You know the kind of funny where it’s skewering the sort of people you know, and the trueness of the details is what makes it hilarious? “Asymmetrical Bangs: Pt I,” the new Fat Randy single, hits that spot for me. If you’ve been to more than one show where the same person played in two of the three bands on the slate, or where a piece of art fell on the drummer, or where you sat on someone’s floor and tried to figure out what the midliner was even doing, you’ve seen the plot of this song enacted.
It, and the album it’s part of (coming in May!), are inspired by songwriter Stephen Friedland’s experiences as a sound engineer and promoter for Tiny Box Booking. This one starts outside a venue in New Haven and captures the moment with lo-fi buzz that will transport the experienced show-goer to some specific bar stool in some specific venue with that one power-pop band, you know the guy.
ABPtI also fits my theory that extremely specific detail can be more evocative of a universal experience than vague one-size-fits-all lyrics. While the specific coiffure is of-the-now, anyone whose misspent youth happened after about 1950 either had that quirky-girl friend with the edgy haircut of her time, was the group’s quirky girl, or dated the quirky girl. Depending where you were, her boyfriend moved to Vermont, the pothead parts of northern California, New Mexico, or Wisconsin. (The boyfriend may return as Bon Iver, having written an EP about quirky girl’s flaws.)
Listen three times and I dare you not to headbang to the chorus, as it’s both simple to do and will annoy the hell out of your carpool mates. I got a kick out of this and am excited for the album coming in May. Here’s the Bandcamp link so you can buy it and listen with a clean conscience, and here’s Spotify because it’s easy.