Relient K - MMHMM
By Joannie Foney
I was so looking forward to hearing the
new Relient K album, MMHMM. According to the fawning reviews on
RK's website, the release of this album represents an event as anxiously
awaited as the second coming of Christ. Who are these fans so desperate
for this slick, overproduced release? Middle aged, out- of- touch record
executives and their prepubescent daughters?
One forgettable song after another pay
uninspired tribute to what's popular & conventional right now. Apparently
in the mind of RK, generic ballads, a token fast song, songs that start
fast then awkwardly labor to a halt & the inverse represent the key
to fame & fortune as rockers. If only the songs weren't so trite, uneven
& lopsided! Rather than releasing an album that defined the music of
a generation, they busied themselves with pouring out the sincerest form
of flattery on such legendary musical geniuses as Hoobastank, Switchfoot,
Sum- 41, Blink 182. Unfortunately, these reheated leftovers don't sound
very good or interesting. Imagine Switchfoot with power, Sum 41 without
speed, or Blink 182 without musical talent (snort, chuckle) and you
have a pretty good idea of how the entire album sounds. Add to this RK's
enviromusically conscious recycling of even their own songs ad infinitum
and this band emerges as a group of simpering wannabes clinging to the
bandwagon till their fingernails turn white.
RK's fan base claims they are pop punk.
I disagree that such an amusing oxymoron describes RK. Possibly this album
represents an attempt to craft a brand new musical niche, which I call
"hemo", or "heavem". This is a style too heavy to be emo, too emo to be
heavy. Since this is a brand new genre, attempting to clarify its boundaries
might be helpful for some. As far as I can tell, to belong to this new
genre, lyrics must be cliched and convoluted. Song titles must hint at
intelligence, but deliver the opposite. The singing on the off- the- shelf
ballads must adhere to either the uncertain, 'am I a leader or a follower'
style, or the 'dude practicing his scales' thing.
To sum up takes rephrasing one of RK's
many tedious tunes on this album, "Who I am Hate How You Sound". This is
an album chock full of songs bloated with hype & pretension, yet all
as bland, tasteless & non nutritious as white bread. The only song
which showed any promise or originality initially, "Life After Death and
Taxes" quickly degenerates into yet another sappy, pseudo ballad. Are these
guys too timid to rock, or is it just consistency which frightens them?
"Maintain Consciousness" isn't just a song, it's stern advice for listeners
of this drivel. There are many quality pop punk bands in the world, too
bad this isn't one of them.
K - MMHMM
The One I'm Waiting For
Be My Escape
High Of 75
I So Hate Consequences
The Only Thing Worse Than Beating A Dead
Horse Is Betting On One
My Girl's Ex-Boyfriend
More Than Useless
Which To Bury, Us Or The Hatchet
Let It All Out
Who I Am Hates Who I've Been
This Week The Trend
Life After Death & Taxes
When I Go Down
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