Soundgarden are a band who—in their current incarnation—seem hell-bent on proving the second law of thermodynamics applies to mid 90s alt-rock music, as well as to Professor Brian Cox’s massive frightening grin. In case you’re already dazzled by our vocabulary, barely one sentence into this article, that’s just a fancy scientist’s way of saying EVERYTHING FUCKING SUCKS. And this whole paragraph is just our fancy bloggers’ way of saying Soundgarden have released a new video and so are making everything fucking suck just that little bit more.
You may have heard it. You may have seen it. You may have immediately rushed to your nearest mental institution and begged them to apply the electrodes to wipe it from your mind. You may not have done, we have literally no way of knowing.
But what you might not have seen, unless you were stupid enough to subscribe to their mailing list when they first reformed and it all seemed like a good idea, was the press release that went with it.
If you didn’t, here it is, in its entirety:
‘Conceived and directed by our friend and fan Dave Grohl, depicts the “Crooked Steps” gang cruising around the tough streets of LA, reeking havoc on the DJ scene. Dave said about approaching the band to direct the video, “I had an idea. I got a copy of the record and the third song ‘By Crooked Steps’ was a signature, instantly recognizable Soundgarden song,” and the rest was history.’
Dang. I mean… Just.
Let’s just take a moment to stand and marvel at this. Take a moment. Read it again.
So. Where to start? Let’s take it line by line, eh?
‘Conceived and directed by our friend and fan Dave Grohl, depicts the “Crooked Steps” gang cruising around the tough streets of LA, reeking havoc on the DJ scene.’
Wait wait whoa whoa. Sorry, too many things in that first sentence are wrong. Let’s break it down again, shall we?
‘Conceived and directed by our friend and fan Dave Grohl.’
Ignoring the fact that you haven’t really bothered with an introduction, who is the presumed author of this masterpiece? It seems to have been written by a band member, judging by the ‘our friend and fan’ clause. Hands up everyone who thinks that’s the case? Also, you’ll note that there’s no sign off from a band member at the end. This is nitpicking, but I’m a pedant, as I think this article proves. And that’s not the worst bit.
‘Our friend and fan’
For some reason, this makes every pore on my body want to commit suicide. Our friend and fan. Sure, he’s our friend, but he’s also a fan. ‘Hey guys, you know I’m your friend, but I’m also a big, big fan.’
This really upsets me, and i don’t know why. Also, they missed out ‘HIV Truther’ in that. It should be ‘our friend, fan and noted HIV denier Dave Grohl.’ Okay?
‘depicts the “Crooked Steps” gang cruising around the tough streets of LA’
Sorry Soundgarden, you appear to have missed out a word there. What depicts what? The video depicts it? Then you should probably say that. I know the press release is for the video, but that’s no reason to go and throw out the rules of the English language. It could just as easily be ‘the tip of my penis depicts.’
Also, ‘Crooked Steps’ gang makes it sound like you are describing the punks that helped Crocodile Dundee break into that mansion to get his girlfriend out that time. And as for ‘cruising’ …well, we’ll leave that where it is, shall we?
‘reeking havoc on the DJ scene.’
Is the Crooked Steps Gang particularly stinky then? Do they walk in a room and cause the aforementioned havoc through a general lack of personal hygiene? Are they setting off stink bombs in the video? Are they wearing Lynx Africa? No? Then I think the word you are looking for is ‘wreaking’.
And how does one wreak (or reek) havoc on the DJ scene? Maliciously retagging someone’s MP3s? Spitting into record sleeves? Flipping off a turntable? NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.
Let’s move onto the line attributed to Mr Grohl.
‘Dave said about approaching the band to direct the video, “I had an idea. I got a copy of the record and the third song ‘By Crooked Steps’ was a signature, instantly recognizable Soundgarden song,”’
Okay, the comma at the end of that quote should be a full stop unless you’re planning on putting some more clichéd bullshit in Dave’s mouth; but aside from that, is it just me or does anyone else hear this spoken in their head with an upper class English accent?
Clearly Dave’s statement has been truncated here, leaving this opening line to hang around making no sense at all. Dave doesn’t say anything about approaching the band to direct the video, so the whole sentence just keels over and dies. It’s as though the work-experience kid who was writing this release got really bored after copying in the first part of Dave’s statement, looked at all the rest of the crap he had to shovel into the press release and thought ‘sod it,’ put a comma in and said (drum roll please)
“and the rest was history.”
“AND THE REST WAS HISTORY”
My, that’s a portentous way to end a press release about an ageing rock band and the short film made for them by another ageing rock musician to promote their new very bad song.
History, was it? The thing you are describing that is ABOUT TO HAPPEN, is history? This video is such a momentous achievement in the epic sweep of all mankind that even before you’ve released it to the world, it has entered into the annals of history? There’s now books about this video and you can take a university module in it at Warwick, and Simon Schama is making a programme where he wanders around a ruin narrating this video’s genesis in a dramatic, lurching cadence.
Why do people continue to be fascinated by everything David Grohl puts his sticky fingers on? Why? Can anyone explain? Because as far as we can tell (whisper it) he isn’t particularly good at anything!
Whoever is responsible for this piece of dreadful promotional garbage should be thoroughly ashamed, but then having taken time to hear the song and see the video, we realise we’re just as tainted. This is just one more regret to add to the pile.
But the worst shame of all is that we—we of all people—never even saw the abject disappointment of this second chapter of Soundgarden coming. Can someone please stop this band? Just please, make them stop.