Posts Tagged ‘No You Don’t’

10th September 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Anyone who doesn’t fall into the trap of swallowing the bullshit and climbing the corporate ladder to become the person they hated when they started out knows that all the motivational stuff is absolute bollocks, that wellbeing in the workplace is bollocks, and all the new age shit that people plaster all over social media is bollocks.

They’ll tell you that if you ‘Change your thoughts, you can change your world’. What they won’t mention is that the world is behind you, ready to stab you in the back and fuck you up the arse. They’ll tell you to believe in yourself. But that’s because no-one else will, because you’re a talentless sack of shit.

Vex Message have seen through the spin of self-affirmation. Derek Meins (lyricist/lead singer/button twiddler/strange dancer) who was once part of Rough Trade signed indie band Eastern Lane points the finger squarely and unapologetically at “Those cringe-worthy motivational mantras you see some chumps regurgitating,”, adding “‘It’s a beautiful day to go after your dreams?’ Fuck off. How about? ‘Aren’t you wanting to despair about your terrible hair and your coming demise?’ That’s more like it.”

This, I can get into straight away before I’ve heard a note. Given just how many people – especially creatives – who slug it out in dead end jobs just to pay the bills and cram entire careers as musicians, artists, writers, into their spare time, I’m amazed there aren’t more who don’t use their medium to rage against the machine. And anyone who says bands should steer clear of politics is simply wrong. We live in a capitalist society, and capitalism is politics, and more to the point, it’s a system that means your life is not your own, and even your time outside the workplace is dominated by agents trying to flog you stuff you don’t need to be paid for with money you don’t have.

As Meins explains, “The verses are structured in such a way as to emulate the trend for advertising slogans which ask you questions, suggesting their product has the answer. In summary, it is a tongue-in-cheek proclamation that you don’t need all the shit they’re selling, it’s all a load of bollocks and you’ll just have to get on as best you can in this modern hell-hole.”

Yes – it is a load of bollocks – fact. And the majority have been sucked into the consumerist cult, having to have the latest iPhone, a TV the size of a cinema screen filling the wall of a poky flat, and it’s neverending.

One thing that thankfully isn’t bollocks is this single. Over a gloopy Krauty synth paired with an overloading guitar chug and motoric beat, Meins writhers and yowls and whoops and croons with all the rock ‘n’ roll strut and swagger. It’s as gloriously OTT as the guitars are noisy and the drums are punchy. It’s theatrical but cathartic at the same time, parodic yet packed with a certain conviction.

B-side ‘And the Land Stayed Still’ is more overtly electro, propelled by a thumping disco beat, landing like a hybrid of Daft Punk and Sleaford Mods – or something. You hopefully get the idea.

It all stacks up to something quite different, presenting a twist on familiar tropes, and ultimately, it all stacks up to something brilliant.

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