Endless Loop: X-French Tee Shirt

shuddertothinkHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“X-French Tee Shirt” by Shudder to Think

You know who never got enough love? D.C. band Shudder to Think. Beginning in the mid-80’s as a post-hardcore band, though eventually morphing into something far more complex, Shudder to Think incorporated elements of said hardcore punk, alt-rock, pop, glam, and math rock into their huge and angular post-modern sound.

Actually, glancing back at that last sentence, it pretty much explains why the group never got enough love. But they did manage to amass a fairly fervent cult following, and they snagged me as a fan with the sublime “X-French Tee Shirt” from the 1994’s Pony Express Record.

Eschewing more traditional pop song structures, “X-French Tee Shirt” drops all “verse-chorus-verse” pretense for something wholly unpredictable. The song twists and turns, with no discernable pattern, guitar riffs kicking in, and then changing, Craig Wedren’s lyrics and vocals weaving throughout like some kind of melodramatic stream of conscious plea. As the song nears its end, everything but the vocals and a single repeated guitar note drop into the ether, before surging back in triumphant fashion. All the while, the stanza, “Hold back the road that goes, So that the others may do, That you let me in just to, Pour me down their mouths” is sung over and over again into fade out.

This was as close as the band ever got to having a hit. What an odd hit it would have been.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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