With apologies to Brad, who wrote this back when the election-year context made a little more sense.[gn_button link=”http://one-track-mind.com/audio/tgoa.mp3″ color=”#72e389″ size=”1″ style=”1″ dark=”0″ radius=”auto” target=”self”]DOWNLOAD[/gn_button]
It seems that every election cycle in the United States brings a flurry of accusations from one political party that the other party is guilty of the great crime of “apologizing for America.” To this line of thinking, America has never done anything to be ashamed of and issuing an apology on the nation’s behalf is the height of treason. Anytime I hear a politician sneer at the notion that America has anything to apologize for, I want to make them sit down and watch a Jersey Shore marathon. The fact that the show is available on television sets the world over ought to be enough to make the fiercest patriot’s cheeks burn with shame.
Fortunately for America, though, it seems that a quartet of Serbs are willing to cut the U.S. more slack in this regard than I am. Not only did Belgrade combo name their group Tough Guys of America, but they named their lovely, breezy pop tune after one of America’s least noteworthy exports. Any band that could write a tune called “Jersey Shore” and not make it an angry rant at the emptiness of American culture is a patient and forgiving band indeed.
The Situation and Snooki are notably, blessedly absent from “Jersey Shore.” Instead, Tough Guys of America craft a song full bittersweet longing. The gently chiming guitars and rather shaggy-dog backing vocals evoke wistful September memories of a summer spent on the beach. “Jersey Shore” is the sound of coastal life in the off-season, when the lifeguard stations are shuttered and the grey of the sky blends with the grey of the waves, and memories and a fading tan are all that’s left of warm days and blue skies.
In the end, the Serbs in Tough Guys of America live up to their band name. They named their song after a quintessentially American product, the very mention of which usually elicits agonized groans, and managed to make it a winning evocation of longing and memory. It definitely takes tough guys to reclaim the phrase “Jersey Shore” and transform it into something worthwhile.
PS – You can head over to their Bandcamp page and download their eponymous, debut EP for free!