Rock ‘n’ roll is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? That joyful, celebratory, life-affirming racket that we fill our ears with every day…it’s one of the few things that stops us all from hurling ourselves in front of a passing bus. And although most of us have neither the cash nor the freedom to truly indulge in the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, it’s still something to which we can intermittently aspire, whether via the medium of a balls-out, drunken Friday night or a brainless, debauched, oh-shit-the-neighbours-called-the-police house party. Failing that, we can always live vicariously through a handful of bands that genuinely walk it like they talk it; the true rock ‘n’ rollers that live life at full throttle, with a semi-drained bottle of Wild Turkey in one fist, a massive bag of illegal drugs in the other and a pair of swivel-eyed groupies doing something unspeakable in the general vicinity of the groin area down below. People like Lemmy. People like KISS. People like Motley fucking Crue. Bands that make an ear-smashing stiff-dick din and put on a show that makes your eyes spin, before buggering off to the dressing room to snort a huge line of tits and throw a tour bus out of the window. Yeah. Rock ‘n’ roll, baby! Living the dream, 24 goddamn 7, with a puke-encrusted t-shirt and shoes that are ACTUALLY ON FIRE RIGHT NOW AND I DON’T EVEN CARE THAT I MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO WALK AGAIN DUE TO SEVERE THIRD DEGREE BURNS!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
So yeah, rock ‘n’ roll is awesome, and it’s always good to hear about new bands that are upholding those wild and crazy traditions. On the other hand, there are few things more depressing and dispiriting than reading interviews with some of the latest generation of mainstream rock bands that are currently being fawned over by certain other publications that you may know and/or love. In a newly published interview that you can read in all its hideous, shameful glory this week, pop-punk fucknuggets All-Time Low have decided to announce that they’re “the Motley Crue of our generation”. Once the mind stops boggling, it’s worth taking a closer look at the interview, because in fairness to these simpering tools, they do seem to be dimly aware of the fact that they are far about as far removed from Nikki Sixx and his drug-munching comrades as it is humanly possible to be. All of which makes this one of the more disingenuous and ultimately meaningless non-stories to hit the internet in recent times. And that’s no mean feat.
But let’s look a little deeper into the mind-blowingly vacuous and creatively dead world of All-Time Low. I’m going to have a little peek at one of their videos on YouTube right now, just for you and in the name of journalistic integrity, research and all that other bollocks. Bear with me a second…
…right, this song is called Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t). It’s really not very good. Something inside me died about 40 seconds in, to be honest. To be fair, it’s probably not aimed at devilishly handsome but slightly overweight 37-year-old music journalists with functioning brains, but by Christ, if this is what gets the blood racing for teenagers these days, I’m absolutely delighted to be a couple of decades ahead and just that little bit closer to death. No wonder these pointless cockwads “always break stuff” when they’re drunk on half a shandy and a packet of Maltesers. It’s probably a necessary exercise in catharsis, as it slowly dawns on them that their band makes McFly sound like Behemoth and that their haircuts look like comedy wigs from a provincial theatre costume cupboard. Like far too many so-called rock bands these days, All-Time Low have no edge whatsoever. They have the slick, over-produced, sing-along tunes, without a doubt, but their music has no balls, no bite and nothing that anyone with healthy sexual organs could possibly describe as charisma. The self-consciously wacky videos, the goofy interviews in which they admit to “stealing parking cones”, the general air of smug, major label complacency…it’s all symptomatic of a generation of bands that have absolutely no fucking clue what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. There’s no hunger here. No energy. No irresistible urge to howl into the void and grab life by the knackers. It’s just safe, tame, painfully polite, utterly joyless and the exact opposite of everything that rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to represent. Lady Gaga is more rock ‘n’ roll than these twats, because at least she has the decency to be a mentalist with a penis.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing mainstream rock bands out there, and some brilliant punk bands and even some great bands that skilfully cross over from pop to punk or vice versa, but when bands like All-Time Low are being promoted as an exciting part of the rock ‘n’ roll world – our world, lest we forget – then we really are in trouble. Can you imagine being on the road with these bell-ends? After a couple of hours of forced wackiness and enough hairspray to suffocate a rhinoceros, you’d be desperate to set fire to them as they slept. Twice.
“We have more fun than most bands in the world,” says drummer Rian Dawson.
You really don’t. Now fuck off. You’re getting on my nerves.
Lots of love,
Dom Lawson xxx