Life sucks, then you die. It’s not the stuff motivational speeches are made of, but sometimes it’s almost refreshing to say screw it and stare straight into the abyss. That’s what Elizabeth Nelson does on “Giving Up Early (On Tomorrow)”, the latest single from her garage-glam outfit The Paranoid Style. “I’ve always had an aversion to songs which are nakedly manipulative, or optimistic in a cock-eyed way, so this was just sort of an antidote to that,” she says. “In a fun way, it’s saying: ‘Things are bad, things are going to remain bad in perpetuity, and I hereby recuse myself from the responsibility of hope for the future.’” This is probably where we should say “Preach!,” but what good is a preacher in a world that’s already gone to hell?
If there’s one positive thing to pull out of The Paranoid Style’s latest ode to hopelessness, it’s that the hooks are as plentiful as the cynicism. Nelson and her band originally wrote the song with Merle Haggard in mind, trying it out in more of a Western swing style before doing the logical thing and cranking up the tempo (and the distortion, too). The result is a loud, fast, messy, rollicking power-pop track that almost makes you forget how fucked up everything is. “I’m hoping it will replace that Green Day song as the favored theme of high school graduations across America,” Nelson says. Even if it falls short of that goal, you’ll still have the time of your life.
Check out “Giving Up Early (On Tomorrow)” below. It appears on The Paranoid Style’s debut album, Rolling Disclosure, which is due out July 15th on Bar/None Records.