Today’s Song: 3OH!3 Have Brought Beef Back to 2020 in “LONELY MACHINES”

3OH!3 © 2020
3OH!3 © 2020
3OH!3 – the late-aughts pop innovators – never really went away, and 100 gecs are going to help them remind you of that with new single “LONELY MACHINES.”
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Stream: “LONELY MACHINES” – 3OH!3, 100 gecs

It wouldn’t be entirely appropriate to call “LONELY MACHINES” a comeback, because 3OH!3 never truly went away. The band’s last album Night Sports was released in 2016. In 2018, the duo toured behind the tenth anniversary of their landmark album, 2008’s Want—a record which was never given its proper due. Despite the fact that the band’s been pretty active for the 12 years since “Don’t Trust Me” was a hit, the new track feels like a comeback, because its such bright re-invention of what 3OH!3 already did so well.

It’s odd to go back to Want and listen, because to some extent it sounds like a product of its time: glammy, braggadocio, quiet verses and loud choruses. A closer listen reveals a band working within its resources to make the best brand of pop music it can, while making fun of the major hits, while desperately trying to fit in. Songs like “Richman”, “Chokechain”, and “Colorado Sunshine” showed an act ahead of their time, but didn’t translate to the 2008 audience they were performing to.

Lonely Machines - 3OH!3 ft. 100 gecs
Lonely Machines – 3OH!3 ft. 100 gecs

One of the aspects that stands out the most about the duo was their collaboration with other musicians who would go on to be full-fledged popstars, like Katy Perry (who featured on a version of “Starstrukk”) and Kesha (then Ke$ha who brought the pair onto her song “Blah Blah Blah” and lent vocals to their track “My First Kiss”). While Perry was herself a scrappy Warped Tour act at the time and Kesha was turning heads parodying pop’s biggest hits, the two became bona fide, arena-filling artists, while 3OH!3 remained a Warped Tour mainstay. This is to say that Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte were ahead of their time.

The innovation that the Colorado crunkcore vets brought didn’t fall on deaf ears. Over a decade after everyone was doing the Helen Keller (and talking with their hips), 100 gecs brought mainstream music press into an internet vortex and brought hyperpop to the masses. Given 3OH!3’s influence on the gecs, it’s only fitting to have Laura Les do a verse.

With existentially horny lyrics, “LONELY MACHINES” feels like it could’ve been a track off Want run through the hyperpop ringer. The electronic squeals and charged up synth beat sounds like it could’ve been a b-side of Want, but the callbacks to “Don’t Trust Me” and Les’ verse indicate that this is a band that can still be a serious contender in 2020. In the opening verse, Foreman alludes to the famous vegetarian line:

You tell your boyfriend if he still got beef
That over time, it’s gonna give him heart disease

 Les brings the chaotic focus that 100 gecs have shook the internet with. The final verse features her screaming as Foreman croons the simple chorus. Her verse is really where she shines. Like 3OH!3 staples such as “Richman,” Les is biting while funny. The singer calls out some “burnt out dude” asking her to peg him in a rapid fire verse that feels like a text message tirade.

With more big names paying homage to pop oddballs from the mid-late 2010s, its only fitting that 3OH!3 gets it’s due by collaborating with the biggest product of a genre they innovated.

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:: stream/purchase “LONELY MACHINES” here ::
Stream: “LONELY MACHINES” – 3OH!3, 100 gecs

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Lonely Machines - 3OH!3 ft. 100 gecs

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