Saturday, November 21, 2009

SNFU for You?

On one of my other blogs, Published and Unpublished Works, I reprinted an old review of SNFU's The One Voted Most Likely to Succeed. The review is crap, but it got me thinking about this stalwart punk band and the the amount of praise it has gotten over the years.

SNFU is one of those bands that never clicked with me. The Ramones is another band that I never got into, but I could at least understand why people enjoyed it so much. SNFU is different. Try as I might, I just can't figure out why this band has such (or had, if the case may be) a rabid fan following. It's obvious there are far better punk bands that never got the kind of accolades SNFU did (Matter of Fact comes to mind), so what is that appeal?

I think this mystery is never going to be fully solved. SNFU fans will think I'm crazy to even question it, and "cool" music journalists who live for pretending to be in on the know will tell me it is obvious, but I don't think it is ... unless you factor in one thing that could be essential but shouldn't be when it comes to punk rock: the intellect threat factor.

The intellect threat factor is something that exists in all works of art and entertainment. It is something that causes the audience to sit up and think, to be inspired, to get angry or to question. For example, the intellect threat factor in Chumbawamba's Showbusiness is far greater than the threat factor found in any release by Hootie and the Blowfish. The greater the intellect threat factor, the less well-received something is with audiences (there are always exceptions).

Punk rock should be immune to such things, but since punks are just people who are mainly non-conformist in their conformity, it should be no surprise that a band that consistently puts out music with little in the way of intellect threat factor would be popular. It's sad, but ultimately very true. The Ramones will always be bigger than the Dead Kennedys when it comes to the masses of punks.

Mystery solved. SNFU is/was popular because it was pedestrian. I can sleep now.

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