Archive for Gang of Four

An Open Letter to the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Posted in Stupid Bands, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 19, 2008 by peteymenz

Dear Flea, Chad, John, and Anthony,

I’m not a fan.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers are Gang of Four if Andy Gill thought he was better than Hendrix and Jon King eschewed leftist politics in favor of pretending he was in Animal House.  Essentially, your funk is slightly above average but useless, not because it’s “art for art’s sake”, but because it’s so mind numbingly pointless; the Red Hot Chili Peppers epitomize the rather dire flip side of pretentiousness, not aspiring to anything.  You’ve pushed the same sound for nearly 30 years (Any song of their latest studio album, Stadium Arcadium, could be exchanged for any song on their eponymous debut.  The biggest musical evolution that you’ve achieved is realizing that your rapping sucks.), even though your music is a rip off of the great Gang of Four, as mentioned already.  John Frusciante, you might say your “psychedelic-funk” (as blathered by Rolling Stone) playing is different from Gang Of Four.  That is true. Andy Gill was never stupid enough to bog down a 2 hour record with solos that take up roughly a third of the time.  Frusciante, you are talented, but ultimately boring.  Other, less “talented” (in the traditional sense) guitarists have made more interesting music; for instance, Arto Lindsay’s skronk guitar style in DNA or Keith Levene’s metallic scrapings in Public Image Ltd. 

But if your music aspires to nothing, the lyrics aspire to less, and this is the true reason you pale next to Gang of Four.  This is not to say that you should attempt leftist polemics on your new record.  Anthony Kiedis, I believe you think sexual politics is a porno film set in the White House, and when someone writes lyrics about things they don’t understand, they come off as even stupider than you when you sing “Hey o/Listen what I say o”.  But even when you try to be funny, as on Mr. Psycho Sexy (Mr. Psycho Sexy that is me/Sometimes I find I need to scream),  you lack the biting wit of LCD Soundsystem (“Sound of Silver makes you want to feel like a teenager/until you remember the feelings of a real life emotion of teenager” from Sound of Silver) or the absurd hilarity of the Dictators (“I drink Coca Cola for breakfast/I got Jackie Onassis in my pants”).  And when you try to be serious, it comes off as a joke that’s not funny.  “Death of A Martian” stands as one of the most unintentionally idiotic songs ever recorded.  Overall, stupid lyrics bode well when the band is in on the joke and intentionally stylizes and exaggerates stupidity in their lyrics, as the Ramones did, not when the band thinks they did something meaningful and wrote a Spinal Tap reject song.  

If you did not understand my letter above, let me phrase it to you as a suitably moronic verse that could fit perfectly into a Red Hot Chili Peppers song (Before you ask, it fits into your mold of sex and California):

“California oh yeah

The Red Hot Chili Peppers suck

Just like you oh yeah

Gang of Four had no luck”


Petey Menz