Hater vs Homer: The Lumineers are the worst band ever. No, wait, they're the best band ever.

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The Lumineers are the most simultaneously loved and loathed band to come out of Denver since the Fray. You know why, right? They're also the most successful act to call this place home since the Fray. Last we heard, the Lumineers were about a dick hair away from being are officially platinum. Success, as we all know, breeds contempt, which, naturally, spurs stern oppositional advocacy. That said, we could hardly think of a better group with which to introduce you to our latest feature: Sacred Cow Tipper, in which we pit Hater against Homer in a no-holds-barred, winner-takes-all death match. Haters gonna hate, or Homers appreciate everything that comes from our state? You decide. Brace yourself before you engage, though: This shit gets pretty ad hominem with a quickness. It starts with the music, but then it's never just about the music, now, is it?

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THE HATER LOVES TO HATE, HATE, HATE:

The songs all sound pretty much the same
If you've heard "Ho Hey," you've pretty much experienced the bulk of the band's breadth. Although they obviously have other songs than the one that's been beaten mercilessly into your brain at this point, you'd hardly know it, particularly listening to the songs live back to back. It's all second verse, same as the first after a while, and none of them, frankly, combine to be as good as the one that started it all. This point was perhaps unintentionally driven home when the outfit performed a hometown show recently at the Ogden -- and played two different versions of "Ho Hey."

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Noah Van Sciver
The Hater's a humorless dick. A confirmed cynic, not to mention a card-carrying curmudgeon, this smug contrarian asshole makes it his mission in life to tip over all so-called sacred cows.
They're just capitalizing on a trend, you know?
We all know Mumford & Sons were first to the party, a fact that even the Lumineers themselves acknowledged in their recent New York Times profile. At the same time, they also noted how the comparisons bug them. The music of Mumford & Sons is more involved, Jon Pareles essentially noted in the piece, trying to make a distinction, while the Lumineers opt to keep things simple. To that, we say, come on, son! Think anybody truly believes that? Look, they're both drawing from the same well; it just seems that old Marcus and company have come up with a tastier blend. I mean, there's a reason one band took home a Grammy and the other went home empty-handed.

They try way too hard
Look, man; we get it. The band is going for the whole rootsy, throwback-pastoral aesthetic. And you wanna know what? When folks first hear they're from Colorado, you can see how it could probably work for them -- that is, until fans find out they're from New Jersey (well, except for Neyla; she gets a pass). It's like that old Pace commercial ("This stuff's made in New York City!") What's more, the whole thing feels pretty calculated. First, the suspenders: Kind of defeating the utilitarian purpose of the accessory when you also wear a belt. And those hats! Don't even get us started on the ever-present fedora.

Continue on for The Homer's take on the Lumineers

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28 comments
swppl
swppl

I'm bugged by the song, but it's just because I hear it everywhere... It's not terrible or anything... But I am annoyed by songs that I personally don't like that still manage to get stuck in my head... Then hearing the same song played on TV constantly makes things worse. I don't think the chord progression is the thing that annoys me, so much as the lyrics. If the tag line was more than "I belong with you, you belong with me..." I'd be much more interested in the song... But that line is just... SOOO CHEESY ....

schloss1
schloss1

"No talent ass clowns"

The Lumineers epitomize the dumbing down of America and represent some of the absolute worst tastes in music history.  It is apparent that the guitarist/lead vocalist knows three chords. That's it! 

People who like this band have no soul in terms of music, but rather judge what is good music by anything that is trendy or new at the time.

Ryk McDorman
Ryk McDorman

Don't understand their appeal at all, but then I feel the same way about Mumford & Sons.

Chris Dracala
Chris Dracala

Right on Erin. Yeah totally. Sorry your friend's abrasive electro noise esoteria isn't really catching on in the masses dude. But don't call the masses dumb just because they don't 'get' your pretentiousness. It's just as hard, perhaps even harder to write a song that your uncle or little cousin can relate to. Ask the Beattles! EJ LeFevre! Private me your e-mail! I want to send you some stuff.

EJ LeFevre
EJ LeFevre

Good for the Lumineers. I don't know what the fuss is about. They happen to create music that a lot of people can relate to. If you think they don't deserve the kudos, then you write a song that your uncle might like as much as you little brother and you might get there too. Just my opinion. Good for them. And who cares where they're from. Honestly I would love to play in band that only plays out of town.

Bill Graff
Bill Graff

Neither the worst or the best, inoffensive NPR background music. When I first heard that "Hey Ho" song I knew it would be a commercial in under four months. Still, better than the Fray.

Jon_S
Jon_S

I hate the "Ho Hey" song. Never liked it, and it is way overexposed. But I have to admit I've really like the other Lumineers songs that I've heard. So I guess it's kind of a wash for me. The song that made them famous I could really do without, but I think they overall are a talented group that is doing interesting things.

