Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rye Coalition / Curses / Rating: 4.0

"It's the kind of record that makes you reconsider a band's back catalog just to figure out what went wrong."

Maybe I feel extra sensitive towards metal as a genre because growing up in NJ there was a lot of those bands in the 80’s and early 90’s representing the state and I don’t mean that in a good way. Stupid cock rock / hair metal was everywhere (who am I kidding, it still lives!) from Bon Jovi and Skid Row to high school talent show stages across the garden state and when you tell people your from New Jersey you already take the risk of being hit with all sorts of insults roughly disguised as comedy. Over the years these wise cracks have made me all the more protective and proud to be from my home state (NJ pride yo!) but then Rye Coalition had to make a God awful new record reliving some teenage wet dream of party metal and in turn make this NJ pride thing all the more difficult.

I can’t defend this record nor do I want to admit I have anything in common with this band and I am certain Teddy Leo or Yo La Tengo would agree. ( More NJ folks)

I curse Curses from its tar and feathered woman in heels cover art, to the mindless lyrics ( Ralph were you wearing spandex when you wrote these?) to the cookie cutter cock rock metal riffs and solos (Jon and Herb what the hell happened here?). This record is so terrible I almost believe that it has to be a joke and this is coming from not only an old friend of the band but a once label mate. I have known this band since their inception, played shows with them, and bowed down to them in the early – mid 90’s when they sounded more like Rites of Spring than a modern ode to Diamond Dave.

Rye - the second generation is shameful; like lose any rock cred they have ever had bad or lose IQ points while listening to it embarrassing. I want to pull each member into a room and ask them separately “who did this to you?” Was it the pressure of being on a major label for a hot second? Was it the Jersey City water? Did that Dave Grohl guy make you perform like that?

The PFM review offers a different set of punches but the feelings are still mutual. If you are a grown up who doesn’t find AC/DC style school boy shorts a little creepy or considers Wayne & Garth personal heroes or loves Kiss without their make up, or have this need to collect all that relates to Dave Grohl who not only produced Curses but plays all over it and is the star of the companion DVD, then this glam without the glitz flashback will be a pleasant one.

For the rest of us not trapped in a teenage boy’s body I suggest your time be wasted elsewhere.

That reminds me, Curses comes with a DVD which PFM forgot to mention. It offers behind the scenes antics of recording with Mr. Grohl as well as some occasional live footage where the crowd looks as bored as I feel watching Rye’s home videos. I have to admit I laughed a few times but knowing these boys since they were young pups made their personality quarks captured on camera funny while my better half watched it with drooping eyes and asked “How much more of this do we have to watch?” The highlights of the DVD are clever beer bong techniques, the ultimate in Joisey accents, Grohl’s hair always looking perfect, and a brief appearance of an old school Dwarves “Fuck you up get high” pin but do you really want to witness the birth of a bad record?

No: I don’t care how much you like the Foo Fighters or Nirvana or once upon a time Rye.

Note to all bands: unless you are a member of your band, behind the scenes footage of band life really isn’t that interesting or funny tho including a really famous person with a shit ton of personality and good hair helps to make it a tad more tolerable.