Allow me to give credit where credit is due. As I’ve demonstrated before, I regularly read the comment sections of each song after I ride it. It helps me sort through my own opinions on a given track, as well as get a sense of how the community feels about it. When I’m stuck, it generally proves useful. This week was no exception.
In the comments for each song by Melbourne’s TenPenny Joke, Audiosurf user celkin posted “COOL STORY BRO,” spurring epic strings of “bro” jokes. Why all the humor at the expense of bromantic fellas? Well, TenPenny Joke sounds a lot like the kind of rock you might hear pumping from a frat house after all the girls leave and the boys need something to fill the silence besides the sound of ping pong balls plopping into Solo cups.
Breaking up the bro-rock playlist is a tune from French ska act WHISKYBABA. Their music, like their promotional artwork, is preposterous. It’s been a while since I was even passable at French, so I’m only catching a few ridiculous words here and there. But it sounds wonderfully silly and is a welcome change of pace from the bro angst.
Can you weather the bronado that is about to touch down off the coast of the Gulf of Mexibro? Hit the jump and find out…bro.
The Eastern, sitar intro to “She” did not fully prepare me for the Nickelbackean onslaught that is to follow. And, quite honestly, the reoccurrence of this opening lick in the guitar part kept me from immediately writing these guys off as Nickelback knockoffs. I guess I was assuming that all Nickelback sounded like this or this, when in reality they can also sound like this (of which “She” ends up reminding me). Just like the Bros-Who-Heretofore-Shall-Not-Be-Named, “She” has got some dreadful lyrics: “She will get inside your head(Like the wolf travels through the snow)/She’s the waves inside your bed (Where the wind travels she must follow)” And with the soft metal guitar underneath them, it sounds like the titular (ha!) woman is diabolical, a succubus capable of bedding and destroying even the toughest bro. It’s a fun ride, though the traffic is mostly drums. This really stands out during the guitar broloes, which is unfortunate because they’re not bad broloes. And then there’s a little string arrangement of the main melody at the end. A bizarre choice considering the Eastern-sounding beginning. Why wander through musical traditions like that?
For the most part, “Flood” was spared from a lot of the comment board negativity, probably due to the significant lack of brocals (“bro-vocals” for those of you not playing along). It’s completely instrumental, with driving percussion and scores of guitar broloes. Whereas the other TenPenny tracks draw your attention to their abrocious lyrics, “Flood” actually allows you to appreciate their musicianship, which is adequate if not mildly impressive. Let’s just say they can certainly play their instruments. The ride is pretty challenging, with an awesome buildup to the final downhill plunge. A staccato drum fill pummels the track beneath you just before it levels out to a sweeping curve of red tunnels. All the while, I couldn’t shake a mental image of the Foo Fighters playing at a jam band concert. There’s some sort of mental abrociation going on there, I just can’t quite put my finger on it.
“Ma Vie Mon Oeuvre” translates to “My Life, My Work,” which I’m sure relates to this song somehow. Again, a language barrier (and lack of search results for lyrics) presents me from knowing whether or not this is completely tongue-in-cheek, though I suspect there’s some intentional goofiness going on. Case in point: towards the end some guy’s voice booms “piano noir.” Were it possible to drive off the road in Audiosurf, I’d have done it about ten times on this track. The choruses feature vibrant red tunnels probably caused by the ska-style backing vocals (which always sound like drunk dudes shouting). And the trumpets, oh man, the trumpets! They’re so damn happy. Like, “Under the Sea” happy. Each start-and-stop horn section brought a big smile to my face. Don’t worry, ska fans, there’s the requisite allego con moto ending. You know, the part where all those 90s kids wearing Vans jump up and down real fast because they don’t know how to dance. “Ma Vie Mon Oeuvre” may not fit in with the rest of this week’s Broeuvre, but you should strongly consider playing this song.
You don’t need to ride “Sirens” if you’ve already ridden “She.” I’m absolving you of that duty completely. Is it a bad song? …I don’t think so? There’s some cool drum syncopation which keeps the traffic from being too predictable. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the music. The vocalist sings about sirens a lot, which I guess means he’s talking about some sort of disaster scenario. This theme is turned into aural metaphor when the guitar mimics the sound of a siren. I can’t believe I wrote that. Skip this song.
All songs were played at least twice on the Bro difficulty using the Vegas and Eraser characters. Upon using the word “bronado” in my open, I did a quick Google search that brought up this hilarious MySpace page. COOL STORY, BRO.