|what the fuck is going on here?|
The way Bono howls and moans on the songs has become comedic. It may have been acceptable in the 80's but now Bono has become almost a parity of himself. Sure the guy can carry a tune and when you hear Bono, you know it's Bono. He's got that brand recognition going for him. But fuck me running when I hear him it is hard for me not laugh to myself. It is so overly emotive that I just can't take it seriously. Even on "heavier" U2 songs it sounds like he's about to cry at anytime. I'm sorry but I don't find his style inspiring or as grand as it is portrayed in mainstream rock media. I don't understand how someone can moan for an entire record, hear themselves played back and not be embarrassed. It's comparable to another notorious moaner named Morrissey. I find Morrissey's style monotonous, but even he has his moments where he just hits the note in the right spot in the right way and it's great. There are songs from The Smiths that I really enjoy. But Bono, and U2 in general, just kind of warble and float there (the bass and drums bear a huge responsibility for this, but I'll get to that later). I've said it before and I'll say it again, just because you pretend to cry on a song doesn't necessarily make the music have anymore impact. You can over sell it. Conveying emotion in music sometimes requires a soft touch. Bono is so god damned heavy handed with that whiny crooner shit, but unlike The Smiths, it doesn't come off as earnest or as punchy. It just oozes with saccharine sanctimony. I can't fucking stand it. The whiny sad boy moan style of singing just triggers my gag reflex faster than a USC cheerleader taking a twelve inch dick down her throat on camera for the first time. In Bono's defense, the man seriously cares about philanthropy and in interviews, when he isn't trying to sell you shit and is just being casual, he seems like a fairly relatable guy. Morrissey on the other hand comes off on all accounts as a cantankerous diva that I'd like to open handedly bitch slap into oblivion. But hey, I can like someone and hate their art and conversely hate someone and like their art. It's always easier to get along when the two coincide, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way.
David "The Edge" Evans has been playing the same fucking riff for over forty years and yet every fart sniffing brain dead homunculus thinks he's a fucking guitar hero or something. Yeah yeah he uses a lot of reverb and delay. Oh how wonderful. It's easy to have a signature sound when you seriously only play one fucking way. I know I'm coming off harshly on guitar players that have one trick and make a living off of it. I hate on Evans for being a one trick pony, but at the same time I absolutely love Johnny Ramone's buzz saw guitar sound. I guess the difference is that Johnny Ramone never ever promoted himself as some sort of guitar virtuoso. Because the thought of that is just preposterous. He was just a guy who found a style that worked, stood in the trenches and delivered it every night. But "The Edge"... And what kind of stage name is "The Edge" anyway? The Edge of what exactly? Is it the edge of the cliff I will drive off of if I hear that jingle jangle echoey bullshit on my stereo one more fucking time? Is it the edge of my sanity that I careen toward when I hear people gush? The edge of tastefulness? But the fans will chortle "But but but you just don't understand. His style is minimalistic and it is not about what he plays, but about what he doesn't play. It's about color and feeling. This contrasted greatly with the avalanche of 80's hair metal guitar shredders of the time and was a breath of fresh air for the rest of us that liked real music." Evan's has never said this sort of thing himself, but I've read fans and critics bring this up. Well I'm here to say, fuck that bullshit. Shredders like Van Halen, George Lynch and Randy Rhodes weren't just out there waving their dicks around. They and guys like them were doing some real shit and if you don't like glam metal, that's fine I understand, but writing it off as not real music is as uninformed as it is pretentious. And there lies one of the important ingredients to why "The Edge" and U2 in general don't appeal to me. Pretentiousness. Look, you want to talk about minimalism? How about Pink Floyd being categorized as a progressive rock band even though their style is bare and simple yet so deceptively complex? Now that is minimalism done right. That is artistic. That earns you the privilege of being pretentious (and if you ever want a clinic in pretentiousness just listen to David Gilmore and/or Roger Waters talk. But the men are truly geniuses.. I give them a pass).
The rhythm section is so bland and banal that I bet most people couldn't even name the bassist and drummer... Because nobody cares who the fuck Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen are. I could've made those names up and most readers probably wouldn't have even noticed. They are as unremarkable as their playing style. I'm going to compare U2 to The Smiths once again because I find certain similarities in their instrumentation. If that offends you, just bare with me for the moment, then, if you have the time later on today, go fuck yourself. For The Smiths, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce were the perfect compliment to Morrissey and Johnny Marr. They were the rock that tethered Morrissey's airy utterances and Marr's fluttery jangling to Earth and added a bite and punchiness to the music. It was a great contrast with the buoyant and weightless sound of the vocals and guitar. I love Rourke's bass tone and attack in particular. The Smith's don't play aggressive music, but Rourke and Joyce come in like thunder and it just works. The casual listener may not notice they are doing it, but the brain does. You can't help yourself from tapping your feet and dancing. That my friends is what a good rhythm section can and should do. But Clayton and Mullen are so profoundly over powered by Bono and Evans that the music just floats from the speakers and just hangs in the air like a silent and rancid fart. This is prevalent on The Joshua Tree album in particular. There is no drive. Evan's guitar style would be complimented so much better by bass and drum tracks that are well grounded. But the bass and drums are so fucking weak. They might as well have stayed home and not shown up to the studio. It just sounds like they are a couple of dudes who are in the band just to collect a fucking check. Put some god damn effort in you fucking hacks.
U2 are hoisted up on a pedestal and regarded as "Rock Gods". I know this to be heresy and it galls me. These gods are false. I want to burst through my front window onto my balcony and scream it to the mountain tops. I want to grab the first bystander I see and throttle them, pleading with them to believe me. Because this is important. There will be a day when Bono and/or Evans dies and for days and weeks and months on end all anyone is going to hear about is how U2 were the greatest rock band ever... No. Fuck that shit. Burn the false idols. Reduce them to ashes and let the pages of history regard them only as a footnote. U2 is a totally overrated band and how in the wide wild world of fuck they are considered as anything other than such, boggles my bitter borderline alcoholic mind. And with that, I'd like to present this Hate Award to U2. Fuck their music, their fans and the rock critics who have vested interests in peddling that music as anything other than what it is. Mediocrity.