I love writing these chart-watching editions of "The Big Hurt," but I don't do it too often, and for a depressing reason: the same shit stays on the charts week after week. The newest song in the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 — David Guetta's "Turn Me On" — has been lingering for almost two months; most of the shit in the top five has been around for 15 weeks or more, and several are last-chance singles from albums long since tapped out. Amazingly, new stuff does manage to sneak up once in a while. Let's have a look at the week's biggest debuts.
60_TRAIN, "DRIVE BY" | A new Train single is on its way — about as awful as an actual train hurtling toward you, though a lot less exhilarating (you'll never see a teenager getting kicks by staring down lyrics like "Hey Soul Sister"). Obviously, the question is not "Does it suck?," but "How much?" Let's give the track a chance to speak for itself: "When you move me/everything is groovy/they don't like it, sue me/Ooh, the way you do me." If that wasn't a clear enough answer, contemplate this lyric: "My love for you went viral."
67_VAN HALEN, "TATTOO" | That Train track was reprehensible, but here comes David Lee Roth to give these early-middle-aged whippersnappers a lesson in just how bad rock-and-roll wordplay can get. I'm sure you've at least caught wind of the "sexy dragon magic" line by now, but you owe it to yourself to give it a serious, eyes-closed listen on expensive headphones and really soak in the once-in-a-lifetime awfulness. Check out the video, too. When DLR sings "Uncle Danny had a cool tattoo/he fought for the union," it won't even occur to you that he's talking about a labor union — he looks and sounds one generation removed from the Civil War.
78_SNOW PATROL, "CALLED OUT IN THE DARK" | These guys have been also-running since the late '90s, and they're long overdue for a decent tune. They always shoot for the stars, but it seems like they think there are only three and a half of them. I haven't heard their latest record, but this is certainly the lead single; it sounds way too self-consciously lead-singlish to be anything else. Not in a garish way, like Coldplay's embarrassing "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall," but in more of a quietly desperate way: begging for a hit, throwing a bone to the boys at the label — who knows? It starts off well enough — snappy drums, a nice vocal melody, a little less wistful tedium than usual — then builds up to into nothing. When the chorus finally shows up, it looks like it just rolled out of bed.
85_THE WANTED, "GLAD YOU CAME" | A boy band in 2012? This must be somebody's sick idea of a joke. It's not even a good boy band, even by boy-band standards. Their innuendo game is weak as hell — the "came" in the title emerges as a double entendre, but they were beaten at that game 10 years ago by Canadian dipshits B4-4. Their "Get Down" single contained not only the chorus "If you get down on me/I'll get down on you," but the fiendishly clever line "Gonna make you come tonight (over to my house!)." Piss off, losers, you're 10 years late.