Are you guys ready to get…tight?
When you’re 13, your standards for badassery are pretty low, and include anyone above the ninth grade. It’s because of these standards that you end up making regrettable choices when it comes to the music that you’re interested in. Your ability to appreciate anything more subtle than 8 Mile hasn’t developed yet, so you end up stuck with a taste for all things terrible. To help you chronicle your awfulness and etch it into history, I’ve fine-tuned a list meant to match the anti-authority attitudes of anyone who is thirteen, and disgust every other possible age group.
“Immortal,” by Adema
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance has just come out for the Nintendo Gamecube, and you’re stoked. You’ve set the blood levels up as high as they can go, and you’ve fought enough ArKade matches to earn some sweet KOINS to spend in the KRYPT, where you can unlock concept art and backstage pictures, because there is no more exciting reward for a pubescent boy than to watch a homely video game designer arrange pixels on Sub Zero. Lo and behold, you stumble upon the KRYPT KOFFIN that contains the music video for “Immortal,” which is the official theme song of the game. What happens neKst will define you for the rest of your life.
Featuring the band Adema singing on poorly rendered versions of the game’s stages, “Immortal” is a song that’s mostly about fighting. It’s so about fighting that after the lead singer weakly breathes out a screeching melody of vowels, his first actual lyrics are yelling “LET’S FIIIIIGGGGHHHHHHTTTTT!” From there, it’s a montage of flames and cut scenes from the video game, all cheaply arranged to the band wailing about dealing with someone who is both “insecure” and the “leader of lost souls,” the former being a trope of pop rock music and the latter being someone of such high supernatural standings that an adjective like “insecure” probably doesn’t actually apply to them.
Sometimes, they’ll throw in shots of the band performing in front of an excited audience, just to prove that, somewhere, people other than you were interested in this fucking music. But the pinnacle of this entire thing comes at the end, when it looks like the band members surround the demon Scorpion as if they’re going to fight him, and Scorpion proceeds to start to slaughter them all with his ability to not be the guy who is singing “Immortal.” Out of every song on this list, this one is the most problematic, as you could probably hear the other songs randomly at some point in your life. To hear “Immortal” in the days before YouTube would mean either tracking down Adema’s Insomniac’s Dream EP, or booting up your Gamecube and going out of your way to listen to “Immortal” again. For either option, the only punishment is being stuck as you.
“One of a Kind,” by Breaking Point
“One of a Kind” is the theme of WWE wrestler Rob Van Dam, and fulfills most of the necessary requirements for being a badass song to everyone whose biggest goal is making out with other humans. It’s about sort of confronting a would-be antagonist with nothing but your own awesome attributes. In this case, you’re winningly unique. So unique that you leave fear in the back of an enemy’s mind which “makes you believe I’m one of a kind!” I don’t know how it works either, but I’ve forgotten a lot of things that I once knew and held dear in middle school.
While the chorus is about how awe-inspiring it is to be different, the verses mainly have to do with being a burgeoning serial murderer, which is standard for a song meant to legitimize a wrestler whose finishing move is the “frog splash.” They even include bits about hearing voices and the thrill of it being “killing time,” but this is all the norm when you’re dealing with rad things of this ilk. If you want to be taken seriously in the world of pre-teen angst, you have to go one step above simply conquering your fears and foes. You have to conquer innocent bystanders as well. Everyone must fall victim to your fury. Also, if you bring your cd player to class, the teacher will confiscate it. This whole thing is a careful balancing act.
“Figured You Out” by Nickelback
Whether they’re talking about blowjobs (“Animals”), or more blowjobs (“Something In Your Mouth”), Nickelback is the undisputed king of singing about sex like a jaded Pizza Hut employee. And before you balk at my discrimination against sexless Pizza Hut employees, go into any Pizza Hut. But while the two aforementioned songs are like Weird Al parodies of Nickelback stolen by Nickelback in one big, ironic misunderstanding, “Figured You Out” at least attempts to hide the main focus of the song behind clumsy references to pants and knees. Now imagine “pants” and “knees” being sang by someone wearing a Pizza Hut uniform.
When you’re thirteen, unless you’re violently insulting your mother on Maury’s couch, your view of sex is limited to placing the bits and pieces of knowledge that you’ve acquired from pop culture and rumors on the table and stitching them together into something that will seriously embarrass your first girlfriend. That’s what makes “Figured You Out” so appealing. It doesn’t go over anyone’s heads with sexual metaphors, probably because of Chad Kroger’s insistence on seriously embarrassing all of his girlfriends, and it allows you to put together the naughty puzzle of what’s going on in the song’s storyline. She’s looking up at him? Oh, holy shit. You know what that means, right? A little bit of, heh, you know. You know. Like, when you, haha, you know.
“Youth of the Nation” by P.O.D.
In a pandering attempt to create a listenable audio situation, P.O.D, concocted “Youth of the Nation,” which is the most relatable song to thirteen-year-olds ever because it would take no more than a twelve-year-old to come up with the words to it. If you’ve never listened to P.O.D. before, don’t start now. It’s a Christian metal band that does their best to rebel against all of them Slayers and Marilyn Mansons and provide wholesome music for kids to hate their fathers to. Admittedly, I have enjoyed one P.O.D. song though, but I saw it in a video to someone’s MMA highlight reel, because nothing fits better with repetitive Christian music than a decade’s worth of concussions.
“Youth of the Nation” describes the lives of various kids, Just. Like. You. who have all taken the wrong path because they want to fit in. Little Suzy has promiscuous sex. Johnny has shitty friends and ends up committing suicide. In fact, the only person who doesn’t make a mistake is the singer himself, who goes to school unaware that there’s going to be a school shooting that day, and “instead of taking a test, took two to the chest.” That’s pretty messed up. The song is about wayward teens, but the singer is the only one who is blameless in all of it. He talks about not thanking his parents for being parents, so I guess he’s guilty of being a…teenager, maybe? I don’t know. He’s part of the youth of the nation though, so he’s probably right.
“Headstrong” by Trapt
Trapt’s mission statement is in their band name. Eschewing normal spelling procedure, they eliminated the lame “-ed” end on “trapped” and replaced it with a “-t,” because, as this list has taught us, there is no better way to appeal to thirteen-year-olds than to make no sense at all.
Is this song about discovering someone’s secrets? A harsh break up? Fighting a person? Fighting everyone? I have no idea. All I know is that I could really go for a Mountain Dew: Code Red right now.