gutless tripe made to fit nicely as background music for the next iPod or Honda Civic (or certainly this tune at least was written to be included in any number of tv shows, True Blood, to name one). Pre-processed, it’s the head-cheese of sandwich meat. It doesn’t rock. It’s doesn’t roll. It lays there on your welcome mat like dog shit you’ve just wiped off the bottom of your shoe.
Can’t wait for the rest of the album.