Thursday, May 28, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Perfect Songs - Vehicle

This was originally posted on my tumblr on September 5, 2012. And there's a Starsky and Hutch reference.

ides of march

Perfect Songs - Vehicle

Any talk about rock music eventually leads to discussion of a song that is either overtly or covertly creepy. In many cases, the riffs are so overpowering, you don’t even realize how totally disturbing the song is until one day, you’re singing along in your car and that one lyric suddenly becomes clear and that “What the fuck did I just sing!?” moment happens. None the less, the song remains and you can’t help but just play it louder anyway. In this case, it’s perfect. And it’s Vehicle by Ides of March.

This song screams 70’s muscle car power, black leather jacket, shades and facial hair to me. The friendly stranger in the black sedan clearly could have been an extra on Starsky and Hutch, who eventually gets chased down for offering candy to little girls. Wait, what the fuck is this song about? This is pre-hipster irony, so I can’t tell if the pimp/pedophile/potential kidnapper in the song is being glamorized or not. The horn riffs are certainly powerful and catchy enough to make it seem that way. But I don’t think that’s the intent at all. Not judging from the album cover, anyway. I think it’s just a story being told. And I’m sure most people never really thought about the lyrics all these years. All that stands out is the funk and soul inspired chorus of “I love you. I need you.I want you, got to have you child. Great God in Heaven, you know I love you.”
All in all, this is man music. The testosterone just drips from the brass section to the vocals. Lyrics be damned, they just get in the way, really. It’s not a car song, and yet makes me drive fast. It’s badassery at its finest, even if paying attention too closely to the lyrics makes you feel icky. And yet, that additional layer might be a big part of why it’s a perfect song. It’s the 70’s, we’re talking about here. It’s the era of grit and grime. It’s the decade of porn and the Son of Sam. It’s only fitting that this song blends it all together. It’s perfect, and I will continue to play it loud.

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