zVeritas Est Rock – mcb

Dan Willis

While most emocore fans drop their pants for the chiding musical diary entries of such post dance punk neo-glam crooning outfits such as “The Rotten Lovetrots” and “Grey Laces,” this rock columnist, for one, is still in search of the real thing. Could it have been the unregulated flowing righteousness of the three-person cello section or the homely honesty of Jack Eunister’s half whispered pillow-talk confessions that converted this rock columnist to their side, for one. Either way, all platitudes aside, in the ever-changing world of pre-urban Midwestern indie-temp-rock, “The Friday Night Forgottens” wooed a dreamy-eyed crowd of 14-year-old underachievers at the Menasha Youth Center last Wednesday afternoon.
With their 2003 debut album “Mostly Light Blue,” the world got an intimate look at the rough-and-tumble portside abridgements of lead singer Eunister’s culturally depressed amorphisms. In a 2004 interview for his seventh grade best friend’s post-indie indie-rock blog, Eunister offers some insight on his approach to songwriting. “I mean, as hard as it was as an orphaned asthmatic 12-year-old with a chronic full body rash, I also wet the bed.” He added, “Oh, and I was dumped over 35 times by the time I was 20.”
It’s no wonder then why their sophomore album, which dropped last month on the Hotline Busy Signal label, holds such a rich bevy of salty-cheeked rainy Sunday anthems. The title track, “I’m Ugly, You’re Ugly, Let’s Ditch Gym Class,” starts off with the achingly poignant line “If its required of us / Why don’t you just kiss me dryly / I wish you had checked ‘maybe’ / rather than the less torturous ‘yes’.” Beautiful.
The rest of the band gleans their mature aesthetic vision by confusing sloppy, mindless chord work on out-of-tune borrowed toy guitars, with unique and organic musical expression.
But at the same time it may be that The Friday Night Forgottens are the best dump-core band to emerge from the eastern Fox Valley since the well-known and iconoclastic trio 1-800-784-2433. Those guys were surely on the forefront of a movement that has seen this music explode among the “Currently Listening To” line in people’s LiveJournals.
That said, TFNF’s magic lies in their mysterious ability to infuse Eunister’s post-whiny anti-crooning voice with the crappy playing of the rest of the band. Even so, Eunister’s post-whine isn’t so much a whine as it is a near whale call. The ill porpoise-like abrasion of his nasal incantations harken back to a time when whining was yet pure, with the immortal complaint-rock super groups of the early ’80s. TFNF’s rampant creative uprisings remind a certain rock columnist of the best of what emocore post-post indie unrock rock can rock out against for.