Review Summary: The worst kind of nightmare.
“Mike, can you hear me?”
I try to speak but all I can say is “mfmffmffmffmfmfmf.” I’m not sure where I am, but I’m strapped into a hospital bed with a doctor and two nurses staring over me.
“Oh good, he’s awake. Your name is Mike right?” he asks. I nod because I can’t really formulate coherent language at the moment. It’s like my brain won’t respond to my commands. I look around as confusedly as I can, trying to ask the doctor where I am.
“You’re probably wondering where you are,” he says, “You’re in the Bonham-Moon Medical Center for Musically Related Accidents.” Musically related accidents? Is that even a thing? Did someone slip me fentanyl at a rave or something? I don’t even listen to EDM. What the **** is going on?
“Your mother found you seizing on the floor of your apartment. You had music going in your AirPods so the paramedics determined that the cause was really awful music causing a physical reaction,” he says. I can’t even remember what I was listening to so I make my best effort at a shrug. I just remember pressing play and then moments later everything turning black. He goes on to explain, “When the paramedics inspected your device, you were found listening to Dark Waves
by Attack Attack!”
“Mmmmmmmmyeesss,” manages to come out of my mouth. It looks like I can start formulating words again. I can’t remember what horrible thought process led me to deciding to listen to Attack Attack! in 2023 but I’m deeply regretting it.
“MfffmfwasIfmwfmwfdrunk?” I manage to squeeze out of my mouth.
“Well… a half-empty bottle of bourbon was found in your kitchen and testing found your alcohol content level to be extremely high, so yes,” the doctor says, “but your physical reaction has nothing to do with alcohol. It comes from being subjected to music which no human being should be forced to listen to.” I drank half a bottle of bourbon? What? I drink like twice a year, why did I do that? I don’t know. I can’t think too much right now it hurts.
“Listening to Attack Attack! is already bad for the brain but unfortunately this band has the incredible distinction of making themselves worse with every new release,” the doctor says, “Between incredibly plebian breakdowns, unimaginative riffs, and a mixing set up that has not changed since 2007 or so, listening to this kind of band is a severe risk to your physical health.”
“Sssssso what’sthe daaaamage doc?” I ask him, hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.
“Well, Attack Attack! released this EP, Dark Waves
, which is pretty darned bad. In fact it’s so bad that the physical copies have a black box warning label from the FDA for potential health hazards.
“Listening to the EP caused your brain to go into shock and reject it so heavily that your brain essentially severed its own connection to its frontal lobes. Your brain lobotomized itself as a result of listening to Dark Waves,” he says.
I just stare at him blankly, and realize that he’s probably right. I am somewhat unresponsive, feel emotionless, and my capacity for problem solving or making decisions has become extremely limited.
“You see, this EP is littered with every Attack Attack! trope you could possibly imagine and then made worse. First of all, the musicianship is dumbed down to the point of complete asininity. There is no riff on here that is not immediately swappable with another riff, which of course confuses the brain because it cannot contextualize any of the songs within themselves. It’s bad enough that the riffs aren’t even good and can’t be enjoyed, but then when they all mush into each other it creates a situation which actually causes pain.
“Furthermore, the breakdowns sound like they could have been written by cavemen, which is probably actually an insult on the intelligence of cavemen. There is nothing creative or enjoyable about them and because they are so bereft of merit or value, this causes further stress on your brain’s functioning and makes it worse.
“When you couple that with lyrics that were probably plagiarized from an eight-year-old’s diary and the mix which sounds like they haven’t changed it in nearly fifteen years, it’s a cocktail for disaster,” he explains to me. He looks at me expecting me to react in some way but I just stare at him blankly again, trying to figure out how to feel.
“Fortunately there were a couple of factors that helped prevent you from worse reactions,” he says. Worse effects? Worse than my brain lobotomizing itself
? What the actual **** are we talking about? He goes on to say, “First of all, Dark Waves
is short. Listening to a full-length LP of this kind could have very possibly killed you. Additionally, the vocals, while they are still horrible, didn’t necessarily make themselves worse, which actually acted as a preventative measure on further damage being done.”
Oh good, at least Attack Attack! didn’t kill me. That makes me feel slightly better, I guess. “Mmmmdoc, isss there anythiiiiiing wecando?” I ask, hoping there is a solution.
“There’s the million-dollar-question. As a matter of fact, yes! There is something we can do,” he says reassuringly, “We simply have to get you to listen to an album that is an unqualified masterpiece, which should reverse the effects of listening to this EP. I already have one in mind.”
I’m wondering what album we will listen to. Will it be Jane Doe
, or maybe it will be a Haydn quartet, maybe The Birth of Cool
? I don’t know. Anything to fix this would be great. The doctor pulls out a pair of headphones and places them on my head.
“Okay, so the record that I have to fix this is not only a jewel in the sand but also one of my personal favorites. It’s one of the best albums written in recent memory, but we have to get through the whole thing, okay?” he tells me. I nod at him, wondering what it’s going to be.
“This is by Kim Petras. It’s called Slut Pop
.” I start shaking as violently as I can but my arms are strapped down and there’s nothing I can do. I start to scream, but the nurses put a gag on me to drown out my cries for help. The doctor looks at me with a twisted grin on his face, knowing that with his next move, he's going to finish the job Attack Attack! started. With a gleam in his eye and the beginning of maniacal laughter, he hits play.
And then I wake up.