photo manipulation by nacrowe
i am the biggest sucker for a good pop hook.
it is basically my achilles' heel when it comes to being a fan of music. as much as i love to bask in dissonance and aural chaos, there is an equal part of me that could easily listen to CHEAP TRICK all day.
2000s band SHINY TOY GUNS and especially their debut WE ARE PILOTS (UNIVERSAL 2006) is just one of those records in my opinion that still hits that sweet spot in spite of the band's corny overdone image. i don't believe in guilty pleasures, but i would definitely put both the debut albums by LINKIN PARK and 30 SECONDS TO MARS in similar standing with SHINY TOY GUNS. again, call me what you will but great melodies are great melodies.
with respect to SHINY TOY GUNS, i listened to their debut years after its release during my PEACE CORPS years in ALBANIA. to me listening to this record represented the ultimate distraction from what i was living through at the time, namely having limited water and losing 40 pounds in 3 months (seriously) due to lack of food. having been abroad so long i always find it interesting what remnants of home you hold onto, and for some reason this album along with LADY GAGA's BORN THIS WAY (INTERSCOPE 2011), MASTODON's THE HUNTER (REPRISE, 2011) and LADYTRON's GRAVITY THE SEDUCER (NETTWERK, 2011) were basically my soundtrack to being in a desperately poor yet expansively gorgeous eastern european nation with limited means of outside contact. i believe now that all four records were escapist in nature and listening to any of them brings me immediately back to cold winters, sightings of wolf packs and post-communist paranoia/curiosity about my being in a community of strangers.
maybe the music worked because i felt like i was on another planet. if you've ever spent any time in eastern europe, that may not exactly be the worst comparison in the world.