Ignoring all their truly horrible songs which aren’t so much horrible but just weird and different, this is my least favourite Sludgeworth song. It’s a lot like yesterday’s song in that it is very boring and repetitive, without any effort for climax. It sounds like two parts lumped together, calling them verse and chorus, and playing them the requisite number of times to call it a song. “Two feet on the ground” is repeated too often, just as Wake Up says “Wake up” too often. Unlike Wake Up however, there is actually promise this song may go someplace special, the way it begins and the verse starts; the way Sludgeworth usually take their songs someplace special. It doesn’t. Oh well.
I think i’ve been misrepresenting things by holding Sludgeworth up to be one of the best ever yet most underated pop punk bands. By keeping them confined to the pop punk rubric. It’s the Screeching Weasel connection, and that they are indeed a pop punk band, but there is more going on here. I don’t mean their unfortunate funk punk side which is convenient enough to ignore. It’s the Naked Raygun and Chicago (city) in them. It’s not everything, only a minor part of their makeup, but it is there enough to be important and determining. It’s something that until recently i never factored in.
The likeliness of me ever posting a song from that other, less discussed, dating, cringeworthy side of Sludgeworth – the slap bass, wah-wah, bro-chorus, bad funk side – is very small. Unless something horrible happens. Seriously, what went on there? Why, when you are writing some of the best pop punk ever, and you’re clearly sensible, discriminating people, would you, if not for irony’s sake, choose this direction. I know it was the early 90′s, but still they should have known better.
They did know better. The proof is in their other songs. If i recommend Sludgeworth to people (and i do!) and they choose a song on the second side of the album as their introduction, i don’t want to be held responsible or cast in scorn for what they find there. It’s unfortunate, because the songs are still sometimes there, just hidden under misguided music decisions. No one ever do anything different.
Is the “one. two. one two three four!” and those little pauses that happen before the chords the second time it progresses around just an unavoidable, reflexive convention every pop punk band must incorporate into a certain percentage of their songs, or a calculated affectation to humour us. They do not need to be there, they sound forced and overdone, and you’d think Dan Shaefer would be above such mediocrity. But boy, when they come around, are they fist-pumpingly exciting. Yeah!
You should have been cool like me and bought this record for AU$5 from Clint Shortfuse and his layover distro. That’s all i’m good for – finding good records no one else wants for cheap. It’s the only measure of worth i register on, really. Hey hey!
That this band is all but forgotten about, or always seems on the verge of all but being forgotten about, is testament to the reward of being on the right record label, and, when finding yourself on the right record label, having your record remain in print. If there wasn’t the Screeching Weasel connection, Sludgeworth would fall into even further depths of neglect and unappreciation. No one would know. Myself included.
Only those Chicagoans singing along and carrying Dan Shaeffer off on their shoulders in that live video of them would know, keeping this secret as parochially and smugly guarded as they have every right to. Sludgeworth were one of the best punk, pop or otherwise, bands to have ever existed. That’s my opinion, and the opinion of near everyone who tries to pull them from the unknown. It’s also an objective opinion. It’s also an opinion that drives the going price of a used copy of Losers of the Year to US$50. You should have been cool like me and bought it from Beatdisc in Paramatta for AU$10.