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Life in the Fatitaph Lane

1:55 is a weekly newsletter for Patreon Gatekeepers.

Sure, we accidentally picked a pretentious NOFX deep cut last week, but this week is an undeniable EpiFat-era hit. From getting endlessly bodied by enemy of the pod (Sam-specific) Yasi from Bandspain to an excellent new meme format, this month has already been exactly as stupid and fun as we hoped. Summer rocks.

Let’s go.

Sam Fender “Seventeen Going Under”

Sam: Is this really popular if you’re British? Sam Fender seems too conventionally hot and interested in putting his own marble-etched face on album covers to be making the best Springsteen worship songs of the last few years, but I’m learning to be less superficial because I’m ultimately a very good person. This is no “Will We Talk?” or “Dead Boys,” but what is. Sam Fender feels like what I always expect Killers album cuts to sound like, but for whatever reason (anti-Mormon bias) they just don’t connect with me the way this gorgeous English model does.

Josiah: I can’t even think of a joke to make about this because it just sounds like Mumford & Sons. It’s just literally Mumford & Sons for and by people who have strong opinions about Normal People. However, this lad’s name reminds me of a terrible meme I saw on Facebook this morning and didn’t save for the dump. There is a woman standing in front of a judge after being accused of hitting her husband with his own guitars. The judge asks “First offender?” and she replies “No, first a Gibson. Then a Fender.”

Spanish Love Songs “Phantom Limb”

Sam: I already know that Spanish Love Songs’ Brave Faces Everyone, which came out a month before the pandemic really took hold, will be the defining album of my experience during lockdown. Despite my own outrageous good fortune and privilege, I still took most of 2020 and 2021… pretty hard, and an unashamed rawness that might have otherwise turned me off in 2019 hit me like a ton of high school bricks instead. “Phantom Limb” comes from the same sessions, and while it’s obviously of a piece with the rest of the album, it works even more effectively as a coda to that moment. I look forward to becoming disaffected and disconnected again in 2022, but for now, long may overwrought midtempo emo lightly disguised as pop-punk reign.

Josiah: Guess I gotta hear all these Sam bands I’ve never heard before. For some reason Spanish Love Songs has been a band name that has made me want to avoid them at all costs. So I am a little surprised that this sounds like Ben Folds fronting Creed. However, the guy just sang “another fucking manifesto” and emoted the shit out of it and I got too embarrassed to keep listening without headphones on.

Weezer “Enter Sandman”

Now that I’m out of the clickbait game, I’m finding it almost impossible to stomach new music, new films, new takes about new music or films, old takes about old music or films, or basically any part of the timeline involving digesting and regurgitating culture as a take. But this week, everyone is being particularly annoying with their late-2000s Noisey takes about everything. (If your thoughts about Limp Bizkit’s Lollapalooza performance went anywhere beyond “that’s cool,” you need to calm down.) But the worst is that everyone constantly falls for the endless blackhole of “they suck since Pinkerton!” Weezer-posting. I know I talk a lot about Weezer and how they still rule, but this “Enter Sandman” cover is particularly sick. Honestly, Metallica is so corny and dad-ish that they are only perhaps one percent more metal than Weezer. Who gives a shit. They didn’t ruin the song, they made a cool version that references “Buddy Holly.” If you were a rich rockstar you would spend all of your time trying to get Phoebe Bridgers to return your calls or name-dropping Thee Oh Sees. Let Weezer rip it up. Who gives a shit.

Sam: I can’t believe how kind time has been to Weezer. Coming on the heels of Van Weezer, which I genuinely enjoyed, this is good stuff. The visualizer is some very Sam Shit, too. This is actually heavier than the actual Metallica version! And the “Buddy Holly” reference is delightful! Did people not like this? I’m now very curious what the rest of this tribute album is going to sound like? 

Tom Morello “Highway To Hell” (ft. Bruce Springsteen & Eddie Vedder)

Josiah: This AC/DC cover is the other weird crossover seemingly lab-designed to harness takes from “hot dog is a sandwich” ass posters, and admittedly it’s a lot funnier and more terrible. But there’s so much butt in this song that it goes full circle and becomes good again. Bruce Springsteen (who gets a lot of play in these newsletters for some reason) sounds like he’s struggling to excrete a log as he grunts out his verses before passing the mic to Eddie Vedder, who sounds like he has something to prove for some reason. Then Tom Morello does a hacky Tom Morello guitar solo that is neither Evil Empire cool nor Rage Against the Machine shreddy. But somehow, there’s a live-off-the-floor looseness to the whole thing that sounds a little more U2 Rattle & Hum than pure jock jam. And it’s ever-so secretly kind of sick.

Sam: Didn’t even think I needed to listen to this to shit on it conceptually but like Josiah said it actually is kind of sick (ever-so secretly)? Ever since the dissolution of Rage and rise of Audioslave it was incredibly obvious that Tom Morello sucks the most, and it’s dispiriting to see people (gen-xers, not full-on people I guess) I like continue to share his dogshit (inaccurate!) memes. And yet this seems like the exact dumb thing he should be doing now. Springsteen should know better, though?

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