This week in 155, blink-155 and beyond
Look at the calendar, it’s the return of Gobruary! Yes, we’re spending the month on 155 talking about
Vancouver’s Canada’s best band Gob, and we’re joined by the band’s own Tom Thacker (also now of Sum 41). This week, we dig into the perfect, secretly pretentious pop-punk of “You’re Too Cool.”
Here’s some other stuff we’re into right now:
White Reaper “Bozo”
Sam: White Reaper seemingly have it all - a cool band name, an all-time cool album title (The World’s Best American Band), a cornucopia of bodacious riffs. Yet I almost never think, “Sam, why don’t you put on some White Reaper.” It’s a personal failing, and I think this is going to be the album that finally turns things around for me. Asking for a Ride is simultaneously heavier and hookier than anything the band has done before, and “Bozo” was the moment it all clicked for me. That Wipers guitar vibe? It’s like listening to White Lung without the spectre of white nationalism (alleged) hanging over your head.
Jos: There’s a kind of Calgary guy that maybe doesn’t even exist anymore, but they wear light-denim jean jackets with patches of the butt girl from Bob’s Burgers on them and enamel pins that say like “Slice Destroyer” with a pizza that has skulls on it. They’re all the nicest guy you’ve ever met, and they all love to say “rad” and “pal,” and they all love music like this. But I was trying really hard not to become one for some reason, so I avoided rockin’ out to their rock tunes. But I did always enjoy the drumming on the Difficult People theme song, so there’s that. This is still too rockin’ for me tho.
The Ashen Knight “Into the Glacial Keep”
Sam: As alluded to on recent sodes, I am a gamer now. I lack the coordination to play Josiah’s shooters (how do you look and move at the same time it’s impossible unless you’re a brain genius), but last night I confidently used the phrase “deck-building roguelike dungeon crawler” to describe my entire life’s current focus: Slay the Spire. It’s all I think about. My Switch (recent acquisition) is on my desk next to me right now and when the Pomodoro timer that runs my life gives me five minutes to chill? I’m slayin’. This new, increasingly debilitating hobby has at least afforded me new opportunities to spend time with music I would otherwise not have had a place for in my life - like dungeon synth. Endless dungeon synth. If you album has a mystic frog or spooky keep on the cover, I’m all in. Catch me every single night on the couch, high as hell and cursing the Reptomancer and her Daggers, absolutely ascending to this shit.
Jos: I feel like this is way too goofy for me, possibly because of the indie game aesthetic. But I also love imagining Sam doing all the stuff he just said. Plain egg to the right of him, some fake 16-bit indie game that was probably put in the Switch sale section because all of the Swedish devs were metoo’d and the Kotaku article is about to hit. And Sam’s just having the time of his life, imagining he’s one of the geeks from Freaks & Geeks. Meanwhile I’m playing NHL and a guy with his mic on is hurling slurs at me in a non-descript but aggressively Canadian accent.
Lil B the Based God Afrikantis
Jos: Many words have been spilled about Lil Yachty’s recent genre diversion with Let’s Start Here, and the album is fine if you’re into Urban Outfitters psych. If you’re looking for the true beyond, you need to — as always — revisit the architect of all current pop culture, Lil B the Based God. No longer at the forefront of the zeitgeist, Lil B has never stopped his workmanlike streak, and on Christmas Eve he released over an hour of “free jazz” explorations that sound like someone poking around with Garageband MIDI presets. But since it’s Lil B, there’s a curiosity and magic to the explorations that is truly, well, based. Take “Solano Stroll,” which truly sounds like a long-lost Don Cab song. Let’s go, Brandon.
Sam: By no longer being at the centre of the pop culture discourse, is Lil B cooler now than he ever has been? He’s always been pretty cool I guess. I feel like we all emailed with him at some point 10 years ago? This is so sick. I don’t think I could game to it but I’m having a really good time writing this while the bass goes buck wild and I just added this to my Apple Music so maybe I’ll return to these delightful jazzy musings soon.
Skrillex & Bladee “Real Spring”
Jos: I’m gonna use this playful lil corner of the pop-punk podcast pop culture newsletter to level with you all — I think I’m experiencing some kind of seasonal affective disorder. It’s so dark, there’s so much snow, and I’m constantly having to dig out my car (and I received a $182 parking ticket for neglecting to see a non-existent snowplowing sign, which made them tow my car to the opposite side of the street, leaving me completely disoriented when I went outside and thought I had moved the car in my sleep). But one thing getting me through it all is this two-minute taste of pure bliss from Bladee and Skrillex, who looks more and more like a semi-retired member of KuruptFM with each passing day. This delicious lil earworm perfectly marries Drain Gang smoothness with Skrillex’s choppy edits, which are all the more tasteful now that no one’s allowed to be epic anymore. It’s the kind of delightful brain candy that makes you start to understand why so many people want to fuck Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sam: Honestly yeah man same. I picked up a SAD lamp and have been sitting in front of it every morning while feeling despondent, watching old Tales from the Crypt episodes and lifting weights. I feel like shit. I don’t know that this helped but I’m happy to finally know what Bladee is. When people talk about Bladee, I feel no compulsion to look further. Sucks about your car, though. Montreal is stupid.
P!nk “Never Not Gonna Dance Again”
Jos: I’m putting three things in here. I don’t give a shit. When I finally got my car digged out to go to the store, I heard the new P!nk song on the radio. I’ve always loved P!nk’s songs, because she makes the pop music version of Facebook mommy groups for single moms who drink wine and swear and share Tweety Bird memes where Tweety Bird is saying “...and not a single fuck was given that day.” No matter your gender, marital or parental status, or general lot in life, when you listen to P!nk you become a sassy single mama who’s doing it all — a hairdresser who only knows how to give the (now-retired) Skrillex cut and prods her customers with fake nails and smells like suntan lotion and ciggies even in the dead of winter. That’s me. I’m never not gonna dance again. And I’m never not gonna give no fucks that day…
Sam: Okay imagining Josiah with deep winter sadness dealing with this Montreal car nonsense and hearing this immediately after is pulling me out of my own funk. The universe is nice sometimes. I hope Josiah and I get to dance one day.
If you think about it, we probably brought blink-155 back around the same time that Scott Raynor signed up for the police academy. Yes, the blink drummer preferred by hipper fans is, in fact, now a police officer. And we got staunch police disliker James Wilt on the horn to explain why that’s no good.
Free every Friday.