Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad: BANGLADE$H ‘Lean’

Banglade$h

Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad is a column which sees a panel of writers for The Corner review a range of local singles and grade them out of 10. Check out the song below, read through their opinions and let us know in the comments section your own thoughts and what you’d like to see reviewed next time around.

[YouTube / iTunes]

[Grade: 3.9]

Maddie Collier: Look: you need to be an honest-to-god rapper if you’re going to stick a dollar sign in your all-caps moniker and call your song ‘Lean’. Assuming that as a given, I clicked this link expecting BANGLADE$H to be some slick, sincere kid freestyling over a chopped and screwed beat about a drug he’s never tried. It isn’t. It’s a bunch of Hawaiian-shirt-clad white boys in revo lens wayfarers noodling away about some girl they’re crushing on. WTF, bros? Can’t tell if you’re being grossly *wink wink* about this or if you’re just obtuse but either way you should have stuck with your previous name, The Good Fun, although that’s a lie too. Even adjusting for the fact that this is yet another shitty ‘indie’-pop band with an ironic name, this is still a craptastic song. The vocals are catfight-shrieky, the hook dull-as-fuck, and the video hazardous to epileptics and anyone who doesn’t go to “Gizzy” for NYE. I’m sorry to scathe, but I just don’t think the world needs another song like this. This is Parachute filler; a collection of kids who made a band because bands are cool and they wanted pretty shore girls to hoola-hoop in their videos, not because they had anything to say. $hhhh, BANGLADE$H. [2]

Joe Nunweek: Wow that name is all sorts of horrible. Dunno if it’s meant to be incongruous hilarity (Bangladesh is poor but we put a dollar sign in its name #startedfromthebottom) but if all goes well they should the pioneers for a bunch of other bands that sound like Motocade circa-2007 with names like MISAPPROPRIATED UN FUND$, UGANDAN$, and inevitably, AID$ZZZZ. They’re young and enthusiastic, but this just goes through the agnostic motions of commercial indie for three-odd minutes. It doesn’t jump through enough hoops to be athletic Top 40 pop (let alone stand with current cod-reggae standardbearers like ‘One More Night’ and ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’) and it’s too bloodless to find a niche anywhere else. Not writing them off, but the name’s an albatro$$. [3]

Andrew B. White: I’m not a fan of that kind of white-boy ‘ka-jank-a-jank’ pop/funk guitar sound. The song is too breezy and ironically positive in a hipster boy band pop way for me. The production team of Little and Parkes know their stuff so it sounds good, no problems there. I’m just not a 21-year-old girl discovering the nuances of mid-1980s pastels. Side note: unsure about the band name, especially using a dollar sign. Perhaps it’s best left to ‘rappers’. [6]

Eden Bradfield: Maybe what I’m doing wrong is I don’t have enough dollar signs in my band name: maybe it should be called $u$ie’$ $hlock $hack, and the appropriate amount of dollars followed by lots of zeroes will flow into my bank account. Regardless, this song feels like something created by the High School Musical generation – those bridges and well-thought out appendages are too careful for any generation not touched by musical story and song and dance. So many bridges! So much story! More story than a triple album by a prog rock band! Too much story! [4]

Sean Quay: Twenty-five seconds into this track and it’s pretty much done all it’s going to do: so fundamentally generic I had to check to ensure I wasn’t missing the point of some elaborate practical joke. Produced by the brains behind Goodnight Nurse, it’s no surprise ‘Lean’ is as bland as it is derivative. Guess everyone has their fingers crossed that No Doubt won’t sue. Maybe if BANDLADE$H concentrated more on the music and less on having a career in the music industry, they would write something better. [1]

Luke Jacobs: There are songs that work so hard to make you feel like you are having fun listening to it and yet still fall short. So why do some songs sound like drinking a pina colada and others sound like drinking a pineapple flavoured glass of coconut milk? I think a big part of fun songs is not simply irreverent lyrics, chiming guitar and layered vocal harmony but to actually give the impression that the songwriters themselves are having fun.

Bangladesh definitely impart that to me. They sound like a bunch of young people, making music for those idealistic days and situations where the glasses are most definitely rose tinted. This song is direct and I think it could not work any other way.

