Band:No Gravity Song: Beneath the Dirt Genre: Alternative rock, electronic rock, synthpop Date of Release: March 2nd, 2014 Location: Bratislava, Slovakia Reviewer: Sam For Fans Of: The Killers, The Bravery
“Why?” You might be asking. “Why review a song from 2014? Why review a band from Slovakia? Why review a genre you barely listen to?” Well, my reasoning is rather simple and shared with many other great men and women throughout human history: curiosity.
As you probably don’t know, I’m a fairly devoted fan of the Howard Stern Show. Back in 2007, No Gravity was in New York City promoting themselves on a public access TV show called “Hugs For Harlem”. During this fateful appearance, they were subject to one of the funniest prank calls ever perpetuated (done in part by legendary death metal drummer and Stern staffer Richard Christy).
Naturally, this got me curious. Obviously, a band who promotes itself on a second-rate public access show probably won’t be very good, but just how bad could they really be? I did some research, found the “music band”, as they call themselves (their English isn’t great), and popped on their latest single.
I immediately asked myself the same question I started this review with: why? Why would someone make music like this? Why would said music sound like this? Why the hell am I still listening to it?
It’s pretty clear that No Gravity is going for a 2005 synthpop Bravery-type vibe, but (perhaps thanks to their Slavic roots) it comes across as a cheap Eastern European competitor product which tries so hard to be like its Western counterpart but will never be able to do it. This is the Yugo of music. Yes, a Yugo has four wheels and an engine and all the other workings of a basic car. It’s technically a car. But despite its superficially functional appearance, anyone who’s ever driven one will agree that it’s an unmitigated disaster.
Like the Yugo, this song is absolutely soulless and whoever made this obviously made no attempt to make this entertaining whatsoever. This isn’t a song; it’s a technical exercise. It’s proof that No Gravitycan make music, not that they should. I’ve seen more energy from quadriplegics.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the melodies, just the way they’re performed. The electronics which are placed haphazardly throughout honestly sound like farts, and I think I’ve figured out why. No Gravity’s hometown, Bratislava, is located upon the river Danube. To non-Europeans, the only reason they’ve heard of the river is because of Johann Strauss’s “The Blue Danube” … which is just as famous for being performed with farts as it is with an orchestra.
The mixing is reminiscent of certain bodily functions as well. The solitary guitar might as well not be there. The nonsensical and heavily accented vocals are buried. The fartronics are way too loud in the mix. But if you think those are bad, the drums literally overpower every other instrument. Meanwhile, I can’t seem to find the bass anywhere. Like the mythical city of El Dorado, it is lost, with only faint reminders (like a chain of furniture stores bearing its name) that it ever existed in the first place.
Allow me to ask another question: why bother listing yourselves as a four-piece band when every goddamn instrument is programmed? Why do you need any more than one member? Why can’t this little FL Studio demo be done on one (presumably Adidas-striped) computer by one person and the rest can go home and squat and get drunk with their wives and kids and AK-47s?
Do we have all the Slavic stereotypes out of the way? Good. Moving on.
But this is more than a bad song; it’s a national embarrassment. Most people know nothing about Slovakia, and this might be their first exposure to the country’s culture. If this song was my first experience with Slovakia, I don’t care if it’s some Atlantian utopia, I’m gonna say “I’d rather not visit.”
I’d rather I hadn’t searched out this song. It’s store-brand-generic alternative rock, written in a language it shouldn’t have been, performed with miserable excuses for digital “instruments”, and mixed like this was a rough cut but they lost the finished file and hoped for the best. If you really wanted to look for ‘em, there are probably some redeeming qualities lurking inside the song, but I’m not going to. I can’t bring myself to listen to this song again, so I really don’t care. Baba Booey to y’all.
Sam, also known by his colleagues as "Jewy Lewis and the News", has a booming voice that frightens the elderly and an innate need to inform everyone of his opinions about everything, whether they want to hear them or not. He is currently a student of Broadcast Journalism at the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.