2:18 pm

Monday Music Post #2 -- The Untimely Death of Brad by Five Iron Frenzy (Quantity is Job 1, 1998)

It's ska time, baby! "The Untimely Death of Brad" tells the story of... well, Brad's untimely death. Who could've guessed? The Brad in question is Nathanael "Brad" Dunham, the band's trumpet player. Thing is, he's not dead; the song is a satirical poke at online rumours of his death, which started after he had a fill-in during a concert. The real reason he wasn't able to attend were family matters, but the lead singer joked that it was because he was dead. Within a few days, the internet was full of people believing that he actually died. The lyrics of the song are bloody hilarious, featuring a line in which they tell you to console the poor dead trumpet player if you see him around.

The song itself is groovy. The trumpet playing is great, especially for a dead guy, and the chorus has been stuck in my head for at least a week.

Interesting fact: Five Iron Frenzy is a Christian band. Being labeled a "Christian band" is usually a red flag for me. Most Christian rock albums consist of 7 different songs that might as well be the same song, except for how loudly and for how long the discount Steve Perry of a lead singer screams "Jeeeeesus!" into the microphone. They sound like someone who only listened to "Dreams" by Van Halen and thought that song was too hardcore made a band by picking a few senior managers from Waffle House and giving them instruments.

For some reason, Christian ska avoids this. Christian ska actually tends to be really good--see the OC Supertones. Maybe it's because ska music tends to have a sense of humour and self-awareness; maybe trumpets just turn everything they touch into gold. Either way, Five Iron Frenzy elevates itself far above the usual schlock by being able to talk about both serious subjects like religion, belief, love, police brutality, and so on, while also having a sense of humour. They are the band that made a 7 minute multi-genre rock opera about pants, after all.

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