coverTimeless EP
The Swon Brothers

★☆☆☆

 

An EP so bad it almost feels mean to talk about how gross it is.

 

 

 

A miniature manifesto: no matter whether it is called a critique of ideology or a psychoanalytic approach, the practice of reading a text for its symptomaticity is not of great interest to me. It is useful, and has been important; but to my goals it is not relevant. Take, for instance, the claims it would lead to when dealing with country music; anyone can tell you that these are songs about fragile masculinity, or white rage, or working class false consciousness. And these are not incorrect statements, depending on how broadly they are spoken. They are simply irrelevant because I prefer a different kind of productivity than they allow, or provide.

All that said: Timeless is, on top of being musically uninteresting to the point of offensive, so gross as to be unreadable in any way other than as symptom. That the symptomaticity is established immediately out of the gate doesn’t hurt.

Timeless opens with the song “Just Another Girl,” which is ostensibly a love story about The One. What it is, of course, is a couple dudes taking great delight in listing off all those things that one might do or see had she been the titular Another Girl. Namely: “she ain’t just another night / just another kiss, just another line / just another drink, just a good time / she ain’t just another girl / she ain’t another set of blue eyes / she ain’t just another pretty smile / she ain’t just another drunk dial / she ain’t just another girl, no no.” It’s all pornographic gaze, where the woman’s body is divided into discrete aspects, and entitlement.

On its own, that’s gross; when it is the introduction you are given to these characters, who will go on to spend the next twenty minutes expressing their Unique Affection of five other generic women, the whole thing is just unbearable. Add to this that the production is your most run of the mill pop with country instrumentation, and you have a recipe for a worthless record.