Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Dave Matthews Band – Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)

“Since its release, the film has been referenced in text and video reviews about bad movies.”


Alfred Soto: I can contort words too! Watch: Song Sucks (Donkeys in Heaven). 

Josh Langhoff: This ode to childlike innocence — delivered like Dave’s trying to pass a bowling ball through his urethra, and named for a B-movie that called one of its characters “Penis Grabbing Henchman” — takes some baffling aesthetic risks. Risk-averse, I’ve chosen to enjoy the song by hearing it as a concerto for drummer Carter Beauford, whose magnificent Porcaro/Purdie-level beat features a panoply of internal elements ricocheting, flowing, combining, and separating from themselves in gorgeously unpredictable patterns; it’s an avalanche disk of a groove. But no one will fault you for deciding to hate a song called “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin).” Sometimes life and Dave Matthews present us with stark choices, like when the PGH turned his switchblade on the Samurai Cop’s sidekick’s dick and uttered the more-eternal-than-any-Dave-lyric line, “I could kill you now, or I could relieve you of this gift.”

Ian Mathers: The last single I can recall focusing this intently on the moment of birth is “Lightning Crashes”, but this one features 1. no death (I think? although the movie it’s named after maybe suggests otherwise) 2. less embarrassing vocals 3. slightly less dynamics. All of which is at least partially to say it’s far better than I’d dared hope a DMB song named “Samurai Cop” would be, in a way that makes me wonder whether that’s exactly why they picked the title.

Micha Cavaseno: It’s a dark world when the answer for Dave Matthews is to do his best to sound like a mix between U2 and Pearl Jam. Lurchy and laborious, the band are happy to sound like they’re doing a lot even though this is most certainly lightwork for their muso flourishes. That being said, you’d wish a band this ridiculous, who have the capability of sounding rather indulgent, did something to at least merit such an absurd song name.

Edward Okulicz: Given that I can count the number of DMB singles I’ve been exposed to in the wild like the radio or TV on one hand (though I am familiar with others), I’ve never understood the cult of fandom they have or the knee-jerk hatred they inspire in others. Absent that, “Samurai Cop” just sounds like a run of the mill bad alt-rock single, sung by someone who is possibly dying, and as far from the concept of joy as possible. It slithers through its run time with such little energy that it’s draining to listen to. 

Scott Mildenhall: Before listening to this it seemed plausible that the Dave Matthews Band were just an elaborate practical joke played by Americans on the rest of the world, and that they and their music didn’t actually exist. More proof is still required.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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