Metallica may have disappointed me the most this year, Kanye may have frustrated me the most, Guns N’ Roses may have annoyed me the most, and Be Your Own Pet’s breakup did the most to break my heart. But no band outright angered me this year quite like XX Teens, whose debut album, Welcome to Goon Island, inspired me to listen to it more times than it deserved before turning it off in disgust.
I’m sure the five boys of XX Teens would love to know they’re pissing off critics, just like they love to piss off people who Google them (not only does that trick not work anymore, but it was essentially already done by !!! five years ago). While the idea of pissing people off only later to be seen as geniuses sounds cool in theory, XX Teens’ problems come in their execution of that goal. It’s very hard to treat yourself as misunderstood geniuses when others haven’t misunderstood you yet.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing, XX Teens are deceptively doing the same thing as Kanye’s “voice of this generation of this decade” crap. By trying to define they’re own specific legacy, they’re actually ramming it down their listener's throats, and daring the music world to question them. The only problem: XX Teens aren’t as good at what they do as Kanye is. Allow me to launch my own Operation: Humble the Goons.
Listen, here’s the XX Teens’s main problem: Most bands see getting and album released by Mute, getting good reviews, and maybe meaning something to some people’s lives as an immense privilege. The XX Teens feel like they’re entitled to it. But like a entitled spoiled rich kid, the XX Teens don’t merit the attention they assume they deserve. Luckilly, the rock world won’t provide them with a set of wealthy parents to bail them out.