Research shows the letter E as the most commonly used in the English language, but that doesn't mean E has no standards. Entertainers have long used weird names or misspellings to try to stand out, but in Staind's case I suspect the E fled when it first heard their music. Don't you wish you were so lucky?
Call 'em what you will, Staind is a very bad band. A leader of fin de siècle bombast, Staind is the heavy-metal equivalent of watching a big bully cry. By the end, it's no longer funny or satisfying - just pathetic.
"Open Your Eyes," a song about urban blight, is a personal fave. On what I assume is a typical day in the band's hometown of Springfield, Mass., lead singer Aaron Lewis encounters drug addicts, teenage prostitutes, corpses, rooftop snipers, porn stars and acid rain. Singing "what would you do," Lewis answers contemptuously: "You turn away."
Everyone, please stop ignoring all those dead, acid-burnt, drug-addled prostitute sniper victims! It annoys Staind.
Still, if you want more uplifting moments, check out these: "A Flat" ("And I hate myself/And I hate my face"). "Mudshovel" ("You can't feel my pain/You can't feel my torment"). And, of course, "Home" ("Another sleepless night again/Hotel rooms my only friend").
Zoloft has nothing on these guys.
In the end, of course, it doesn't matter what you or I think. Nothing is going to stop these sad sacks from making millions more on their whinging. Good gracious, now that's depressing.
Monday, Aug. 7, Barrymore Theatre, 8 p.m.
No mention Of Montreal is complete without noting how lead everything Kevin Barnes is from Athens, Ga., not Canada. There's some long story behind the name, involving an ex-Girlfriend, but as soon as you hear the music, you've stopped caring.
The reason: Barnes is brilliant. While the Polyphonic Spree requires some 300 cult members to produce their upbeat psychedelic '60s retropop, Barnes can do the same with just a few studio musicians and none of the creepy white robes.
It's hard not to enjoy the many depths - from catchy to conceptual to coo-coo - of Barnes' music. I could try to describe it, but being lazy, I'll just share some song titles: "Eros' Entropic Tundra," "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games" and "At Night Trees Aren't Sleeping." Imagine those with Hammond organ and, if you are intrigued, go.