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In which we ponder Brokencyde's 'Freaxxx'

Freaxxx, all

If you've accessed the Internet today you've probably been pointed to this already, but we'd be remiss not to direct Pop & Hiss readers in the direction of something so luminously exalted, aesthetically impenetrable and so deeply reinforcing of the Internet generation gap as Brokencyde's video for "Freaxxx." (We'd post it here, but there are liberally autotuned f-bombs abounding.) The "Albucrazy"-based band has done for MySpace emo what some think Soulja Boy did for hip-hop: turn their career into a kind of macro-performance art that exists so far beyond the tropes of irony and sincerity that to ask "are they kidding?" is like trying to peel an onion to get to a perceived central core that, in the end, does not exist and renders all attempts to reassemble the pieces futile.

What was it that Noel Gallagher once said about System of a Down -- that he felt lucky to be alive to see the single worst band to exist in history? I feel something similar about "Freaxxx." Each element of the song is so precisely calibrated to infuriate me -- ghastly synth presets, limp Cookie Monster screeching and enough Antares slathered about to make even Kanye bleed out his eye sockets -- that I can't help but be a little impressed. When accompanied by lyrics that raise emo's underlying virgin/whore complex into the rhetorical troposphere and a visual aesthetic that's equal parts Tokio Hotel, Cobrasnake and the Cash Fan Guy, something more is at play here than a series of missteps from an over-mediated young band.

What we have here are the hideous side effects of Internet-culture music poptimism: a world in which every trope of every genre, sub- or not,  is so instantly accessible, consumable and repeatable that to "like" something is completely subsumed by the act of "acknowledging" something. As terrifying as "Freaxxx" is to listen to, its main function is not as song, but as a checklist of pop culture talking points -- there is autotune, there is screamo, there are awful house beats, there is casual misogyny and committed misogyny (dig the third verse where "Freaxxx" inexplicably turns into a Rollins Band song). There's even an oddly moralist acknowledgement on their website that the liquid in the 40-ounce malt liquor bottle was, allegedly, apple juice. In this handful of dust, Brokencyde has shown you the entirety of inside-baseball mall emo and Top-40 radio from T-Pain to Hinder to T.I. to Jonas Brothers.

There are so many inscrutable moments in the song and video (for instance, how would an eager young lady go about taking off her panties, then her pants, as the song suggests?) that it could amply reward a whole afternoon of putting off work for repeat viewings. But mocking it or questioning its motives is to earnestly engage with the song, an act that's inherently meaningless because there is no motive except allusion and misdirection. So let's all stand in awe that Hot Topic finally has its own R. Kelly -- a villain who loves to hate himself, who returns our scornful gaze with an eager mirror.

--August Brown

Brokencyde photo courtesy MySpace / PHILLM

Comments () | Archives (39)

You know that song "The Kids Don't Stand A Chance"? Well, here is your proof.

This band makes Hollywood Undead look like The Velvet freaking Underground.

I will say this though--I kind of want to hang out in the "Albercrazy" NM scene and see what the heck those kids are doing to produce something like this. In a word: WOW.

Somebody book them in LA, stat!

August, that's a GREAT piece. I discovered Brokencyde by accident (horrible, horrible accident) last week when they entered the electronic-music charts at Rhapsody.com (thus necessitating an artist bio and record review). And it's a cliche, but it really was like a four-lane, 17-car pileup that I couldn't look away from. You're absolutely right about the extreme tropism (I don't know what else to call it) of their approach. I rarely get too enthused theorizing about pop-culture products that I don't actually like, but Brokencyde are so bizarre, such a strange mess of marketing, technology and generational confusion (or what to old folks like me looks like confusion, anyway) that you can't encounter them without sliding down the slippery slope that follows "Are you kidding?"

oh right. i just thought it was the most awesome thing evar.

I am this close to dropping the "f-bomb" after reading only half of this. I see nothing wrong with this song. screw you!


Anyone who knows me knows the song "These Hollywood Hills". A song I wrote before joining Brokencyde under the personality CyN. These guys may not be the next big thing but from working with them they are determined and talented to say the least. Yes, the majority of the talent lies with David Gallegos a.k.a. Seven. I wrote the song Bree Bree with a few lines incorporated from David. Co wrote alot of the music and taught them how to manage the group. However, they have talent, the only problem is they directed it in the wrong direction. We had alot of fans and it just keeps going. At least they have worked, alot more than I can say for alot of other groups considering the fact they dont write the music, they buy beats and Jullian a.k.a. Phat J cant play piano only three note keys that match the bought beats. However. they must be doing something right, but dont worry its a faze. Music will be back after these messages.

To be perfectly honest,
you're opinion is a little bit out numbered by the 165837 myspace fans which obviously very much enjoy the band and this song.
therefor proving, you are very very wrong.

