In Retrospect: “The Environment”
Ahh, high school. The time when people with a creative drive start to really begin to focus on their output. And I certainly did. I was writing songs like crazy. Mostly terrible ones. This one actually might stand out as one of the not-so-terrible ones in the bunch, which is why I decided to bring this song to the studio and redo it for our first ever studio-recorded release, You Are What You Eat. (The original version of this song was on the high school release Advanced at Nothing.)
I was at the height of writing what I thought was “comedy music” back in my freshman year of college (which is when this updated version was recorded), and I suppose I thought that meant I was supposed to write mean-spirited and otherwise “edgy” songs.. So this song ended up being one of the mean ones, although I can’t say I hate it for that. I sort of still like this idea of doing a song from the point of view of an awful person who just flat out doesn’t believe in environmental conservation (and there are far too many of those out there). If I had written this today it probably would have ended up being a lot more “political” and alluding to more current issues. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe bad. One thing’s for sure… this song advocates the killing of koala bears. And that’s just plain evil.
Musically this song is a bit of a mess. The music itself is kinda catchy. It’s just a powerchord-based guitar rock song like a Weezer or Green Day kinda thing. But man, the melody just doesn’t make any sense. Why does it go down like that on “done for us”? That’s not catchy. I have no idea why I thought that was a good idea. You can tell this song wants to be catchy but it doesn’t know how to. I do like the bass line, and that somber-sounding opening. I remember that bass being a pain to get recorded for some reason. The middle section is kinda cool because we got some of our friends to appear in it, like Worm Quartet, Devo Spice, Steve Goodie, Dino-Mike, and Lemon Demon. (I actually felt very lucky to get Lemon Demon to do that.) However, that middle section is also a blatant ripoff of the “What have the Romans done for us?” scene in Life of Brian. So when you realize that, it becomes stupid. And it goes on too long, anyway. Musically that section also doesn’t follow an actual pattern and recording the drums to it was a pain for that reason.
Lyrically… well it’s not as terrible as other stuff from that era. I still think the idea of the song is alright. That ending, though… man. Al Gore shoots me? That’s so dumb. It’s like we didn’t know how to musically end the song so I went for some terrible one-off gag and the song just cuts off. Is there even an actual joke to that? I have no clue…
This song is off our 2009 EP “You Are What You Eat” which is available on iTunes and all sorts of other places.