BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — When the band Doozer appeared at Bristol Eastern High School last Wednesday, it just reinforced my certainties about what is wrong with punk music today.
With the revived label of “punk” floating around like the flu among teenagers nowadays, this band falls right into the mold of a modern-day “punk” band.
They’re extremely whiney and mainstream-oriented. To be quite frank, they’re all pop artists dressed to appeal to the masses. With an array of outfits and hair-dos, they could look like anything from Abercrombie & Fitch models to members of a death metal band.
With the absence of world-renowned bubble-gum pop groups such as N*Sync and the Backstreet Boys, the 12 to 18-year-old crowd is getting restless and needs fresh faces to faint over.
So what does the record company decide to do to solve this dilemma? The trend of getting a group of guys who could no doubt be in an actual bubble-gum pop group while also playing instruments seems to be catching on. This is how current day pseudo-punk has come about.
With music expanding within itself, there are a countless number of sub-genres with which you could label every band that’s out there today, but to keep this particular teenage idolization frenzy general, it now carries the name “pop punk.”
And deservedly so. It seems as if a majority of these bands formed with the sole purpose of selling out, even before they become somewhat famous.
Their song subjects are the same as their bubble-gum counterparts, overused and watered-down like all the rest. If you listen close enough, you’ll swear Justin Timberlake himself is on vocals.
But who could blame this new breed of attention whores? After all, it seems to be working. During third period at Eastern, while Doozer was playing, they had a large group of girls standing in awe about how “hot” they all were, yet none of them noticed the fact that Doozer’s musical talent was a bit lacking.
It’s sort of sad how today’s musical standards have been replaced by looks, rather than musical integrity. Thanks to the media and radio, teens base their personalities on what is spoon-fed to them rather than searching for themselves.
If MTV says it’s cool, it must be. If I don’t conform to being a non-conformist, no one will talk to me. The only thing punk about today’s music is the look, as bands try hard to appear as real and hardcore as possible. It’s actually quite entertaining to watch if you have never heard the band before seeing them play.
You’d expect a different sound coming from a group of guys that look like they spend their weekends off in the woods sacrificing animals for fun.
But then, when they actually play their music, you think you’re listening to the New Kids On The Block with real instruments instead of the synthesizers.
As long as you have eye candy, the sheep will flock. The average person will tune out what they hear and zoom in on what they see.
A domino effect will occur and everyone will proclaim themselves a true “punk” and get a holier-than-thou attitude with their music. This held true as overprotective Doozer fans verbally attacked anyone who had anything remotely negative to say about the band.
So I will give this new-age punk phenomenon some credit: it does bring together the hordes of teenage girls who previously were outcasts, or had no personalities.
Sam Yosafi is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.