#songoftheday / #amlistening = BAR BRUTAL BAND: “SPECIAL TERMS” DEMO
review by Michael McCarthy, publisher/editor
It could be another two weeks before I’m back to posting things regularly here on Love is Pop again due to the fact that I’m having major surgery on Friday, the 22nd of November. However, one of my favorite experimental acts, Bar Brutal Band, has just released a spot on new single, albeit in demo form, called “Special Terms,” which I simply had to share with you. It’s just too good for me not to.
Normally, the band’s lyrics are somewhat humorous, and there’s a little of that here, but for the most part this song is a social commentary that reminds me of the writing of my favorite authors, Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, Less than Zero) and Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke). With a dash of Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto) thrown in for good measure.
I love the style of the spoken word vocals on “Special Terms” as much as the lyrics themselves. They sound like a pretentious political leader — like a certain president right now — rambling off bits of nonsense that they are self-serving enough to believe people will actually buy into. And which, of course, they’re delusional enough about to actually believe themselves.
Musically, the song reminds me of old school techno from the early ’90s and I’m still fond of that stuff. In fact, I just dusted off an old Technomancer CD the other day; I find those repetitious bursts of bass, clearly intended to put you in a trance, exhilarating. And I have no doubt that the music on this track is intended to similarly hypnotize you, largely for the purpose of making you get properly sucked in so you’ll pay attention to the lyrics. Unlike the Technomancer CDs, however, “Special Terms” has layers and layers of beats and assorted electronic sounds, giving you a bit more gum to chew on.
Lately, the term indietronica is being thrown around as a new subgenre distinction. Since Bar Brutal Band is an indie band and this song could easily be considered electronica, perhaps that’s the shoe that fits best. In any case, you’ll want to wear it regardless of what size you find it to be.
As a bonus, here’s another new demo from the band, this one called “I’m Bored,” which is kind of like an electronic act covering an Iggy Pop song both in terms of the words and its punk edge. Enjoy!
An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.