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Music Review: Good Charlotte – “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl”

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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.

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  • Ash

    OMG I love this video. How can you say shit about them? They are not a frickin boy band and they can play instruments. Why dont you just shut up and stop judging them.

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    This article has been placed at the Advance.net websites, a site affiliated with about 12 newspapers.

    One such site is here.

  • mi

    exactly dont talk shit bout GC
    GC rule!…
    joel looks hott in da video too!

  • Jessie

    First, let me say, you’ve got one thing wrong. Good Charlotte hasn’t been good since they ditched their first drummer, Aaron.

    That being said, I can’t help but like this song. It’s too damn catchy. And they’re not trying to be something they’re not. Have you ever been to Waldorf, MD (where the guys are from) or it’s surrounding areas? It’s not your typical suburbia. It’s right outside of DC and essentially, a mini ghetto. So, that influence has always been there.

    As for the “boy band” comment….these four guys are some of the most talented musicians I have ever known. They really take pride in their music and I respect them immensely for that. Seeing them play acoustically would convince you of that.

    Why can’t bands ever just be who they are? Why is there always someone out there saying how much they sound like someone who came before them. Coldplay is always going to be compared to Radiohead. Keane will always be compared to Coldplay. One pop-punk band will always be pitted against another one.

    It’s ridiculous. It really is.

    I may not be a hardcore Good Charlotte fan anymore, but I do hold a lot of respect for them. And I have known them since their grassroots beginning. So, while you are correct on some fronts, do some research before you shoot your mouth off. It can only make you look more intelligent.

  • riotgirl27

    i love gc!!!! how could u dis on good charlotte man? they rock, they may not have hardcore stuff like AFI, but the still rock!!! rock on gc!!!!

  • Prue

    Jessie you are right there… but who really cares about this dick.. he is writing a review while gc are actually making music.. those who cant do criticise.. and gc rock i love ‘em…

  • Ashley

    GC rocks! Who’s this stupid guy who wrote all those things? I totally don’t agree with him, and I love GC.

  • jason

    Good Charlotte ROCK!!
    I’ve loved them since the first album, nd ne1 who dont like them r crazy!
    Rock onGC

  • roit-gyg

    i loooooooove GC…. like them all
    they´re realllly the best band of the world. (for me…and you???)
    if you dont like the guys, i´ll never understand that…. ok… i just want to say that…
    bye RiO0o0oOO0OT GiRl, from germany

  • riot-gyg

    hey i wanted to say that: i love them, like you all.. not that i “like them like them all”………..
    srry, my fault… i´m not so well in english.

    my favourite songs , are “the world is black” and “emotionless”. songs i love, too are: the truth, riot girl, say anithing, hold on, move on…
    kk
    riot girl gyg

  • James

    I completely agree with everyone above.
    so to sum it all up quickly:
    gc are not a crappy boyband, they are talented musicians
    they are the best band on the planet, no doubt there
    this review is clearly unintelligent rubbish

    thank you! haha i cant wait for the new album, and to see them play when they come back to england :)

  • Niki

    hmm i got to say at the first time i heard this song..i thought what is this for s’it?:S..but after the secound time i just CAN`t stop listening to this song..it´s so damn good that my parents and siter is almost going crazy because i play the same song over and OVER again…well i got to say that GC has not disepointed me yet and they are being better and better for every time i hear them:D

  • Niki

    oh i forgot to say i totally agree with Mi
    Joel looks so damn hot in this video rarrr^^,

  • http://www.myspace.com/tastethepumpkinsoup Kate

    I find it amusing that the person who can’t speak english speaks better English than the people who speak english as their first language.

    I dislike Good Charlotte.
    But this song was not too bad,
    and i have regained a bit of resect for them.

    Stop being pathetic and defending Good Charlotte by using points such as

    “dey r da bestest band dis world has eva seen” (Learn to spell you stupid mutt),

    “Joel looks so hot” (that doesn’t defend the song sweetheart..)

    “How can they say that? they are the bestest band on the planet”
    (They can because it’s their job to review you dumb shit and they are not the best band on the planet thats just your opinion)

    so before trying to defend a band,
    Come up with something decent to say, rather than embarrassing yourselves and the band who’s fans appear to be whiney obsessive teenage girls or illiterate fucks.

  • zingzing

    my, my, kate! such a strong voice! i’d wouldn’t be surprised if your breath smelled of week old wine. woof! evil spills from your fingertips!

    for those of you who want some nice pop mixed in with your punk, go back to the start, get yourself a buzzcocks album or two and see what happens to your love of such baloney as good charlotte. yish!

  • http://goodcharotte fay chapman

    good charlotte i am tell you
    i like best pop star
    good lads looking nice lads pop group good singing
    hi boys lots tottoo
    your body
    boys is hots