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Beat Your Fist by Underclass

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Reviewed on 22nd December 2011.

 
 

Beat Your Fist

By Underclass

This is an unintentionally comical and rather empty-headed rock cliche. It is well-played and well-written but utterly conventional and uninspired.

Though the band is undeniably 'tight', each chord is attacked and hammered out of the instrument rather than played. Forte, forte, forte. Beat your fist. Et cetera. The vocals are impressive but I can hardly make out the lyrics. Nonetheless, I am going to assert that this is a political song, for my own amusement. There's a line about soldiering on (the militaristic suggestions abound) and another about telling someone to find a man -- clearly an analogy for founding a Communist dictatorship. I'm kidding of course -- these lyrics are uncompromisingly literal.

The song title and band name create quite a preconception, which the music more or less confirms. It sounds as though Underclass is calling their proletariat fan base to arms. The drums, bass and guitar hammer out the music assigned to them loudly, on the beat and unrelentingly, like the inexorable march of the Reds coming to take my Lamborghini. There's some pleasant keyboard whispering away in the background, almost entirely obscured by its louder coevals, though it adds the occasional flourish before choruses, etc., that lifts the music up to a respectable level.

Criticisms aside, this song features some effective arrangement; it dips and troughs in all the 'right' places. Its structure could be written off as conventional or praised for its consummate pastiche of the compact, easily-digestible, crowd-pleasing rock song. I lean towards the former as I don't think there is much merit in the emulation of something so simple.

The music is far from engaging, although I'm sure many, many, many people will be exhilarated by its energy and pounding rhythm. They will probably drive to work beating their fists on the dashboard to it when it comes on the radio, smashing their heads into the steering wheel on every merciless downbeat.

The artwork is some pseudo hip image of a girl with nothing on her bottom half, enduring some sort of emotional torment. It ostensibly bears the influence of Banksy, who is sick, gnarly and wicked rad.

This isn't. It is stereotypical, unimaginative and more than faintly ridiculous 'lad-rock', which could be tolerable, maybe even enjoyable, if there were but a morsel of tongue in the cheek, but this is devoid of the irony or humour that it sorely needs.

 

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