3OH!3 – Want
Record Label: Photo Finish Records
Release Date: July 8, 2008
Back when my brother was in high school and still in shape, he used to insist on walking around the house shirtless. Eating dinner: shirtless. Watching television: shirtless. Entertaining grandparents and various law firm partners: shirtless. Naturally, this drove my mother absolutely bonkers. She would decry his bare chest as a sign of the apocalypse, but he would stubbornly rip off his Texas Tech Red Raiders wifebeater as soon as possible each day. I could never do this because, quite embarrassingly, my chest actually indents due to a lack of any muscular development. I digress, though, as the true purpose of this is a particular occasion in which my endearing and all-knowing mother set out to teach my brother a lesson. One seemingly normal night at the dinner table we all sat down and dug in. My father, in a move never seen before, stops eating. He's laughing. He’s laughing so hard I think his mustache might fall off. We follow his gaze only to find my mother in an old lady silk bra. Her new rule was simple: if he could do it, she could do it. I haven't seen him unclothed since.
Parenting is a hard and fickle thing to master. But alas, I digress again (and again and again). Seeing my mother essentially hanging out in all her glory had me, a veritable chatterbox of nonsense, speechless. I didn’t sleep for weeks. I didn’t think I would ever feel normal again. After thousands of dollars of therapy with a certain Dr. Ronstadt, things started to look up. I went to high school. I started listening to emo. I looked at lots of porn. You know, man stuff. Then, just recently, I heard 3OH!3’s album Want. Everything I had worked so hard for was gone in a flash. I’m typing this in the fetal position. My ears have self-imposed claw marks. I will never look at a moog, synthesizer or hipster in a New Era cap the same way again. Want is going to be a bitch to repress.
It’s not that I can’t appreciate the tongue-in-cheek ridiculousness of Want. What I can't/won’t forgive is the constant fuzzy-fart beats. “I’m Not Your Boyfriend, Baby” and “Chokechain” throw in some interesting soundbites and electronic doo-dadding (like the latter’s middle eastern vibe), but each bass pound sounds more and more like a dirty bowel movement with every passing moment. Another point of contention comes in the screamy nature of Sean Foreman and Nathanial Motte’s vocals. “I Can’t Do It Alone” feigns at intelligence, but there is just far too much hasty yelling.
Still, overlooking obvious production touch-ups and magic button pushing, these guys can, umm, sing. They just choose not to. “Still Around” sounds completely out of place on Want as it downplays the hip-hop suburbia vibe for one of electro-emo angst (much like Forever The Sickest Kids’ “Coffee Break”). And hey, the song actually sounds good. Don’t pay attention to the lyrics, though. They’ll make your head explode. (“Go ahead and burn it down / I’m drunk and so is everyone else / In this devil town / They won’t let me turn around / To get one last look at my baby / While she’s still around”.) Maybe they’ll make some radio money off this song.
3OH!3 is learning, slowly. “Richman” showcases vocal distortions and quite the nifty horn beat; the vocals sound more like Gym Class Heroes than a Saosin breakdown. It’s a nifty jab at the gangster rags-to-riches ideology, but this sort of buried sarcasm happens much too infrequently. "Colorado Sunrise" revels in diversity with acoustic guitars, pianos and buzzing electronics. Its take on house DJ-style beats will have awkward kids everywhere playing with glowsticks. There's hope buried beneath Want. A bit of tweaking and some self-editing would really help these dudes achieve their dream of parody-ridden bliss. But until then, stay far far away.
Recommended If You Like: The Chronicle Brothers, Team Goldie, belligerence, Millionaires, stories that would make Oedipus pee himself, Joe and Will ASK?
Very funny review but I disagree, I really enjoy this album man. Would've at least given it's a 6 on vocals. To each his own, the fact is that they're a fun band and trying to take them seriously will ruin them, embrace the hillariousness.