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Life in Punk Style


1:55 is a weekly newsletter for Patreon Gatekeepers.

Damn we accidentally did a real punk song this week. But don’t worry, you freaks picked a perfect end to PUNK JUNE so it still feels like 155. We also did the punk thing and dropped some sick new merch this week - check the #merch channel on Discord for some Patreon-exclusive items. Finally, we’re taking a week off for the first time in new pod history - no episode July 1st to uh celebrate Canada Day? (Josiah’s note: there will still be something. I don’t have a job and I will be bored.)

Let’s go.

Hey Dad!!! “Life’s Alright”

This song feels like a pod riff where Josiah is roasting me for only liking songs about hanging out with friends (all night), grabbing beers, listening to the stereo, singing along, and feeling amazing. And you know what? I love those songs, so I love this song. But it’s not just the algorithmically-generated Fest Punk lyrics - melodically this reminds me more of the Creeps than any Gainesville go-tos, and the vocal production is so atypically spacey that the effect is less “pandering” than “knowing.” Or maybe I just wish I wrote that pre-chorus melody.

Josiah: So hold up… it’s 2021 and I’m about to listen to a band called Hey Dad!!! with three exclamation points who have made a song called “Life’s Alright” for a record label called Get Party! (exclamation point), and I’m doing it not because I necessarily have to but because I love Sammy and I love the pod? Ughhhhh. Okay I like the guitar lead. The drums sound like a complete disaster… something is not lining up, but that adds to the charm. The synth in the prechorus is nice, almost distracting me from the lyrics. This is like if AI wrote a Sam jam. God bless the guy, but I need to turn it off.

Genesis “Keep it Dark”

You’ve all been lying about Phil Collins-era Genesis this entire time. After hearing “No Reply at All” for the first time like two weeks ago and realizing it was basically a pop Adebisi Shank song with a Meatloaf coda I started to wonder how much of the Genesis narrative was just controlled by jealous haters. “Keep it Dark” comes from the same supposedly bad album, but instead of being bad, it’s the only song I’ve listened to for three days. It’s like a dorky “You Need Satan More Than He Needs You,” maybe my favourite Future of the Left song (or at the least the one I have played the loudest after the bar in my youth). Phil Collins: you are forgiven (by me).

Josiah: Is this the divide? It’s people who like Phil Collins Genesis that like fest punk called “Beeers Are Rockin!!!” and people who like Peter Gabriel Genesis who like other stuff? Maybe. Honestly I never listened to PC Genesis because I was raised in a strictly PG household. My dad and his sister were big-time prog heads growing up and were extremely anti-Phil. This song is kinda cool tho tbh. There’s some nice interplay between the synth and drums, but the result feels like you’re chillin’ on a yacht with a bunch of bald guys rather than playing D&D with a bunch of pimply boys. Maybe I have room for both Geneses.

The Killers ft. Bruce Springsteen “Dustland”

One of the funniest things that has happened in recent pop culture is that the much more wienery former Fun. member Jack Antonoff released another version of that song he keeps writing but, pulling some Jersey strings, managed to finagle a Bruce Springsteen guest spot, and the song was so instantly forgettable that it just existed on Stereogum for a day and vanished into the ether. Rather than blow their shot, the Killers have absolutely stepped up to the motherfucking plate with their BS collab. “Dustland” is a remake of the band’s underrated heartstring tugger “A Dustland Fairytale,” and their new version is so good without Bruce but then it gets absolutely transcendent when he starts grunting and sputtering. “White trash,” “Cinderella,” “the devil,” “American prince,” “a blue jean serenade” — hell yes, the Killers’ Americana madlibs are in full effect, and then Bruce sings “saw Cinderella in a party dress” and you just start tearing up. This is so sick. Brandon Flowers I love you.

Sam: Big lol @ "much more wienery" instead of just "wienery." Poor Nate. I didn't even read about that Jack 'off / Boss collab and I remain something of a Jack apologist, so that can't be good. This song didn't initially grab me, which was something of a reminder of why I never have dipped a toe into a full Killers album. Then Bruce starts doing his "impression of Bruce Springsteen" thing which is... starting to grate on me, especially after the Western Stars doc that is basically just a car commercial. I started warming up to kill my gods. And then the song turns up and I realized that I just might always be wrong about everything forever. 

Jonny Dylan Hughes “Necessary Ending”

I was worried that I’d have to start reading music blogs again to find things to put in this stupid news letter, but luckily my brothers Jonny (and Brandon and Bruce) came through with the heat. Jonny hasn’t made an actual album of solo music in 10 years, when he released We’re Going to Make It (although my personal favourite of his is Arms Leg Feet, which is like Julie Doiron-esque electronic music). But the boy’s back with a new album called Set Your Aim, which will arrive later this year. Until then, he’s shared this suave dance pop tune “Necessary Ending,” which is a pulsing piece of R&B that hits just right. I can’t wait to only listen to music made by my direct family (which includes all of you, dear readers).

Sam: Going to need a Hughes Power Ranking soon. Between the the brothers and the wife, I'm done joking that I may have hitched my wagon to the wrong member of the family and am now genuinely concerned. Although I'm not sure any of them would put up with me insisting they listen to bands called "Hey Dad!!!" every week. Life is about balance. I'd also love to accuse Josiah of doing nepotism, even as a joke, but the joke would be on me because holy shit this is so good. It's laidback and propulsive in equal measure, and I love the sooooouuuunds. Weird enough to warrant returning to, pop enough to appeal to the part of my brain that thinks Phil Collins is the better Genesis frontman.

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