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Noise from the Basement
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
You Don' t Like This, You're Missing Something |
my boyfriend hanging with this girl that I hate / He didn't have
to tell me why last night he was la-ee-ate." This is the
opening to the best opening track of 2004, Skye Sweetnam's "Number
One." There's a B-52's-esque guitar riff here, some tight
chunk-style bashing and crashing, an agonized whiny teenage vocal
about being out on the run and looking out for number one
what's not to love about this?
what are they doing up in Canada that makes all their teenage
girls into punk-pop princesses? Avril and Fefe and Skye are just
following in the footsteps of Alanis, I guess, but still, that's
kind of a lot all competing with each other at once - and I love
it. I think it's awesome. So does my nine-year-old daughter, who
thinks Skye is the Truth.
And I pretty
much agree. Her lyrics will never be reprinted in the Norton Anthology
of Poetry, but that is far from being a problem. "Billy S."
explains why perfectly. Facing another week of school, petulant
teen rock star-in-training Sweetnam complains, "I don't need
to read Billy Shakespeare / Meet Juliet, or Malvolio / Feel for
once what it's like to rebel now / I wanna break out, let's GO!"
I mean, I can't go for that if my daughter tries that with me,
no can do, but still it's thrilling to hear the metallic riff
dreamed up by James Robertson, her 21-year-old musical half, wed
to such fake-anarchic punk lyrics.
is one of the faces of punk rock: the rebellion against the cold
dead adult world. Don't try to tell me that punk is only political,
that it can't be personal, I been around the block a few times
myself. And this is also pop, but don't try the whole "punk
can't have sweet riffs" thing with me, I ain't buying it.
I have a record or two by a group called the Clash. And Skye Sweetnam
makes the kind of songs that would be sung by the daughter of
the protagonist from "Lost in the Supermarket." Let
that be an end to arguments about authenticity.
could be more punk than to do a disco-speedcore version of Blondie's
"Heart of Glass"? (Okay, it's not speedcore at all.
I was just tired of typing "punk.") It's like No Doubt,
and therefore pretty great. But it's the original songs I'm feeling
more: "Hypocrite" is classic from the word go - stolen
vocal riffs from "Hey Mickey" and "We Didn't Start
the Fire" at the same time! Also, a nice move to forestall
criticism by claiming the moral high ground for being inconsistent:
"Don't try and label me hypocrite / Cause I will do what
I want to."
so much more to talk about here: "Unpredictable" has
great stop-start sampled noises on the track and some carpe
diemlyrics from our girl; "It Sucks" fails to suck
because it's so busy rocking like Green Day; "I Don't Really
Like You" is that kind of song about loving a boy so much
that you hate him that will just EXPLODE on the radio, despite
a kinda-crap chorus
But I'm out
of time. Trust me, get over all your notions of "musical
vision" and "music should be art." While you're
fretting over your street cred, Skye Sweetnam is KICKING YOUR
ASS and winning the hearts of the youth. Get on board now.
liked Noise from the Basement...
2. Billy S.
3. Tangled Up in Me
4. I Don't Really Like You
5. I Don't Care
6. Heart of Glass
8. It Sucks
9. Fallen Through
12. Shot to Pieces
13. Smoke & Mirrors
14. [Untitled Track]