After repeat listens it falls apart a little bit simply because there’s a lack of substance in the last half of the song. It comes across as darker sounding in parts, and if that idea was embraced more, it would have really made for a much stronger single. All of the members in the band fulfill the sound well but I think the stand out is the choppy and reverb laden guitar – it really helps to move the song along. The track has life and while perhaps lacking in longevity, it is still good. [7]

Kit Hunter-Welsh: This single is just so dated and cheesy. The most nauseating indie pop that I wish people didn’t bother making anymore. This is music for people who don’t like music. [1]

Lauren Clark: This sounds significantly more polished than I would have expected from a band called BANGLADE$H, which despite the dollar sign (or maybe because of it) just brings to mind cheap synths and maybe unintelligible drunken yelping. I imagine that this track would be relatively successful on ZM or whatever. I’ll freely admit that it’s a good pop song, but it doesn’t make me feel a single thing. All it makes me want to do is shut myself in a dark room with a glass of sherry and listen to Swans or something like some sad old loser. [4]

Matthew Plunkett: A summer illusion that neglects to mention the sand between your toes and the skin rash beneath your balls from bouncing too hard in wet togs. It’s a trend-safe attempt at some kind of glib, ironic hit whose charms and attempts at giddy thrills are unfortunately crushingly workmanlike. A case of clothing over substance held together by the kind of cheerful competence that ultimately renders the taffy trite. [4]

Stephen Clover: ‘Lean’ and the Beach Boys’ ‘Kokomo’ are such similar lengths that I couldn’t resist playing the audio from one under the muted video for the other at the same time — for each. I can’t quite decide which configuration I like best though: probably ‘Kokomo’ playing under the ‘Lean’ vid. It just sounds better. [3]

Emma Hall-Phillips: I feel like I have heard this song a million times before. When listening to this song (without the music video) I picture a whole lotta dudes in singlets and colourful shorts fist pumping in the sun. Sounds like Foster The People mixed with every other generic indie/pop band. Nice harmonies though! [5]

Taylor Groves: I’ll start by saying I think this song is a big improvement on other stuff these guys have done, in various other projects and under different names. It’s just more satisfying than everything else I’ve heard by them. The production is pretty much spot on, the video is totally ‘on vibe’, and I almost had it stuck in my head. Is this song big on the radio or the TV? Will it be? I guess I think it should be, probably. That said, I really like pop-music, I don’t really like this, and though I wasted a good portion of last year on my computer not living in Auckland looking at Auckland social-media and fashion and music and network stuff and being pretty overwhelmed and confused by it all, I still don’t get these guys. The me I thought I knew, thought he would (get these guys). [6]

Louie G: Can’t wait for Lex Looger, DJ Mu$tard and Mike Will Played It to win their regional Rockquest finals. [3]

Miriama Aoake: I found this innately vexatious. My immediate reaction was akin to the feeling of total indifference whilst being enclosed by aggressively happy people. I listened on my laptop, through headphones and with speakers in a vain attempt to procure a hidden subtext but it remained pretty one dimensional. The repetition and whiny vocals gave me a hangover. ‘Lean’ may have an iridescent future on a ‘best of kiwi summer’ compilation. [3]

Miles Sutton: I like this song. I’d probably shrug it off if I heard it somewhere but I know these dudes (mostly from when they were The Good Fun) and so it just sounds like my buddies playing a silly pop song and smiling about girls. I played some friends the video and they mostly said things about Tumblr etc, which is fair, but I dunno, I suspect BANGLADE$H are better at putting their tongues in cheeks than people realise. [7]

12 Comments

  1. Louie G nails it in < 20 words.

  2. “I played some friends the video and they mostly said things about Tumblr etc”

    Gold.

  3. Good to see GSG,BSB again. For a while it looked like the Christchurch CBD.

  4. thanks for the kind words guys, sorry we couldn’t cater to you all!

  5. I quite liked the song, thought the title was quite ironic.

  6. I think its a GOOD pop $ong, Why Shit in the nest?!?! nice critiquing you Self important idiots.

  7. meeehhh says:

    It’s ‘Mike will Made It’ & “lex Luger’ Louie you fucktard. PS this song is fucking shit,

    • That may have been part of the joke. Agree on second point though,

    • Matthew says:

      weird that a noted scholar of rap producers like yourself doesn’t know about mr bangladesh. I’m just shocked, what a crazy surprise

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