I have a younger cousin. She is pretty radical except for her taste in music. As someone who cares about music a great deal, I consider it my responsibility to inform people of songs I consider to be great. Whether or not it’s mainstream, underground, independent, classical, or foreign, if it is good I shall shout it from the rooftops. As a self-declared and -depricating songwriter myself, I know how hard it is to write a song, let alone a good one. That’s why it bothers me so much when an artist or band goes beyond taking influence from their idols or contemporaries, and clearly starts ripping them off. Boys Like Girls is one of these bands…
I’ve decided to call this a rant of apathy because I feel bad calling it a rant of hate, and it goes well with how little I care.
Getting back to my cousin now, she’s 15 years old and in love with the new pop punk scene. This was not my pop punk scene as a teenager, and I’m not even that much older than her. The scene now seems to be comprised of mainly models who strap on guitars, play power chords while making sexy poses, and sing into a microphone plugged directly into Auto-tune, all while an electronic beat is run throughout the background. Depending on the band, it almost ALL sounds like either the Postal Service hopped up on cocaine, Hanson but a bit more wimpier, or Simple Plan but more irritating. There are actually a few decent bands in the genre, so don’t think I’m just bashing the whole lot of them, just commenting on how the scene looks from a distance. It is for the most part really sad, and as a result I now avoid Warped Tour like a plague of frog-eating locust.
The Bamboozle Roadshow is what I attended instead (it’s usually a tad better), though it was only because it was at Six Flags and Third Eye Blind was headlining. You can tell that the scene is pathetic by the fact that they need to get bands outside of the genre and way past their prime (though still amazing and more talented) to get an audience big enough to have a show. So roller coasters, free tickets, and one of my favorite bands lured me in, and I was happy to oblige the other bands with my attendance while I went on rides and waited for the headliner. I saw a band called Stereo Skyline (aka Hanson 2.0) and Forever the Sickest Kids (who I adore because they clearly know how ridiculous their music is but have a ton of fun with it anyway). After skipping Simple Plan and enduring Good Charlotte’s greatest hits, there was one band left until Third Eye Blind. Now, onward to the point of the story and post.
One of the other headliners alongside 3eb and LMFAO was Boys Like Girls. Following Good Charlotte, they put on a great show, seriously. They were charismatic and entertaining, plus their songs are catchy as hell. There’s a reason for that, though. Boy Like Girls are thieves, flat out robbers of the mainstream music scene. (As a side note, the reason something becomes mainstream is because it is catchy enough that it can worm itself into the minds of the general public. That’s not a bad thing because it gives artists something to strive for, but luckily, fans of the band usually keep them in check from going overboard and quote unquote selling out. This doesn’t always work, check out Green Day.) But Boys Like Girls have officially gone farther than any other band to get famous, which I must say is semi-understandable given the nightmare of a scene they had to escape from, but their aping of other artists is inexcusable.
I could only pinpoint two direct steals, but the other songs on their myspace do indeed sound like other bands. In order, they are:
“Love Drunk” – Chorus lifted from “Somebody Told Me” by the Killers
“Heart Heart Heartbreak” – Verses, including the bow wow sound, stolen from “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi
“Two Is Better” – Wow that chorus sounds an awful lot like the Swell Season, who wrote the Song of the Year a few years back
“Thunder” – I refuse to figure out which song, but Nickelback is a dead ringer for the verse’s melody
So, four of their biggest songs, on their myspace, in front of the entire world to see and listen to, are plagiarized in some way. That’s just sad and I’ve decided I don’t want to write any more about it. Shorter posts coming soon, I promise!
For now, go compare for yourself at the myspaces!