I remember, very clearly, watching the opening scenes of the movie version of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World at San Diego Comic-Con in 2010, and being very nervous; was Michael Cera right for Scott? Didn’t everyone feel a little low energy and quiet? Didn’t this seem a little too… mannered for the all-out awesomeness that the comic seemed to offer up without fear? And then Sex Bob-Omb did their first number and everything was just fine.
There is no song in the world that makes me wish I had been in a band as a teenager, just making music and throwing ridiculous guitar shapes while doing so, kicking myself into the air Pete Townsend-style, than “We Are Sex Bob-Omb”; it’s loud and messy and exactly the kind of brash and fearless and unmissable that I wanted the movie to be, and that I wish I could’ve made when I was half my age, if that makes sense. There’s something about this song, with its stuttering bass and relentless drums that feels like a dare, or a promise: “This is what we’re doing, come with us or don’t.” It’s beautifully messy, scrappy stuff – The “Yeah Yeah”s that aren’t harmonies, almost but not quite, the scream at 1:06 that announces the closest thing the song has to a bridge as the cymbals stop and we get the vocalist (Mark Webber, I think, but it might also be Michael Cera or even Beck, who wrote/performed the basic track) essentially speaking in tongues breathlessly – that just feels like the result of energy that isn’t harnessed or focused, just excited by its own potential, and a love for music. Because of that, it feels like some lost garage anthem, which was likely the goal.
This song just sounds like happiness to me; an eager, excitable, happiness that’s entirely infectious and inexplicable. The promise of music, reduced to its basic appeal, perhaps. How can you really say better than that?