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3OH!3 Streets of Gold Review

Album. Released 2010.  

BBC Review

Colorado duo’s third album is dumb for sure, but no fun whatsoever.

Fraser McAlpine 2010

It must be awful being (careful typing) 3OH!3. Imagine spending your youth besotted with pop music, and wanting to be in a band. You spend ages learning your craft, mucking about with synths and drum machines, and then – joy of joys – you discover you’ve been given the gift of catchy choruses, and the drive to succeed.

What if all of that work eventually translates into the chance to make a whole album? Amazing! Any music you like, done your way, with your view of the world written in 20ft high sonic lettering forever more. Then a second. Wow! And now, incredibly, a third.

But how must it feel to realise that the very best you can do, the peak of your compositional potential, is to continually write songs about sexually harassing girls in nightclubs? And then another bitter pill, when you realise you’re not even the second best artist to appear on your own album? Eesh! That has got to hurt.

Now, it’s important to state that there are some good pop songs here. My First Kiss is great – when Ke$ha appears, at least – and Starstrukk has a certain something to recommend it: namely Katy Perry. Otherwise, though, there’s that nasty, whisper-snarled bragging that was pretty annoying when Metro Station and Cobra Starship were doing it. It’s maddening here.

And these lyrics are no fun. For all that 3OH!3 want to be smart-alecs, they’re the kind of boys who feel the need to specify “I’m gonna have a house party in my house,” just in case you were about to try the local swimming pool first.

It’s like hearing someone’s internal monologue – id without ego – set to music. There’s no filtering out and what thoughts there are generally of the “Boobies! Awesome!” variety. There aren’t even any metaphors. It’s all “drunk girl’s tongue” this and “don’t trust a ho” that.

So, without meaning to further twist the knife, 3OH!3 now find themselves in an unenviable position. They’re probably the only band in history whose latest album would sound better if they did not appear on it.

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