I feel so Brokencyde

They say there’s nothing new under the sun and in the normal walks of life and art, it’s true. But in certain cases it falls apart as little more than a flimsy, laughable tautology.

There’s nothing new about art that’s so bad it invokes a combination of rage and laughter. The moral terror that accompanies the mental justification for forced sterilization camps set up specifically for fans of this music – is not special. The self evident fact that somebody spent money promoting this and the heinousness of such a cynical exploitation of those so unfortunate to be totally unendowed with any sense or taste, that’s happened before. The comparisons to Hitler that inevitably follow are also of little consequence. So if I tell you that what has been found is something new and special, I want to impress that I don’t mean something that’s just bad in any conventional way.

Well, this is new. This is special.

For this to have been done before, in the Renaissance there would have had to have been someone running around stealing the worst statues he could find, smashing them into little pieces, throwing the pieces into a bucket full of tar and trying to sell the hardened lump as art. And this couldn’t have been some postmodernist statement about how beauty sucks, it would have to have been an honest attempt at making a statue. And people would have had to like it. I feel completely justified in saying the world has not seen the likes of this before.


“Mankind’s ability to outfail itself boggles the mind” – Some genius on Vimeo.

The problem should be obvious. Freaxxx by Brokencyde is a laundry list of everything wrong with music, where every component could ruin a song on its own, and the failure is as deep as it is widespread. What’s interesting is that the idea of a song that does everything wrong isn’t new. In the late 90s a scientific project was undertaken by scientists Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid, along with composer David Soldier to do exactly that.

Hundreds were surveyed to find out which instruments, themes, styles, singers, lengths of songs and anything else are most and least wanted in music. They found people don’t like opera, rap, bagpipes, banjos, jingles, songs about cowboys, holidays and patriotism, children’s choirs, and that the optimum length for a song is about a few minutes, so David Soldier set to work. What was created is a twenty-five minute song that incorporates all of this and more. It’s called “Most Unwanted Song”, and it is wonderful.

Most Unwanted Song (lyrics)

 

I think there are a number of crucial differences between these two works.

  • Brokencyde is not competent. Brokencyde combines everything bad about music incompetently, while David Soldier combines the most disliked parts of music extremely competently. There’s a difference between bad kinds of music and disliked kinds of music. In the survey nobody mentioned the sound of pots and pans falling down a flight of stairs, despite that one would think people would find such a noise more objectionable than bagpipes. The pots and pans could have easily ended up in Brokencyde’s effort, and probably would have if any musician in the last ten years had successfully employed them.
  • If Brokencyde were competent it would still be offensive. Aside from every aspect of this song being annoying in a juvenile way, it incorporates high school “my differentness saddens me while my sadness differentiates me – it’s a vicious cycle” whining with “acquisition of bitches via unmeasured application of bling” materialism and misogyny. Even if you aren’t offended by either of these constituent parts, you must be offended by the combination. I consider this a sentience test.
  • The failure extends much further than the music. Brokencyde’s lead singer has named himself Se7en. I guess he liked the movie. Another band member’s name is Antz. I think he’s the drummer or something. Anyway that’s cool, I like cartoons myself. Bitches, like the shirt says, do indeed get stitches. I counted at least three different times in the video when the screaming kid seems to choke on it. The video was clearly produced by other people, but it seems the failure spilled over and twisted that into its own inexplicable combination of terrible ideas as well.
  • Brokencyde contains no opera-rap about cowboys. Do all your shopping at Wal*Mart.

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Comments

  1. Haha, I had a post planned on them and this song myself. Now I think it is even more relevant and I can use your post as a jumping point and not have to cover the basics of what you say, which I agree with. I think I’ll put it at the top of my queue and do it tonight.

  2. Nice, I’m looking forward to that! Although you know, I almost feel as though we’ve been trolled.

    “Quality is the result of good choices from many alternatives”. Well, I would be hard pressed to think of a way to make this song more offensive. That means that either Brokencyde is extremely unlucky, or they’re intentionally picking the worst choice from many alternatives.

    Could it be that Brokencyde is a cynical experiment by some music industry tycoons, as a way of putting out feelers to see how deep the quality hole goes? Might we be witnessing an attempt to create the successor to boy bands?

