Sarcasm - How to Lose Your Mind (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


How to Lose Your Mind (2005)


I often find that among comedians, TV shows, and movies that I enjoy, sarcasm is really one of the most effective forms of comedy, and makes for a lot of the best punch lines. Most think of sarcasm as a negative connotation, yet I use it on a daily basis, in whatever situation I think calls for it. Sure, it's rude, but it's the people that are offended by it that usually deserve that level of offense. However, I don't recall the word sarcasm ever attaining as negative of a connotation as what I'm giving it for Long Island's own pop-rock band with the same name.

If you've heard Story of the Year, Taking Back Sunday, Hidden in Plain View, or any of their myriad of contemporaries, then it's pretty likely you've already heard the same hooks, same chord progressions, and same lyrics that appear on this self-titled EP. There are absolutely no new elements to be found on this EP; every chord, lyric, and harmony has been recycled at least 3 times before it ever appeared in this band's repertoire. It seems they can't even deviate the song structures between 5 songs on an EP; how are they going to fill an entire full-length? After about 10 minutes, every chord just molds together, making every song sound nearly identical to the one before it.

Just for some perspective, I listened to this EP for what seemed like forever, when in fact only two songs had finished. It's only 15 minutes long, yet it seemed that even two songs were twice that length. Every cliché you could ever want to hear is present, and in spades. The cutting out for a spoken part, the repetitious chorus that completely dwarfs the rest of the song in length, the repetition of one lyric ad nauseam... "I don't care if I'm making a scene." Does that line sound familiar to anyone? I bet it does to Taking Back Sunday, whose lyric "I never made a scene" appears in the song "The Union." Though, in their defense, they're probably better off plagiarizing than penning their own lyrics. In fact, they're probably better recreating Taking Back Sunday's harmonies as well, because their own completely lack execution. The press sheet promises three-part harmonies, yet I hear only a lead singer and very weak female backing vocals every once in a while.

This bastardization of clichés and recreations should have been shelved far before it left them. There's nothing wrong with being original, adventurous, or hell, even creative, but these guys missed that boat, and were probably in the wrong harbor to begin with.