Listen, I like the Hold Steady and Cut Copy and Lil Wayne albums as much as the next person; probably more if that next person is one of those sooooo-totes-over-them music blog commenters. The problem is that usually these year-end articles tend to focus on the notion of a widespread critical consensus, and that means cool stuff sometimes winds up slipping through the cracks. That's why all this week the Popstream is going to highlight selections from some of the best underhyped artists of the year, in the hopes that you'll find something to take your mind off the ubiquitous chatter about Fleet Foxes. Today, let's smack the champagne against the bow (or the stern, I really don't care either way) and christen this maiden voyage with a band what calls themselves Bad Dudes.
Named after a video game remembered for its "the president has been kidnapped by ninjas" plot (and, to a lesser extent, its shitty gameplay), Bad Dudes are a bit enigmatic -- they're one of those bands that fills their MySpace pics page with frenetic, super-jittery live-show snapshots and throws in photos of begoggled Cincinnati Reds washout Chris Sabo for yuks. It'd only make sense, then, that their YouTube video for their song "Eat Drugs" is similarly goofy: it's a smartly-edited series of famous '70s and '80s arena rock bands' live show clips, put together to make it look like every band to ever have a blacklight poster made of them is performing a few seconds of the song at a time. Considering how much giddy, borderline-prog artistry is in this brief blast of punk-slash-math rock, it ain't that preposterous to imagine it being sung by both ELO's Jeff Lynne and DEVO's Mark Mothersbaugh, though seeing Ozzy get down during the breakdown is pretty absurd. (Not to mention Pete Townsend's... well, wait until the 53-second mark.)