  3. My god. Try playing the Brokencyde video with the audio off, and queue up the worst song in the world at the ~2 min mark when the accordian rap-opera starts. The cacophony and walmart jingle sync up perfectly, like Oz and Dark Side of the Moon.

    So beautiful…They should have sent a poet.

  4. God – spare me the hate spewing “critics”! This music is not about listening to seasoned professional musicians. It’s about these young guys who put sounds together with a keyboard and computer and came up with something cool. It’s about dance beats, trash talking and having a good time. It’s raunchy, sexual, I’m sure it’s making parents toes curl around the world, and it’s leaving people like you scratching your head saying “wtf?”. Sounds to me like a recipe for success. The next generation is ready to embrace “their” shocker. Posts like this only helps to solidify that perception.

    The video obviously sucked. What to you expect from a zero budget production put together by students? I don’t think anyone’s claiming it to be “MTV worthy”. It was done for the experience, for the fans, and frankly, just for the hell of it.

  5. hey if you guys don’t like their music don’t listen to it…and don’t sit here saying it’s terrible just because YOU don’t like it…a lot of other people love their music, it may be offensive but at least it’s better than country music

  6. @Fizz: You’re clearly their publicist, and this is a tough economic climate to be looking for a new job. You have my condolences, but I still gotta hold firm that all self proclaimed Brokencyde fans should be herded into forced sterilization camps.

    @Marina: Sadly it appears that includes you. You may think it’s a human rights violation, but some small percentage of abortions fail and it wouldn’t be right to force my kids to share a classroom with the mangled brain damaged syphilis ridden result because someone’s long-gone daddy is just too crunk for condoms.

    @Pizzles: I didn’t say it was terrible because I didn’t like it, I said it was terrible because it’s terrible. It’s less of a judgment call and more of a sentience test, so it’s off to camp for you as well.

  7. at least it’s better than country music
    -Pizzles

    …I don’t think you understand the concept of ‘better’.

    Or music.

  8. Wow – I’m flattered that you think I’ve got what it takes to be a publicist! At least you have a sense of humor I guess. But, you’re right about one thing – I do have an invested interest in the band, seeing as I’m Phat J’s mom. ;}

  9. Oh- I’m so sorry Mrs. J.

    :D

    Anyway you’re right of course, these sorts of rants won’t do anything but help the band, but they’re fun to write anyway to practice my screedwriting and hopefully entertain some people, none of whom would include your son’s likely fan base.

    Anyway, tell Phat J I said best of luck with the band.

  10. No you don’t, Danica. Let me explain why you don’t like Brokencyde.

    Watch that video. In the beginning of that song the song is about how cool they are, how girls are impressed with ostentatious displays of wealth, just general women as property sort of stuff.

    Now you might be thinking that I’m saying, “you as a girl can’t like the idea of women as property”. I’m not. I don’t care. You can choose to be a piece of property all you like, and it won’t bother me in the slightest.

    But here’s the thing. Halfway through the song, they switch gears and turn into whining self pitying crybabies. See that? Self aggrandizing, bragging, acting tough, then breaking down into a slobbering mess feeling sorry for themselves for what those meeaaann girls did to them.

    It’s just absolutely pathetic. It’s the whiny version of the pattern of an abusive spouse, and no you don’t like it so stop lying to everyone please.

  11. Honestly we all get such a kick out of reading these! And as a somewhat sane adult – I mostly agree ha. I think the best one I read said, “We should drag them over to the keyboard, smack their noses and say no, no, NO! We had a good laugh around the dinner table at that one. But, you know how it goes – if “we” liked it – it would no longer be cool.

    btw, splendid artwork~*

  12. woah, dude. I think you just need to chill. Music is what it is, just like everything else in life. Just accept the music as it is. You don’t have to listen to it, and you dont have to let your kids listen to it ( i dont know how old you are ) so what’s the problem. Things are bad, times are bad. Just listening to music, helps people get through hardships. I think you should just let it be.

