Something IS Definitely Wrong

[rating:3/10]

I usually shy away from reviewing stuff that I find to suck, but I decided to write about El Destructo despite the fact that their album Something is Definately Wrong sounds like some of the shitty pre-teen bands I listened to at basement punk shows in North Jersey. To be clear, I am speaking of the bands that lasted for a few months and inevitably tried to be like Henry Rollins but wound up just producing barely listenable drool and filling in empty slots between the good punk bands in the scene, of which there were many.

I’d like to begin by noting that if the band reads this, they are assuming a few things… they are likely first assuming that because I am a Christian I must take exception to their lyrics as insulting to my faith… next, they are probably discounting me as some pop-punk wannabe who doesn’t know what “real punk” is… and finally, it is safe to say that they’d dismiss my review because Bam Margera likes them and he is cooler than me.

First, I am a Believer. I prefer this term to Christian, but, yes, you can call me a Christian. That said, I don’t dismiss art just because it’s not what I believe. I think Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails have put out some amazing industrial songs that I enjoy despite messages that are very against some of what I believe. I am a huge Bad Religion fan despite their attacks on religion in their earlier work, same can be said about my opinions on bands like NoFX, Propaghandi, and to a certain extent The Vandals (their Christmas album is about as blasphemous as anything I’ve ever heard). It’s fair to say that I don’t shy away from anti-Christian art, in fact I am at times drawn to it, as my faith in the religion and religious people is far less than even many of the people putting forth this music. My faith is Jesus is in tact, but I can still respect good art that doesn’t agree with my perspective.

Second, I do like a variety of music, but by no means am I a poseur of some sort. From the age or 12 I have been listening to various music that would be classified as punk. Social Distortion ranks among my favorite bands of all-time and members of the New York Dolls have been on record calling them the greatest punk band of all-time. Not convinced? I’ve gone to see The Damned, own the first Clash album on vinyl, and can recite nearly any lyric by Minor Threat. Not punk enough for you? Too poppy? Well, besides Minor Threat, I’ve listened to and enjoyed on quite numerous occasions Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, The Misfits, and many bands in the scene in the 90’s that never really hit the national scene. So, if you still want to say I am not punk enough for you, that’s fine, but it’s obviously a weak argument.

Third, while Bam seems like a fun and interesting dude, some of his musical tastes just plain suck. For every awesome band he pimps on his MTV shows, like Tubronegro or Gwar, there’s an equally mediocre or crappy band that he’s nuts about, like HIM and…well, El Destructo.

Now, before I continue ripping this album, I’ll pause to note that I want to be on their side for a few reasons. To being with, I always want to show love to Philly area bands when I can. To build on that, their influences are easy to spot and they do a good job of channeling those influences to a certain extent (can’t deny hearing HR’s style in the vocals at times, the infusion of industrial influences, a Mojo Nixon type feel here and there, and a love for old school punk and Oi!). Overall, the music, while not entirely impressive, isn’t horrible. Not to mention, their publicity company has turned me on to quite a few solid acts. These factors can’t outweigh the factors that make this a tough album to enjoy, however.

It’s hard to believe that a band that was founded in 1993 can sound this immature and unfocused. The music isn’t bad, as noted above, but lacks anything resembling decent production or the tightness of a band that includes well-traversed musicians. The lyrics are juvenile. Rather than finding a creative way to rail against what they disagree with in society, the lyrics seem to be written by a 15 year who just discovered punk and just wants to flip the bird at anything resembling government or organized religion. Lyrically flipping off social structures is what punk rock is all about, I just tend to prefer when a band can come up with lyrics better than, “It motherfucking doesn’t mean shit to me”. Even the 15 year old version of myself would have been unimpressed.

Overall, I find little to be redeeming about this release. The artwork is decent, tattoo flash style artwork as seen above, and, aside from the shout outs to neo-Nazis in the linear notes and the small swastika on the cover, the overall feel of the artwork is pretty cool. This and their publicity firm are probably the only reasons to give this CD a chance. But, if I were you, I wouldn’t bother.

~ by thepaintedman on January 7, 2010.

3 Responses to “Something IS Definitely Wrong”

  1. poser.

  2. Hey, the CD is all yours is you want it Mr. “I once was hardcore but now I only listen to bluegrass and country”…

  3. Hahaha…. that put me in an awesome mood.

    Although… country and bluegrass are not the only thing I listen to, but yeah, I’m an old man now in my music listening. And I play in a hardcore band… so that gives me like a few extra scene points I think. Although its a Christian hardcore band, so it probably is actually negative scene points. Crap.

    I would be interested in listening to the album though… there is still a part of my heart dedicated to listening to crappy punk… especially since I used to play and listen to it all the time.

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