November 07, 2005

Cars Can Be Blue "All The Stuff We Do"

Dressy Bessy meets Tenacious D. Tullycraft meets Adam Sandler. Beat Happening meets the Moldy Peaches. These are comparisons straight from Cars Can Be Blue's press kit, and they're all quite accurate. This boy/girl duo (Becky on guitar, Nate on drums, both on vocals--and they go by their first names) sounds a lot like your average twee band, but their lyrics sound like dialogue from South Park.

All the Stuff We Do opens with "I Like", an innocuous, typical tweepop love song. But like the Velvet Underground did before them with "Sunday Morning", they made this first track on their debut album as a parody of typical pop, and a deception to heighten the impact of the debauchery beyond.And this album has loads of debauchery! If you pretend not to be amused and/or offended by songs like "Abortion" and "Retarded Retard", you must be a poseur, trying to hard to seem like a jaded, seen-it-all hipster. We all know that inside, your mind is being blown by the Cars' flippant attitude towards the termination of fetuses.

Less controversial, but nonetheless funny, are other songs like "She Needs It" and "Dating Batman". "She Needs It" takes the motif of Pearl Jam's cover of "Last Kiss" and turns it into a ballad glorifying post-breakup friends-with-benefits relationships. "Dating Batman" is a breakup song about Becky going out with Batman and then breaking up with him after he comes home late at night smelling like bad guys. I mean, really smelling like bad guys. Also on this album is a rousing cover of the theme song from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I'd go into more detail about this album, but I don't want to ruin all the jokes for you, and much of the material on this album is just too graphic for a PG-rated publication like Mundane Sounds. Tweepop usually avoids references to sex, but the Cars have a few songs that contain graphic descriptions of sexual acts. If you're a college radio DJ, there's not much on this album that you'll be able to play on the air.

Of course, I love this album. I appreciate the twisted take on tweepop, and I'm highly amused at the audacity and level of offensiveness of the Cars' songs. But if you're the type of person who thinks that sexual humor is too juvenile, those who use expletives use them because their vocabulary is too limited and they don't know of any other way to get laughs, or that there is no way that abortions can be funny, you won't like this album. Just pretend that Cars Can Be Blue doesn't exist and don't censor them and suppress their art so those of us who aren't uptight can enjoy them. However, if you're a twee boy or girl who's tired of acting cute and innocent all the time, or you're just a fan of raunchy humor in general, this is your new favorite party album.

By the way, I apologize for the Velvet Underground comparison. That might have been too pretentious.

--Eric Wolf

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