Jeremy Neale gives less fucks than anyone else in the Australian music industry. Everything he’s put out or been involved is so off the grain and fresh it’s as if he only just woke up from a traumatic car accident and thinks the year is somewhere between 1961 and 1987 depending on which band he’s fronting at the time. Believe It is an 80’s metal throw back tune, a fun filled adventure which is equal parts piss take and homage; a salute to a time when hair was big, jeans were tight, cucumbers were a fashion accessory and guitar reigned supreme.
When you have rock, you’re never alone. Jeremy Neale, SPOD and friends preach the power of believing in rock, a great homage to unabashedly fun 80’s metal.
It’s got everything you want from a good pop-metal track; hooky chorus, good riffs, a harmonised guitar solo with genre-defining key change (on the surface of the sun!) and this great little guitar trait that doesn’t really happen anymore where it’s totally okay for the guitarist to double the chorus melody. I think it was this subconscious (or maybe subversively conscious) 80’s attitude which was just a way of the guitarist telling the rest of the band “It’s alright, if he drops dead right now of an overdose mid chorus – I got this shit!” Lyrically it’s simple enough to perform off your head and there are more invitations to “rock” than a geology textbook (don’t worry, haven’t quit my day job yet).
I’m just disappointed this isn’t a real thing. No one is really taking the energy and the humour of 80’s glam metal and having a real go of it anymore. The Darkness did it amazingly for a while but sadly for everyone, the world didn’t love The Darkness as much as The Darkness loved cocaine so they cut their hair, went to rehab and got lame. Yeah I’ll admit Steel Panther are doing it pretty well (especially if you’ve got a penchant for exposed mammary glands) but there is something a little creepy about the whole cosmetic surgery thing they got going on. It’s pretty hard to rock out when you’re trying to figure out whether the bass player is man, woman or lizzard. Oh what, some girl just took her top off? Well played Steel Panther, distracted again from the fact that you’re all crafted from the same stuff that Gumby was made out of.
The clip for Believe It is also the most fun you can have on a budget of a six pack and a few favours. Chock full of cameos and lightning it follows the path of four friends on a mission to save Rock’n’Roll by doing guitar solos in a suburban garden, rocking out in front of homemade green screen and talking to a deified SPOD who lives in the clouds. Behind all the high tech CGI and famous cameos I kind of feel that Believe It is a genuine song. Belief is something that a lot of teenagers turn to metal to discover. For about five years in the 1980s heavy metal was the mainstream but on either side of that sat years of the genre being a breeding ground for the ungrounded, the uncool and the insecure.
That’s why it is pretty much a genre based on fantasy. From the obscene fantastical violence of Cannibal Corpse to the borderline fairy tale storylines of Nightwish, the genre as a whole can be seen as an escapist’s playground; the soundtrack to any life imaginable other than the one harsh reality they wake up to each morning. That being said maybe I’m projecting a bit too much of my own insecure youth onto this track. After all the track is actually harking back to that five year period where metal was mainstream so maybe it would be clever for me to think that the words “Believe It” are in reference to ones ability to “rock” and “party” and not survive another recess without getting picked on for my Iron Maiden lunch box like I might have first thought.
Well if art is what you make it and metal is an escapist playground then I make Jeremy, Prince Neale, Defender Of The Iron Maiden Lunchbox and together we shall live free amongst our leather clad He-Man friends, play guitar on the surface of the sun, ride steeds of might and power across the skulls of our enemies and never come back to your world of homework and monthly visits to grandma’s house. Wait, why does grandma have a huge rack? Why is she doing blow? Who let Steel Panther into my escapist playground?
Enjoy the clip, it’s pretty much impossible not to, and enjoy Swords and Sorcery for what it is, the musical tangent of an incredibly gifted songwriter. He has an incredible ability of crafting unique works and Believe It within its context is certainly unique. It’s cute and gimmicky enough for it to be accessible to most while authentic enough to enforce a sense of nostalgia to the few that can say they had metal as a friend. But most of all it is fun. That might not be the main reason we listen to music but it sure as shit can break the monotony.
100% of proceeds from the purchase of Believe It on the Sword and Sorcery bandcamp in April are going to the charity Support Act, so be sure to lend your support.
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