Aaron Haldeman
Aaron Haldeman

Who cares what they dress like? When I listen to music I don't stare at the artists. What a stupid reason to hate! I think they make beautiful music, that's all I care about when supporting musicians.

Tim Fuglei
Tim Fuglei

I haven't played in a band here in over a decade and wasn't exactly in any scene anyway so I can't speak to all that (I'm sure it's true), all I know is that the bands going national from here--i.e. the Lumineers and The Fray--play bland mass appeal music. They're the new Matchbox 20s. All are fine if that's what you're into, I guess, but if you like any degree of personality, bite or darkness in your music, you're not going to find it with these bands.

Loo Gutz
Loo Gutz

'civil war wave' umm no.

Douglas Lauderdale
Douglas Lauderdale

They told me that they were from New Jersey,that makes them cooler...

Michael Thompson
Michael Thompson

I can understand how "Ho Hey" could be polarizing. But, "Stubborn Love" is pretty damn great. Still, Churchill is 10 times better and should have been the next big thing to come out of Denver.

Jason Tegtman
Jason Tegtman

Agree with Peace, I don't even know who they are.

Tanya McAvoy
Tanya McAvoy

Theyre average at best. But at least we arent hearing about The Fray anymore constantly. Now they are beyond fucking terrible.

Chris Dracala
Chris Dracala

As a side note... Imagine that one of Denver's sweethearts like one of the paper bird girls or Nathaniel Rateliff was singing that very same song on Saturday night live. I bet no one would say that it sucked.

Chris Dracala
Chris Dracala

This bashing of bands that don't fit the right criteria of local insider status is very elitist. MOST people in MOST Denver scene bands are transplants. Most of these kids in bands were not born and raised in Denver. I think that when people are upset about a successful band claiming Denver when they "aren't REALLY from Denver" it's unwelcoming and very elitist. It offers yet more explanation as to why most of the world views music scene people to be elitist snobs. I think the hate of these successful bands is less about their geography and more about them not being from one's particular scene of insider hipster friends. You know? People that are lucky enough to be considered 'cool' by the local music scene. I myself have been "lucky" in that regard I guess. But I am just as much a transplant into Denver as the Lumaneers. Most kids in bands here are. If my band is successful (as if!) will I be considered cool enough by the elite to claim Denver? Or should I claim somewhere else so as to not soil your image? I mean... I HAVE played at the hi-dive more than the Lumaneers and the Frey combined. Am I "Denver" yet? I think that playing open mic nights at meadowlark is very dorky and innocent. So then secretly, music scene people are annoyed that a dorky band and not one of their 'cool' bands are having success. They would rather it be someone from their own elite scene. And I get that. Everyone wants to see their friends do well. But man. That one little group of Denver elite are not the only thing going on in Denver. The fact that time and time again, national success comes from outside of the "core Denver scene" only further proves that that scene is, contrary to believe from with in, not the center of the universe and that the rest of the world could give a shit about that little pocket of Denver.

Tim Fuglei
Tim Fuglei

They would then need to be a pretty good band with a couple of pretty decent songs. Not there yet.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

I admit it. I saw them on Saturday Night Live and was pretty sure they sucked. I thought at least they didn't sound like all the other crap that sucks, though. It was a different kind of suck.

breecdavies
breecdavies

The NYT article was the nail in the coffin for me. The way Denver was portrayed, the bs about the "community" around the Meadowlark open mic, belch. So boring. The whole story was as contrived as their sound -- however, the NYT writer feeling the need to create an agenda/angle in such a way to tell a story isn't the band's fault. And hey, more power to them for selling what they've got and getting out of Denver with it. 

Sam DeWitt
Sam DeWitt

Can't they just be "a pretty good band with a couple of pretty decent songs"?

GonetoGeorgia
GonetoGeorgia

@schloss1 Funnily enough, even Mozart uses some pretty simple chord progressions. Same with even the most complex mess of Jazz you can imagine.
 
There is no single soul in terms of music. What you condemn, others laud and what you laud others condemn. If there were such a thing as a singular "good taste" in music, every single song would sound virtually the same.  I'm pretty damned glad that isn't the case.


rightonbarto
rightonbarto

@breecdavies why is a story about community boring? not only was the writer cognizant that the Lumineers were new to the scene but he also dug deep into the history that ultimately birthed a sound... ever heard of 16 Horsepower? Kudos to Pareles for digging for the true roots.


methink1
methink1

@GonetoGeorgia @schloss1 he was condemning yu he was condeming the not musically or lyrically interesting or inspirational, banal, repetitive aspects of the song writing,  Simple music is great but this is yawnworthy over simplified music I think we  objectively critiquing the music not the people happen to like it, that your own trip man

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