Music » CD Reviews

Custom

Fast (ARTISTdirect)

by

comment

When all is said and done, there is nothing new under the sun, and what sells in rock and roll is the same old threesome: sex, swearing, and shock value. Custom uses a liberal dose of all three S-words on his debut, which may be why the first single is doing so damn well. "Hey Mister" is a dirty little ditty in which the singer tells a man in excruciating detail just how he (the singer) likes to (radio edit) said man's daughter, and it's been a smash success on alternative radio.

But "Hey Mister" is deceptive: Despite its ultra-blue content, it's not musically groundbreaking or even sexy. Custom himself is just the latest in a long line of callow young white guys singing sincere songs about their immensely shallow lives -- a genre that's currently inhabited by acts like Kid Rock, Sugar Ray, and Blink-182.

Happily, Custom's music is a wealth of imagination compared to Blink, using a pastiche of sounds, samples, and those whooshing guitars that somehow always sound English to American ears. Lyrically, his record stars the antics of a suburban young man whose inner world is made up of girls, skateboarding, and cliché existential angst. On the album's centerpiece, the lengthy "Morning Spank," Custom narrates a typical teen melodrama: "A friend doesn't bang another friend's girlfriend/Dude, but dude, I don't know what to say . . . I'm a fucking idiot."

It's hard to disagree.

Add a comment