Smash Mouth is not the worst band in the world. That would be Journey. Steve Perry and company are an abomination, a vile pop-music pus pocket that is more putrid than Benito Mussolini’s Cherry Coke backwash after a 20-eternity-long stint fellating Satan’s little Lou.
But Smash Mouth — they’re nothing like that. They’re just the Guy Fieri of rock, serving donkey-sauce songs to Hawaiian-shirt wearing ding-dong dads who like to chug let’s-party-bro beer out of their worn out Vans — which is just another way of saying that they’re lovable, like, say, a neutered teddy bear or Kevin James after one too many jagerbombs. (We’ll try to forget that one time that he stripped down to his skivvies at Arlington Cemetery and tried to light a fart off of JFK’s Eternal Flame.)
Here’s the thing, though. I like Smash Mouth. Not a lot, mind you, but I like them. “Walking on the Sun” is a solid ’60s-esque throwback with a stanky guitar riff, the kind that makes you want to light up a spliff and dance the Batusi. And even as overplayed as it “All Star” is, it remains a fun-time anthem that’s as positively positive as a cheerleader who forgot to wear her bloomers but who isn’t about to let that stop her from climbing to the top of the pep-squad pyramid.
And so I welcome lead singer Steve Harwell and the rest of the Smash Mouth gang as they prepare to embark on their Under the Sun Tour, a jaunt across these fair United States with Sugar Ray, the Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon, and Fastball. On Fri. Aug. 9 that nostalgia train will pull into town for a stop at the North Charleston Coliseum for what is sure to be a night of bro-volution and spontaneous fraticide.
That said, I fear for the souls of those in attendance. I’m sure you’re all decent people, pillars of your local man-cave community, members of the junior-strip club, buffalo-wing sports bar. I hate to say this, but it’s time to move on.
I’ve seen your CD collections at yard sales, how they start with Cracked Rear View and end with the Slim Shady LP. Music didn’t die. You did. Or at least you came really damn close sitting in the La-Z-Boy driver’s seat of your carpool SUV while the kids in the back watched Shrek the Third for the thousandth time. And as anyone can tell you, the No. 3 outing in the Shrek franchise is a real No. 2.
However, there’s still time for you, my friends. Salvation is possible. You don’t have to fall victim to the same nostalgia trip as your classic rock fathers. You don’t have to be part of a world where your very sanity depends on hearing “Whole Lotta Love,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” at least once a day. There’s a world of music out there, music that will speak to your very soul, music that understands exactly where you are in life.
Ah, who am I kidding? That sounds like work, and it’s been a hard enough week for you already, what with the boss man busting your balls because you haven’t made your sales quota in three months and your wife begging you to watch the latest Katherine Heigl flick and your teen daughter sending pics of her let’s-not-even-think-about-it to her boyfriend. The last thing you need is another fucking job.
So to my fellow Smash Mouth loving friend, I say, throw on that oversized bowling shirt for Bon’s Big Balls Bowling Alley. Put on those Silver Surfer shades. And pop open a Virginia Slim-sized can of Michelob Ultra, man. You deserve it.