Myspace?? That's soo 2006.

To post a comment you have to be above 13 years of age.


they don't look or sound anything like Tokio Hotel
more like Metro Station

I'm pretty sure *no one* has heard of this band... so why not just ignore them?

Thank you for this. I'm 14. I think I'm supposed to like this music. Too bad it's horrible.
I think it's sad how kids listen to this and think they know what good music is.

Mollie, you are wrong. Just because they have a lot of fans doesn't make them good; it makes the kids that like them stupid, ignorant little teens with no taste in music. Most of them DON'T actually LIKE the music, but rather the scene accompanying it.

Psh, brokencyde is amazing. Screamo and electronic are an amazing mix. And what the hell? theyre not emo, damn, look at how they dress. all this post does is show how shallow everyone is and try and sterotype the music. its DIFFERENT. get over it! freaxxx is one of my favorite songs, want to hate on me for it? go ahead. nothings going to change my opinion about brokencyde. i love them!<3

Just because you don't like a band doesn't mean they're garbage. You might not think they have talent but other people obviously do so get over it and start being open-minded.

I had the same kind of reaction. I couldn't look away when I first came across brokencyde.

It's like a trainwreck just waiting to happen.

Then I started thinking about it... how do you think your grandparents first reacted to Elvis, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

And, if you had hip grandparents, well, good for you. There was a time when simply having your hair long enough to reach your collar made you Johnny Outlaw.

Never discount what "the kids" are into. Like it or not, it could spawn the next big thing (5-10 years from now).

hey just wanted to say that i think i cannot look away from the horror that is brokencyde because it scares me how utterly incompatible i am with it. and to think that there are people who like it, means that there are people out there who think that this is something resembling "cool" its just terrifying. it scares me to death to think that there are people who i may meet who enjoy this. i want to make it my life goal to avoid these types of people like the plague. if i had a kid, and he was listening to this. i cant believe i am saying this.....but i would probably have no choice but to abandon the child immediately.

Just when I thought scene music couldn't get worse, some band goes and proves me wrong. This band have managed to insult several genres in one song. But mainly this is an insult to electronic music. Ah well, people will get bored of em soon enough

well u kno wat this band is like the BEST band on the planet and all u haters can just go do sumthin better with ur life..if u dnt like it then dnt listen! freaxx is an AWSOME song!<33333 BrokeNCYDE!

to all you kiddies who actually enjoy this "music":

music is relative to everyone, but even then there has to be a point where everyone can agree, "yeah that's just crap" and brokencyde fits into this category. not even satan himself can sell their "music" to other people. they're just THAT bad musically, lyrically and most important, intellectually. there's a difference between "silly music" (weird al, stephen lynch, aqua) and just plain "retarded music" and brokencyde certainly IS NOT "silly music". you can thank brokencyde for giving birth to more idiotic kids today, as if there wasn't enough already to deal with.

for ACTUAL listen to family force 5, braille or ohmega watts. at least their music is good musically, lyrically and intellectually.

and true, just because we hate a band doesn't mean it's garbage BUT it doesn't mean that band is GOOD either. learn to write better arguments, kids.

Since when was it attractive to look like you have s.t.d.s?

If you don't like them then seriously, why are you even wasting your time writing this/reading this/commenting on it. Just because you don't like the band doesn't mean you have to bash everyone that likes them. Just because I don't like the Jonas Brother, or Soulja Boy, or anybody else like that, doesn't mean I go around making fun of people who like them or the artist themselves. I actually respect all those musicians because they actually have a job.

Music has grown over the millions over years that we've been here. That's all this is, is music growing. Calm down, if you don't like it don't listen to it. Simple as that.

And who really cares if there music doesn't have meaning? At least they're having fun and making money. And most importantly the song itself if over a year old. Give it a rest.

absolutely brilliant review.

"you're opinion is a little bit out numbered by the 165837 myspace fans which obviously very much enjoy the band and this song."

lol that doesnt make brokeNCYDE good tho
to be honest, i can't see why anyone hates them or loves them, theyre not bad but their not good either
also screw what Noel Gallagher said, he's just a miserable git with no taste in music, like come on, Oasis wish they were the freaking beatles and the beatles SUCK! system of a down are awesome! nu metal rips crunkcore to shreds

It really sucks that people have to bash this stuff. /: Originally, this was a music review and now people are saying teens have no taste. How do you know if we like something or not? It's all opinion anyways. Why do you have to sit here and say rude things? You can't say, "I agree, I don't like them" or something? Why be mean about the fans? Honestly, I like them, but I like everything. I see it as a blessing, and nothing offends me more than being told I'm stupid for liking something. People can be jerks.
If you don't like the music you're listening to, turn it off and leave it at that.

This song is one of my favriote songs by Brokencyde. I luv there cd and all of there songs!

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