Honestly, it’s 2017. Honestly, why am I writing this, if not to savagely take-down another mediocre band? Honestly, why do people still drink sav blanc? And honestly, would I be reviewing Sex Beard if I had not seen their poster around town? The answer is: probably not!
First we need to talk about placing your entire EP on youtube, though. Listen, why not place the EP in seperate tracks on youtube? Nobody wants to listen to an entire 15 minute and 28 seconds ep in its entirety if they don’t know the band — like maybe I’ll listen to Faust as a single video on youtube, but Sexbeard are not Faust. Listen, there’s this thing called bandcamp, and you can put all your tracks on there. Or soundcloud, or whatever. I know I can click around to links in the video description but it’s hardly sane or user-friendly — I mean, do you want DA KIDZ saying “shit son, did you hear 12.58 from Fingerbang?”. JUST GET A BANDCAMP ALREADY.
Anyway: I saw a poster for Sex Beard and thought it’s probably the worst band name ever, like some weird bro-ish throwback to a forgotten rasta ska noise band or whatever. I did not go to see Sex Beard. I probably watched RuPaul’s Drag Race, tbh. I was interested enough to google them, though, and eventually find their irritatingly awkward EP on youtube. The EP is titled Fingerbang, which is also a stupid bro-ish dumb macho disease kind of name. Outta Nowhere starts with a ‘yeah! yeah! yeah!’ like a Playstation One soundtrack straight outta 1999 — think Gran Turismo , though listening to Ash I understand why I fell for Sonic Youth as hard as I did. I’ve given up italicising things now, by the way. My grandfather was the first person I knew to buy a Playstation, and he only had two or three games for it. I would sit in his workshop and play GT, mostly for the soundtrack, and also for changing the paint colour of my car. I suck at racing games. Anyway, the sense I’m trying to convey is that Outta Nowhere has this kind of hardcore! rock and roll! real punk! kind of sense to it except I can hear the reverb on the ‘yeah yeah yeah yeah!’, the pristinely recorded ‘yeahs’, the overcareful mixing (the drums murmur around in the background, sloshing around here and there), the corny lyrics (‘step into space with a distant gaze’?*), the forceful interjection of ‘c’mon fuck yeah!’ just to assert Sexbeards Real Rock and Roll (TM) credentials.
This could all be forgiven if the corniness was carried to the nth degree. ‘Wild America’ is also corny as hell – the riff is about as menacing as spaghetti on pizza and it’s almost as if Iggy Pop is competing in a Iggy Pop cover competition at a second rate bar only notable for cheap beer and useable toilets. But it’s so dumb and ridiculous it works. Here, the vocalist’s put-on accent is about as compelling as watching Suzanne Paul plant grass-seed — the purpose of the vocal seems confused. Is it just a bleak display of machismo? The guitar riff almost works, but sometimes verges on too many chords, as if the riff is in danger of gaining a PHD. But it’s kind of good — it’s a bit like Denver the last Dinosaur.
But whatever — the vocals are so unfortunate (dude, we’re not in America, and not in Linkin Park, either) and the whole song feels a bit too self-serious true rocknroll accession.
*Sexbeard, if you’re reading this, plz feel free to correct me on the lyrics if I misheard.