Review Summary: you can sit with us.
Jarrod Alonge has been a pretty unique figure in the world of comedic music. Or just music in general really, I mean name another comedian that has built themselves entirely up from the bottom on YouTube just based on parodies in the alternative music realm (typically pop punk and metalcore, but this album is a slight veer) and managed to make that who they are. Nobody right? Because y’know, Jared Dines is a cuck? With all of the parody-music projects he planted the seed for on his debut solo record Beating A Dead Horse
, the one that stood out to me the most was easily Canadian Softball. Probably because Jarrod managed to pull off a fucking hilarious Touche Amore parody, and you guys probably know that Touche Amore make my fucking dick as wet as a fire-hose in a goddamn kiddy pool. But I digress. The spectrum Jarrod covers within emo is actually quite impressive. Granted, half of the album sound like Tiny Moving Parts b-sides from like 2011 or something but the other half covers a lot of styles, from Mineral to a hilarious American Football math rock parody. Said parody makes fun of the pretentiousness withheld in polyrhythms, and songs like “Mumble” which i legitimately thought was Dikembe playing until I realized I was still listening to the Canadian Softball album. But that’s the comedy this album holds. It’s almost frightening in a sense, because Jarrod’s parodies are seemingly miles ahead of the actual bands he’s parodying.
One of the more staggering realizations I had during listening was when the track “Cut The Cord” played and guest feature Hotel Books started his spoken word performance. Now, this seems pretty ordinary for the most part, but then I really analyzed the details and lyrics of the track, and came to the conclusion that Jarrod legitimately does a Hotel Books song infinitely better than Hotel Books could. This same revelation came across me a few more times, notably on the closer “Pink Wednesday” which seems to be a parody of “Never Saw It Coming” by Tiger’s Jaw. The thing is, Jarrod has his shtick down to the point where you can’t even tell he’s being comedic, like, the humor is entirely ironic and the music is actually phenomenally performed. It’s at the point where I am actually questioning if it’s comedy. Like, I actually enjoy “Pink Wednesday” more than its source material. I have Tigers Jaw’s self titled album 5’d. Let that sink in for a second or two. The ability to be able to pull something off like that is not particularly a conventional thing. The way Jarrod seamlessly blends his comedic efforts with actual, wondrous instrumentation and songwriting abilities truly sets him apart from the crowd of wannabe YouTube comedians.
But while there are some serious aspects of this record, especially instrumentally, this record is literally just one 40 minute shitpost, that just happens to be accompanied by music. Like, I’m 90% sure around half of the lyrics on this record are just fucking with Jared Dines because he went through a scene phase in 2008 or something but at least it’s original (if you don’t watch Jarrod’s YouTube content) so I can’t complain too much because Jared Dines is a cuck. Jarrod also hits the political spectrum a tad on songs like “Great Again” where (you guessed it) he makes satirical references to wanting America to be great again, with “straight white children and graduating to a high paying job with no debt in 1953”. He also tends to make subtle pokes at the far left all over the record which helps balance it out, because it’s important for comedians to be able to make fun of anybody and everybody. There are also some stranger comedic ventures, like on the song “Lysergide”. I have no idea what it’s parodying, but he’s basically just singing about pinecones up his cockhole and how he wants his mom which sounds like Jarrod’s been sliding into Tom Delonge’s DMs or something. But, again, I digress; if you enjoy modern internet based humor, and “meme” culture akin to this garbage review you’re currently reading, this will probably stick out to you to some extent.
The only truly weak aspects of this record are the fact that it almost seems too
good. Like there are times where I honestly could take the song completely seriously out of context, which I suppose is either a music comedian’s wet dream or worst nightmare, but it’s kind of odd when Jarrod and Jonny Franck can outdo some of the most popular bands in the genre today. Even the somewhat random cover of “Seven” by Sunny Day Real Estate that pops up on track 7 does the original version justice by giving an actual, unadulterated cover with interesting guitar tones and an honest vocal performance from Jarrod. The thing is though, this serious moment is kind of out of place on the record because the next track is just a The World Is A Beautiful Place parody talking about the fall of the senate in Star Wars, so the trajectory seems to be up and down. Another issue with the record I found is that it can be pretty long if you’re not completely into it, as it’s 17 tracks on the YouTube version considering it includes some of the previously released tracks from Jarrod’s solo efforts, making the record stretch to almost an hour in length. The consistency of the record still holds up fairly well, even though the songs do a significant amount of genre-hopping from pop punk to emo-folk to scenecore to spoken word and whatever else is on the spectrum. This can only wind up being a negative thing if you let it, keeping an open mind when you go into this record is an important thing.
Overall, Awkward and Depressed
is Jarrod Alonge at his most prolific and creative, having some of the best songs he’s contributed on here, as well as the rapidly growing instrumental skill he’s picked up over the years since his 2014 debut [i]Beating A Dead Horse[i]. Jarrod has transcended his YouTube comedian status to be able to show everyone that he is able to sit down and put his talents on paper. Three times apparently, guess one wasn’t enough, but with comedy this well thought-out and constructed, you can’t really complain. There are some inconsistencies in genre-hopping and length, but these aspects are quite overlookable in context to the whole record. Jarrod plays to a certain niche, but even people that aren’t necessarily into his style can still find many enjoyable characteristics within the layers of jokes that Alonge has to offer throughout the whole record. If you are into more alternative/emo centric music, and can tolerate making fun of yourself for a small chunk of your day, I highly recommend giving Awkward and Depressed
a spin, especially if you have been a fan of his previous comedic (and even not comedic) efforts.