Welcome to the great, unknown atrocity: Sputnik. Emerging from New York City, it might seem that the indie-pop band orbits the most innocent of intentions with their Christmas-themed EP. It doesn’t take a preposterous mathematical proof, though, to show that Christmas At Our House
is a mess, a disgrace to everything that is holy about the snowing season. To enjoy Sputnik’s vapid tunes, you’d have to be a maniac! The female-fronted (I find it surprising that a female exists without the wherewithal to know better than to associate themselves with Sputnik in the first place) band are limited to the most derivative, Beatles-esque drivel imaginable; and as kitsch as every one of their releases are, Christmas At Our House
is the nadir of their poor-quality tunes. Chock full of faux-cheer, the piece is tough to enjoy for even the most steadfast Christmas fanatics. Nearly every second is accentuated with the sound of sleigh bells in the background or cheesy sound effects like the pouring of hot cocoa. It’s impossible to imagine masters of a musical genre exclaiming, “Yes! A sleigh bell solo!”
let alone a casual listener to Christmas At Our House
. There’s nothing funny about Sputnik; it’s the type of music horrid enough to frighten away a bulldog, or give Santa nightmares.
Given the substandard caliber of Sputnik’s output, they easily could have sang openly about their homoerotic love for Sufjan Stevens, their dual-hate of both “hipsters” and “elitists,” an odd obsession with mediocre metal music and very questionable post-hardcore, or even unfunny attempts at trolling, and they could have gotten away with it-- nobody would have listened to nor noticed the tiny EP. Instead they set their aims on tarnishing everything we love: Christmas, The Beach Boys, intelligent music discussion, holiday cheer. Hell, I’d rather hear the B-Sides to an ambient project created by a pretentious 14 year-old who reads on an 11th-grade level and has an ego even larger than a really
big tuna than sit through another dose of Sputnik again. Also, hidden beneath what are seemingly benevolent themes is some disgustingly deviant shi
t. It’s not necessarily Sputnik’s lack of skill that’s irking, it’s the fact that Sputnik’s heads are far too large for their bodies. They describe themselves as, “Quickly becoming one of the truly essential groups of our time.”
Sputnik quite obviously have no idea what they’re talking about, and have no intention of hiding that fact.
Basically, Sputnik is made up of a bunch of assholes.
Spare me, Sputnik. The Christmas At Our House
EP is an exercise in butchering everything reverential and holy. Admittedly, I’ve visited Sputnik somewhat frequently. I’ve wasted a lot
of time on Sputnik, and maybe you have, too. Though, no amount of visits reliably tells me whether they’re actually serious or not. The quote above and their overarching demeanor that seems to actually (somehow) take themselves seriously is one thing, but they can’t possibly think highly of themselves, can they? Could Sputnik really
be trying to capture my attention with the banal “Christmas Even In Wellfleet?” Is Sputnik kidding when they tear up the Beach Boys’ classic with their tone-deaf rendition of “Little Saint Nick,” a song whose quality urges me to snap myself in the face with a bungy-cord? Answer: no, they can’t possibly be.
Like most of Sputnik’s output, “Christmas Eve In Wellfleet” displays an utter lack of caring for the listener. I mean seriously, writing a song about the most boring of towns in Massachusetts is never, in any case, a good idea. More so, the song features a kirgasm which, if you aren’t familiar with the musical technique, is the sound of having an orgasm while simultaneously thinking about Kirk Cameron of “Growing Pains” fame. Give ‘em some credit for ingenuity, but the dreadfulness is enough to aggravate a yeti. “Seasons Greetings From Sputnik” is the 45 second interlude where each band member stops to wish you, the listener a “Very merry Christmas,” complete with sleigh bells jingling in the background. “Sleigh Bells” is aptly titled, at least, and the thirty-one seconds are comprised of two things: sleigh bells jingling, and Santa going “Ho, Ho, Ho.”
Ingenious. Nearing the end, “Auld Lang Syne” is the culmination of everything wrong with Sputnik (no, I’m not talking about being over-saturated with shitty
lists or unceasingly praising the same mediocre bands), and the trite, not even slightly epic, song ends the EP on just a sour note as it started. It’s the Romulus to “Christmas Eve In Wellfleet,” the opener’s Remus, per se.
This inveigh may seem harsh at first; but listens to Christmas At Our House
will certainly prove that the EP is a sick insult to the holiday season. The band would have been better chambering themselves in some sort of unlock-able room, if only it would have kept them from releasing music. Even better, lock themselves back in the academy where they could learn to better their tunes. I know the vocalist is no Enrique Iglesias, but surely some
improvement could be made. Sputnik is also home to some gender-deception, as it’s difficult to buy into the lead singer’s femininity, with her tasteless vocals. She sounds more elegant than a witch rapist, but some guest would’ve been an apt inclusion, adding variety to the bland picture.
So this Christmas-time, if you’re strolling into a Christian coffee shop and you hear Christmas At Our House
, do not clap for the music. Run. As transient as the ordeal at hand is, your ears will not go undamaged. We cannot let Sputnik succeed at their goal, which seems to be systematically, with the precision of a sniper or a satellite, defiling culture as we know it. The work’s few pros are heavily outweighed by the unsettling feeling that, if Between The Buried and Me had collaborated with Toby Keith to do a dual-LP release of William Hate and Aiden covers, with lyrics written by Soulja Boy and overseen by the producer, Grumblecunt, the album would be roughly of the same quality. Please, whatever you do, do knott
listen to Sputnik.