Jan 032018

zeus springsteen

Zeus Springsteen doesn’t sound much like their namesake. A more apt mythological moniker might be Death Cab for Zeusy, or perhaps R.E.M.ortal (pronounce it like “immortal”). On their self-titled debut, the band piles hook upon hook, harkening back to the jangliest days of college rock. It’s full of funny lyrics like “I’m double-fisting antidotes for the common cold / and for growing old and bitter,” but the goofiest title of the bunch addresses a more serious topic – sort of. It’s a song about a robot avenging sexual assault. They christened him Joey, but I’ve taken to calling him R2MeToo.

Don’t think the song “Joey Is a Robot” isn’t still funny as hell though. Take this verse:

Joey is a robot
The principal died at dark
All the fascist bodies torn apart in the park
Sweet justice is his fuel
He’ll storm the vestibule

“There’s an element of wish fulfillment to it,” says songwriter Chris Farnsworth. “You see all these women getting fed up and calling out all the bullshit they deal with – they’re trying to cut away diseased parts of our society. In our version, they just make a killer robot.”

Like “Joey Is a Robot,” the album blends humor with pathos buoyed by an endless series of catchy hooks. Calling it one of the year’s best seems like faint praise right now, but I expect I’ll say the same come December. Stream the aforementioned track and another highlight (the song with the “common cold” line) below, then buy the full thing at Bandcamp.

Click here to discover more of the best new indie rock in Vermont.

  2 Responses to “R2MeToo: This Robot Avenges Sexual Assault in Song”

  1. […] roll on the album, including bands we’ve covered here: Clever Girls, Eastern Mountain Time, Zeus Springsteen. And amidst the noise, Burton’s simple piano ballad instantly stood […]

  2. […] When I wrote about Zeus Springsteen’s new album, I focused on the song about the sexual assault-avenging robot (because, how could you not?). But equally impressive, if less head-spinning, is post-punk rocker “Your Funeral.” The lyrics are sharp and witty, occasionally hilarious and sometimes edgy. There’s a radio edit for this song, but it’s more than curse words that might not fit on the FM dials. Take this cheery sentiment: “When you die, I’ll sing at your funeral / And I will woo and bed your hottest friends / And when I close my eyes, I’ll picture you up in the sky / Looking down on us and crying.” […]

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