The decade has almost come to an end. And of course, you know what that means-lists, `best ofs’ and all kinds of general retrospective features and columns. Treble is no exception, hard at work on figuring out the best albums and singles of the past nine years. Yet, before we get into albums and singles, we’re taking a look at the best non-single tracks to emerge since the Y2K scare proved to be a non-event. Every week we’ll be highlighting a handful of our favorite tracks of the decade, so keep checking back to hear about what songs remained on repeat on our iPods, CD players, tape decks and turntables since Jan. 1, 2000.
The Hot Snakes – “I Hate the Kids”
From Suicide Invoice (Swami; 2002)
Punk rock is typically a genre and an attitude reserved for youth. Rebellion is for kids, as any jaded grown-up would happily tell you. But don’t tell that to Rick Froberg, a grown man who wants to rock out in his own smart-assed, grumpy way without any of those annoying youngsters getting in his way. On the leadoff track to The Hot Snakes’ incredible second album, Suicide Invoice, Froberg lets the cynicism fly as he laments, “Nobody does anything wrong/ nobody’s a dilettante/ everybody gets everything/ everything they want.” Lousy kids, think they’re so damn smart.
Froberg’s ornery rancor comes with a bit of a smirk, however, and when he chants, “I hate the kids,” one wonders how serious the former San Diegan and current Brooklynite really is. The Hot Snakes not only played their feisty humor with a straight face, but with lightning riffs and a ton of bricks behind each melody. That’s especially true in this furious anthem, opening slowly with wobbly strings and a squealing melodica before erupting into a maelstrom of garage rock riffs and some post-hardcore intensity held over from Froberg and John Reis’ days in Drive Like Jehu. So, kids, if The Hot Snakes put you down, just remember that they’re older and wiser, and had enough years of punk rock practice to show you how it’s truly done.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.