Gimmicks are irritating things. They take a pretty normal concept that has existed for centuries, then make a joke out of it. They exploit their new ‘invention’ based on this one gimmick alone – look at it from this perspective: Alton Towers can be seen as a gimmick. Three of their major rides rely on just one thing to get people to ride them: a gimmick, whether it be the world’s first something, the fastest something or the first coaster to have a ‘vertical’ drop (and not much else), that’s the selling point – people have to ride because they can’t get that thrill anywhere else at the time.
It’s the same with music, every now and then a track which relies on a simple bassline and a catchy riff pops out of the ground to steam it’s infectious-yet-gimmicky way up the chart. It somewhat happened last year with Gramophonedzie and his disco-house hit ‘Why Don’t You’, which reached number #12. It also very much happened for Sydney Sampson and Wizard Sleeve with their ridiculously catchy ‘Riverside (Let’s Go!)’, which reached #1 across Europe, but thankfully us Brits weren’t that fussed – we spotted a gimmick song and rightfully stopped it in it’s tracks at #2. This was smart of us – it shows us that gimmicks have never, and will never rule the charts because we believe in proper music. It’s then when you realise we let a less-than-delightful, little blue amphibian sit on top of what would be Coldplay’s first ever UK #1, ‘Speed Of Sound’.
HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME BRITAIN, HE NEVER EVEN WORE UNDERWEAR!
But what do you do know that there’s a song that has the credentials of both ‘Riverside (Let’s Go!)’ and ‘Why Don’t You’? I say this because ‘We No Speak Americano’ also samples an old classic from a bit further than just yesteryear (‘Tu Vuó Fá L’Americano’, by Renato Carosone to be precise) and then appears to have nicked poor Sydney Sampson’s synth and made a hit with them.
Well at first listen, you feel like your transported back to the 1950’s Italy, with some fuzzy, old-fashioned production and a bit of comic-sounding brass to fill the lyric gaps. Not too long in, you hear why this is going to be huge – it’s that two note, syncopated riff that sounds like someone repeatedly standing a duck that’s had a trumpet shoved down its throat, succeeding poor old Carosone’s sped-up voice, giving the impression he’s saying ‘Ba Ba Americano’. Hmm… Don’t tell Nelson Mandela. That wouldn’t be a good idea.
So, aside from the gimmick, the stolen synth, the sped-up voice, and the stupid catchiness of any song with a melody as bouncy as this one’s… the video’s very much on the right side of mildly amusing.
Using typical camera-work of the time by speeding up the actions and not transmitting any sound resulting in the lines being put on the screen, it shows there’s been some thought that’s gone into it. Looks very Charlie Chaplin is what I’m sayin’… innit bruv.
But here’s the all-important question: Has it managed to persuade us that it’s more than just another gimmick track that relies on one focal point to sell it, for fear of coming off as a bit of joke?
No. But hey, a joke it will be: they’re funny.
Rating: 3.0 STARS
Download: July 5, 2010 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: N/A