Monotone vocals. They've been around since the late 70s, with Joy Division pioneering the relatively original method of expressing anguish. It fell out of vogue during the early 90s, but Cake soon caught onto it, going the distance with their original lyrics, and quickly gaining a following. Again, the vocal styling fell out of fashion, sticking only with Cake's occasional reappearance. Until now, of course.
The second half of 2006 has seen no less than three artists attempt the same in the space of two months. First up, Las Vegas rockers, The Killers, in "For Reasons Unknown" — not technically monotone, but the vocal distortion gives the same effect, melancholy of sorts, but soon breaking into the ultra-poppy hooks they're famous for. The intro to My Chemical Romance's "The Sharpest Lives" sounds almost exactly the same, though replace the distortion with lyrical echoing and the effect is achieved. Good Charlotte is not to be outdone, with their latest single, "Keep Your Hands Off My Girl."
After a year, they're back and carrying their emo fashion styling as much as ever. Starting with a distorted bass riff Matthew Bellamy himself would be proud of, the song surpasses the similar attempts from The Killers and My Chemical Romance, managing to retain the same monotone vocals throughout the entire song, with the occasional melodic "aha" to signify there actually is a structure to the song. It sounds like massacred Cake vocals, to the foundation of The Killers, with gangsta rap lyrics to ensure they're still "jiggy with it."
The ending lyrics says it, "I've got brass knuckles hanging from my neck and my chain" — almost as if, suddenly, My Chemical Romance and 50 Cent have collided to create some sort of super-subculture. Emo Gangstas — that's a first. Minus the vocals and the music actually sounds alright — punky but tight and with enough synthesizer to make you think Brandon Flowers is behind it all. But Joel Madden's sudden appearance brings back the reality that this is Good Charlotte — those guys who pretend they have a mind of their own, but are simply a boy band that can sort of play instruments.
"Keep Your Hands Off My Girl" is the first single to be lifted off the up-and-coming fourth album, Good Morning Revival!, which is slated to be released March 5, 2007. It will also be the first album to feature new drummer, former Morrisey-member Dean Butterworth, after Chris Wilson quit the band last year. You can check out the video for the new single below.Powered by Sidelines