Wednesday, May 21, 2008
No. 496: Destroyer
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Wow, well. People like Kiss, right? I mean, they've sold tons of records and every time they tour, scores of makeup-covered morons push into the nearest stadium to proclaim their love of partying.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Bah.
Best song: "Detroit Rock City" is stupid, but fun.
Worst song: "Beth:" Worst song ever? I'd say maybe.
Is it awesome?: Not even close.
I haven't written extensively about my favorite current video game (only referencing it once), but I am an avid player of Rock Band. I love playing that game. I bought a Playstation 3 largely to play that game and that game only.
Anyway, there's a phenomenon in that game which I normally compare to Stockholm Syndrome. If you play Rock Band enough, you start to know -- backwards and forwards -- songs you wouldn't otherwise know or like. The game's soundtrack is extensive and there are tons of downloadable songs online. Nevertheless, in order to do well in the game, a player has to play a lot of goddamned songs the player doesn't like.
The game, for example, features songs by Molly Hatchet, the Killers, the Hives and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, all bands I wish would fall off the face of the earth. Still, I know those songs up and down because I've had to get the rhtymns down for playing the drums, the lyrics for singing and some semblance of the melody through playing the Rock Band guitar.
And so goes "Detroit Rock City," the first song from "Destroyer." It's a ridiculous song, written about a
Kiss fan who drank, drove and ended up dead after colliding with a truck in Michigan. It's based on a repetitive guitar riff and some wildly stupid lyrics, but I've come to know it as well as I know some of my favorite songs. know all the words. I can rock about a 90% on it
I like Pitchfork Media a fair amount -- I find myself defending it to friends and haters all too often -- but this review of "Destroyer" is an example of why people hate Pitchfork. Granted, it's an old review (and the site has moved away from this style of review recently), but the self-indulgent reference to a fictional "Troy" is stupid.
The rest of "Destroyer" is basically dung. "Beth," despite its popularity, is overwrought and dumb. "God of Thunder" is threatening in the same way an angry child is threatening; it's more cute than scary. "Flaming Youth" is awkward and stupid. "Shout It Out Loud" is clunky, due to some pretty mediocre singing.
Kiss is more of a phenomenon than a band. Their place in music history is important, but I'd hardly call their music great.