How to Listen to '3OH3' Without Mourning the Death of Pop Music
  • MONDAY, JULY 09, 2012

  • Posted by: Amanda Scherker

It's almost too easy to skewer music that sounds like electronic duo "3OH!3." These self-proclaimed party animals dropped a single called "Do or Die" as they gear up for the release of their second album Omens. They're basically the sacrificial lamb for a bored, rabid music critic. Ripping them apart doesn't take claws or ice-queen cruelty; it takes ears and a reasonable appreciation of good music. So, you could take this opportunity to write a eulogy for pop music or even blame a failing public school system for the increased stupidity of kids today. But that'd just be burying the proverbial head in the sand.

Facts are facts, and apparently this vague derivative of what we colloquially call "music" is made for somebody to enjoy. That much is blazed in shiny letters on the Billboard Top 100. 3OH!3 has, indeed, climbed that Mount Everest of American music along with a few of their golden dub-steppin', fist pumpin' cousins, and these kids don't show signs of falling off a cliff anytime soon.
So, before you get ready to hide out in the nearest bomb shelter with only a record player and a Velvet Underground album, let's talk coping mechanisms.

We can cruelly take digs at their nails-on-a-chalkboard-bad lyrics about staying up four nights in a row on the best designer drugs and top-shelf liquor this year's dub-step kings can afford (cause if you haven't heard, these bros can make it rain). Or we could laugh at their canned, cheap beats that drop with all the predictability and subtly of a state fair roller coaster. If we want to stoop really low, why not throw in a jab at their name, which, in case you were wondering, has zero to do with chemistry and everything to do with their "303" area code of Boulder, CO. (A thousand sweet Colorado hippies just cried a pool of lavender, incense tears.)

But easy metaphors and double-fisted sucker punches can't change the facts: people are digging this stuff. They want to "Do or Die" 3OH!3 style and pound back shots to this pounding dub-step bass. So why has the filthy, nasty, blaring dub-step flavor seized a generation of beer-sucking frat boys and party girls? The music is, above all, accessible. "Accessible" means that, as you desperately try to stop paying attention, eventually, you're head will betray you and start nodding to the beat. (guilty as charged!) But the alternative to "accessible" doesn't have to mean a snobby atonal harmony. The Beatles in their simplest, early days were as accessible as a picture book. So there has to be a way to make modern music that's smarter than this, but doesn't carry an unattractive, pretentious weight on the ears. Until that happens, I'm afraid groups like 3OH!3 will be sipping back one shot for their girl, and twenty for the ones who got away, and you innocent bystanders may have to hear about it.

Here's the video, if you want to listen to it or something, I guess:

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