Renowned for indulging in the kind of hedonistic electro that makes LMFAO appear shy and retiring bookworms, eternal fratboys 3OH!3 recently announced they were going back-to-basics for their fourth studio album, Omens.
Apart from the absence of any star names a la Katy Perry and Ke$ha, it’s hard to see exactly what the Colorado duo were referring to as the follow-up to 2010’s Streets Of Gold is just as dumb, juvenile and unashamedly trashy as we’ve come to expect from an act whose debut single was titled “Holler Till You Pass Out.” Indeed, littered with groan-worthy pop-culture references, boorish attempts at humour and an overwhelming use of AutoTune, the majority of Omens does little to dispel 3OH!3’s reputation as the musical equivalent of American Pie’s Stifler.
The pair might have been able to get away with Beastie Boys knock-off “Two Girlfriends” and the bratty electro-pop of “Live For The Weekend” when they were of college age. But now that they’re both about to enter their thirties, their continuous adherence to the whole YOLO craze just comes across as desperate and sad. As does the inevitable jumps onto the whole bro-step bandwagon, with the clichéd “Hungover” and bombastic “Eyes Closed” unlikely to be giving Skrillex any sleepless nights.
To be fair, there are a couple of occasions when 3OH!3 appear to realise that they can’t cling onto the last throes of their youth forever. “Youngblood” recalls the summery euphoric alt-pop of Australian quartet The Naked & Famous, while the soaring soft-rock of “Back To Life” could easily be mistaken for an early American Idol winner’s single.
But such moments of clarity are few and far between. Of course, no one expected Omens to be the height of sophistication, but for a record so obviously preoccupied with having a good time, it’s unforgivable that the end result has turned out to be so joyless.