Suddenly, after just a few seconds of turning the So So Glos on your speakers, you want to run a red light or jump off a roof just to get that danger and potential disaster mixing up with all of your normal ingredients. It's important to note that this is not to be taken as a sudden impulse to kill oneself, just to do something very on edge, to throw your knobby elbows and wiggling hands up in the sky and just do something crazy. They make you want to get a good running start and just ride a bicycle down a steep bank of concrete stairs - or better yet, drive a car over them. They make you want to roll the windows down, jump the pavement and the ditch and just drive headlong into the forest, the tree limbs making havoc and pissing all over the car's exterior with sap and gunk, the branches sneaking into and slapping your unprepared face every couple seconds, the noise in the cab just rude and deafening. They makes you want to streak across the neighborhood wearing nothing but smears of war paint, throwing eggs at every goddamn car and window in sight.
The Brookyn band's music is as much about breaking glass in any way you can think of as it is about agitation or the gnawing thoughts about personal impermanence and indiscretions. It's about just bucking trends, feeling what you feel, ripping through the curtains, knocking through the paned glass windows and just falling out into another crunchy mess on the other side, seeing birds and stars and asterisks, but getting up and wobbly starting to run. It's a blustering, torrential downpouring of being worked up about all of the things that seem important at the time - and they may well still be seen as having been important decades later or they might seem like the cares and concerns of the younger you.
It's a crapshoot when it comes to those thoughts, but the So So Glos take all of that ennui and all of that desperation, that incessant poking and the abstractions and just stoke them further, turning them rabid. The interesting thing about everything rabid is that it didn't always act that way. It wasn't always so dangerous and disgusting. It used to be cute and wanted and adorably sweet, or close to it if we're talking dogs and rabbits. They were turned and so is the process that this band uses on their music, taking their everyday dilemmas and turning them into catastrophically larger than life dramatizations that may or may not be worth the breath to worry about. They've got conspiracy theories about New York City and yet they sorta worry, or get bent out of shape when people are heard saying that New York is dying. Maybe those are just the rich people they speak of, coming into the poor neighborhoods looking for something to eat.
These are the anthems for the minimum wagers or for the no wagers, looking to get crazy to - the fever that runs through them, the shared almost shouts and all of the other pieces are still shockingly melodic and intricate so it's not really like slumming it at all. They sing nostalgically about the days when they used to drink Old E (presumably when they were just teenagers) and talk about, "The similarities between animals and you and me, the KKK and the NYPD…and the FCC," and it sounds almost like love. It's love of the real thing and love of the chaos, all of it welcome.
*Essay originally published May 2009