  13. Fizz: Thanks a lot, glad you like it. Yeah, I know the feeling of enjoying bad reviews of something you were a part of. I’ve worked on some things that weren’t terribly well received (universally panned). Thanks for taking this stuff with a sense of humor :D

    Jessy: I need to chill you rat bastard son of a bitch? Maybe you need more irrational disproportionate rage. And just maybe misplaced venomous hatred gets people through hard times too, ever think of that? God you make me so angry I can’t even think of anything to pretend to be angry about.

  14. A British fellow once said to me that he thought it was tragic that us Americans didn’t have any concept of irony.

    I didn’t quite understand what he was getting at. I’m pretty sure it’s our main export.

  15. I’m the front-of-house manager at a venue hosting this lot in the UK in a fortnight. Tickets sold so far? 10. As someone that sees around a dozen live acts a week, I can honestly say that this ‘music’ is the crassest, most ham-fisted conglomeration of incompatible conveyor belt pop cliches that I have ever encountered. It really is quite impressive in perverse kind of way. I look forward to seeing them bomb horrendously!

  16. this ‘music’ is the crassest, most ham-fisted conglomeration of incompatible conveyor belt pop cliches

    Nicely done. Once again we’re reminded that we only rent the language.

    Also afterward, please do check back to give us your impressions of the show :D

  17. Hahahaha you’re so stupid Jonas, sitting here wasting your time talking about how much you dont like this band. Get the fuck over it. Its not your band, its not like its taking over your life, so leave them alone. Their music is their music, and if some people enjoy it (like myself) then thats a plus. Dont tell me i dont, because i adore Brokencyde, and you with your long ass trippy intelligent words arent going to make me dislike them. Ill admit, that was not the best done video ever, but I’m sure they see more action than you, darling. At least theyre not sitting at their computer like you and me and all these other people pretending to have a life. Theyre out there doing what they love. So go join fucking mothersagainstbrokencyde.net you stupid fucking pussy and TRY to stop me and the rest of the fans from loving them. And for the record Rich, its not UK type music. This is american shit and it was really stupid of you to book them at a venue in the UK. They sell out like crazy here, so shove your “ham-fisted conglomeration of incompatible conveyor belt pop cliches” up your butt and learn to have some respect for people making music.

  18. Kristen, you’re boring the shit out of me so I’m just going to explain to you how trolling works.

    A contributor to a small, unknown blog writes a screed against an incredibly shitty musical group, mostly as an exercise in writing to see how harsh he can be. It turns out pretty funny (if I do say so myself), but then some monumentally insecure fans show up. The writer gets excited, and decides to get as much entertainment value out of them as possible.

    Something unexpected happens. The fans try to be reasonable. They offer arguments such as “just leave us alone”. The writer is left with only one choice: to play the raving nutcase.

    He is now inexorably on the path of the troll. Months later he will find that he’s a shell of his former self. Tears rolling down soft white cheeks sustain him. Their narcotic effect clouds his judgment and leaves him with an insatiable desire for more. His readers experience this vicariously, themselves cheering him on with a burning desire for blood.

    But no more. The bloodshed must stop. Kristen, I’m sorry for making fun of your favorite band. Run away while you can, you are now free.

  19. well i going to put my thoughts here because Brokencyde is my favorite Group to listen to, and well to be honest alot of my friends actually hate brokencyde but i mean Freaxx was the first song i heard by them and its what pretty much got me liking them. And i guess there music is so interesting is cuz you really cant find any other group like them. So ya Just had to say :D

  20. hmm interesting. im impressed by how much attention brokencyde collects from supposed haters! u all obviously have some kind of attraction toward the band to want to spend all day talking smack!i myself am a hip hop hardcore innovator i do music of my own that consist of screaming and rapping! Yes there choice of lyrics isnt ingenious, and could be quit disturbing to a lot of people! but thats been a musical tradition for years look at slip knot cannabal corpse,annotations of an autopsy they all use extremely profane language as well u just cant understand it at the time. basically im just saying give respect where its due. its a dream for those guys to be where they are!

  21. Ninja by Nature:

    If you aim low enough, failure is better than success. Just my 2 cents for anyone aspiring to be the next Brokencyde.

  22. Hey just came across this old thing on google and wanted to pop in and tell Jonas that i have a 30 day consultation period with Atlantic records!! And have been ranked #1 in 5 cities across the U.S shout out hahaha
    Love it

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