DEVIN, SOILWORK, AND SONGS THAT SOUND THE SAME (TO CRAZY PEOPLE)
I get bummed out when a girl breaks up with me, but it’s kinda fun in a way, right? I just love that moment in the End of Relationship talk when the break-upper can no longer resist loudly listing my faults. Sure, most girls will attempt to execute the break-up humanely ,without telling me the reasons in explicit terms. But if needled, coerced, and (if all else fails) brow-beaten, any departing ladyfriend will be happy to smash through that veneer of kindness and read me the fucking riot act.
This is when I’m in my element, ’cause it’s hilarious to hear the exact same shit every time, like Groundhog Day or W.A.S.P. albums. The first complaint, accompanied by a chuckle, is usually a variation of “Dude, you’re quite stupid. Seriously.” The next is delivered with a bit of sensitivity, lest I lash out in denial: “Anso, you display persistent symptoms of [insert mental illness here]. Get help.” Then, in most cases, we move on to my more tangible failings: the pervasive vulgarity, the sociopath’s disregard for human life and rights of property, drugs, NBA mania, manipulation, hair rock fandom, paranoia, spitting, reckless driving, cheapness, violent sleepwalking, and everything else.
I’ve found that it makes a fun game to shout out the complaints as she’s saying them, followed by a “JINX! You owe me a Coke!” Sometimes, I can even harmonize if she and I agree in advance on a key. (Tip: Try Dm, the saddest of all keys.)
Now, sure, it sucks that someone whom I hardly tolerate (and often downright loathe) wants to part ways with me. And you lady-lovers know that nothing is more heartbreaking than saying goodbye to a nice set of knockers. But the Listing of the Grievances part is fun anyway, mostly because I’m usually high enough to accept my faults as an awful human being. In fact, I fucking love my faults.
See, if it weren’t for my dimness, my mind probably wouldn’t set itself racing and chattering all the time in an attempt to grasp the significant truths about my world. That’s A. And B., if I weren’t a crazy person, not only would life be boring, but I wouldn’t need to constantly listen to music to drown out the arguing voices in my head. (Sometimes I need to listen to music to drown out the other music cycling through my subconscious; the intro to “Paradise City” has been in there since Desert Storm.)
So because I listen to/am haunted by a lot of music, I’m constantly hearing similarities in songs by disparate artists. For example, I can’t be the only one to note that Lady Gaga’s first two singles each borrows from a hair rock song (“Poke Her Face” lifts a phrase from MSG’s “Anytime”; verses in “Just Dance” and BulletBoys’ “Say Your Prayers” share a motif and could be seamlessly mashed-up).
Those might be pure coincidence. But what about Metallica, whose outro harmony riff in “Fade To Black” (at 5:05) perfectly resembles the bridge to Heart’s “Barracuda” (at 2:04)? Let’s chalk this one up to subliminal influence, as “Barracuda” was rightly a huge hit, probably heard hundreds of times by Hetfield et al. In fact, Heart comes into this discussion again with “What About Love”, elements of which were echoed by Sammy Hagar’s “Give To Live” two years later. That’s no shocker, as “Love” was written by pro songwriters (Jim Vallance FTW) and it’s reasonable to guess that “Live” got some help too, though it’s credited solely to Hagar. (Two more eminently mash-upable tunes. Somebody get on that.)
That brings us to last week, when I beamed with nutjob pride when reading the comments on a YouTube posting of Devin Townsend’s “Supercrush!” (above left) in which a some observant/batty person wrote about the song’s similarity to the magnificent closer to Soilwork’s Figure Number Five, “Downfall 24” (above right). Townsend and Soilwork often share a producer (Townsend) and are awesome, so coincidence or not, it’s benevolent. And it’s not the first time; on the Townsend-produced “Natural Born Chaos” (the song), you’ll notice that the bridge’s second and fourth lines (“Building up a fate all your own” and “Never seem to care while they’re watching you,” respectively) kinda approximate a melody from Townsend’s own “Dynamics” (the loud part’s verses, from 1:32 on). The similarity is elusive but it’s totally there! Or maybe I’m just crazy.