Pretty Girls Make Graves: Speakers Push the Air
hankfully, when Pretty Girls Make Graves wrote “Speakers Push the Air,” the lead-off track from their superb debut, Good Health, the words “subversion” and “irony” were not in their dictionary. This is as pure and joyous a celebration of music as can be achieved, and it is entirely thanks to the song’s absolute directness. Because anything else about a topic so serious to music fans would just be wrong. There is no love like the one we feel for music and love this strong should not be expressed in roundabout ways.
The suffocations, the frustrations, they disappear when the music starts playing
And nothing else matters when I turn it up LOOOOUUUUUDDDDDD!!!!!
Of course, it takes more than heart to write a song that captures the full exuberance music brings. Here, Pretty Girls Make Graves pack it all: magnificent guitar work, propulsive drumming, and vocals that are nothing short of inspiring. And for 2 minutes and 51 seconds, we remember that no matter what happens, we will always have our records. We will always be safe.
For me, though, this realization hits strongest precisely 2 minutes, 28 seconds into the song, when Andrea Zollo intones the word “loud” after the guitars climb in a blinding effort to match her intensity (which, of course, is not possible). For five seconds, she holds the note, before a barrage of drums fly forth and the song concludes with a final utterance of that one line we music fans have held on to as long as we’ve been music fans: “Nothing else matters when I turn it up loud.”
During these five seconds, nothing but sound remains. Without fail, all thoughts except “this is brilliant!” cease to exist. As the song draws to its close, one regains consciousness, so to speak, and there it is: “God damn, they’re right! X doesn’t mean anything to me! Y doesn’t mean anything to me! I could care less if Z existed! All I need is my discman, my headphones, and my copy of London Calling.”
And we are saved, thanks to Pretty Girls Make Graves. So let’s all quit our day jobs, fake our deaths, and stay home for the rest of our lives, never more than a few feet from those gods of artists that have made it all worthwhile. You know you’ve always dreamt of it.
By: Kareem Estefan
Published on: 2004-02-12