Teddy Bears Soft Machine

[Atlantic; 2006]

Styles: electronic music with a different vocalist for every track
Others: hopefully there aren’t any others; Halifax?

Just like that annoying motherfucker that always seems to one-up you in journalism class, saying things like, "Oh, I have last Friday's lecture notes right here, Mr. Bevelaqua," or "Yes, Mr. Bevelaqua, I shine balls for a living! Go ahead and tea-bag my open mouth," Teddy Bears are a band that I respect. In fact, I respect them so much I'm going to be honest with them and come right out and say I immensely dislike their music. Respectfully.

It's hard to believe there's still music like this in existence. What kind of [drawing large square in the air with both index fingers] indie label would sign this band anyway? Oh, they've been signed by the ass-shiners at Atlantic. Figures. At least they're not as bad as that first band from the Sooper Mountain Frickin' Dooo MTV2 Sooper-Dooper Sell-Out Contest. Halifax, methinks. Man, that band blew major ayse. And then the judges — that obviously don't know SHEYAT about music OR sweet, sweet, life-affirmingly extreme Mt. Dew — sit there and talk about what they look for in a performer/band. They say things like, "I really like it when a singer grabs the audience's attention" and "they have to have a lot of energy." As if the crowd can really respond to an act within the confines of such an oppressive contest and a one-song slot for each group.

What a crock of cock-sauced creamed corn! Sometimes I wish I were dead when I watch M2; it honestly makes me want to shoot myself square in the teeth. To think, just eight years ago it had no ads, much less a format that relegates its best show (Subterranean) to two videos followed by endless commercials, followed by two more short, big-budget videos, and then more commercials! They used to play that glass-shattering Refused video where the drummer splits his snare head down the middle and hook up the latest Björk.com joint. Sure, they mixed in the occasional Tonic video (specifically the one from the American Pie soundtrack), but that's the breaks. It's better than turning to MTV Sr. and watching LaPoona Beach, right. RIGHT?

You're probably wondering why I've spent most of this review railing on M2. Hell, you probably want to know why I have such a problem with M2 running ads; there are lots of sites just like this one running ads after starting out non-prof [AHEM, cough-hack-sputter-hack-gargle-cough-cough-sputter-hack-hack-choke-sputter-cough-cough]. Well, to paraphrase a crafty lawyer from an early episode of The Simpsons, I'm so confident in the crappiness of this CD I'm willing to waste the reader's time rating the superhunks. Or in this case, degrading the wanna-be emo Superchunks of said M2 contest.

Back to business: Teddy Bears play, no, create (very few live instruments here) a stolid, lukewarm brand of dance-off techno-pop that I absolutely abhor. Cred- boosting Iggy Pop guest spot? Shove it somewhere warm and drippy. An opening track called "Intro"? Please. Trendy, high-culture intensions/pretensions? Fuck off. A style so outdated it's probably considered of-the-moment to some industry screw in a high-rise office building? Don't make me laugh. Naming your tepid, tedious album after a slept-on jazz combo? I see through your ruse. A song called "Are You Feelin' It"? Die a slow, rancid death in a pile of your own bile. A song called "Magic Kraut"? Okay, I might be mean, but I'm not heartless. That snappy song title and the catchy tune that accompanies it (the first one, at track 10, that is worth a damn) earn you blokes a '1'.

Just listen and listen good, Teddy Bears: Don't ever, ever, EVER fucking try to send us your music again. Or at least don't think you can do so and not be impaled on a long, barbed spear of mockery. What, did you think you could sneak this one past us? We LIVE to hate schmaltzy pap like this just like most of us live to love No-Fun. So HA! HA. HA. Hahahhahhaahhahahahahahahahahahah.


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