Since I’m a night owl I can usually be found watching Late Night with Conan O’Brien every weeknight. I stick with the show all the way through, even through boring musical guests. But sometimes Conan puts me down with an artist that I probably wouldn’t have found out about otherwise, like in the case of Feist.
So when I saw Gym Class Heroes perform “Cupid’s Chokehold” a few weeks back, I was intrigued. The song was certainly catchy and the audience really seemed to dig the band. So, I put the group on my mental desk cluttered with scraps of paper.
Then while I was with a co-worker waiting for another co-worker so we could all go get sushi, he told me that I had to hear this group called Gym Class Heroes. The name rang no bells, because obviously my mental desk is so cluttered that their mental note got lost in the shuffle.
Anyway, I kind of respected this dude’s taste in music. We had the same general likes and dislikes, so I was willing to give it a show. Plus he was really into the band, so I figured it was worth checking out.
The third co-worker took longer than anticipated, so I got to hear the majority of the album. I wasn’t feeling it. And when we finally got to “Cupid’s Chokehold”, it trigged the “hey, you were supposed to look into this” button in my head. Sadly it was overruled by the “I’ve heard the majority of the album and I’m way nonplussed” lever.
Well, to make matters worse, two other co-workers that I hang with caught the Gym Class Heroes bug, and while I love them to bits, their tastes run much more along the lines of the Billboard Awards than the Grammys (which aren’t even that great.) Basically, these are people who will buy this album and maybe the next one, but won’t track down previous releases. They aren’t true fans.
And it’s hard to pinpoint why I don’t dig Gym Class Heroes. First off I guess it’s my bias against rap-rock. Sure, the MC has clever rhymes, but there’s no denying that it’s a genre blending mess. I guess it’s just that it’s got the worst of both worlds. Well maybe not the worst, but it doesn’t have enough of either. They’ve got rhymes that don’t impress and music that doesn’t demand attention. They’re like a frat version of Rage Against the Machine. Or even a frat version of The Roots. Or maybe they’re the middle ground between The Roots and Rage Against the Machine. Who knows? All I know is that I can’t wait for their 15 minutes to pass.