POZ Decade: Midtown - Forget What You Know
Midtown’s Forget What You Know was released ten years ago last week, and PropertyOfZack is launching our next Decade feature in honor of the album today. We have commentary on the album from POZ team members Brittany Oblak, Sydney Gore, and Adrienne Fisher, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Forget What You Know ten years later!
How Forget What You Know holds up in 2014
It’s no secret to anyone that Midtown is one of the bands with an intense, cult-like following. However, a lot of this “cult” seems to have formed after the band had (for the moment) parted ways. When Forget What You Know was originally released in 2004, neither critics nor fans really made a huge connection to the album. The band was not receiving attention the same way their pop-punk peers at the time were, and they were playing shows to barely 200 kids. However, as soon as the announcement of the band’s break-up came and lead-singer Gabe Saporta went full-steam ahead with his other project, (this little band you may have heard of named Cobra Starship), everyone seemed to be sipping the Kool-Aid.
With the demise of Midtown and the birth of Cobra Starship, it seemed that the “grass is always greener on the other side” part of the human condition kicked in for most Midtown fans (even though I would personally venture to say Midtown is unarguably the better band in any case). The mythology of Midtown more than the band or record itself seems to have created the most widespread appreciation of this album by fans over the past ten years, all building up to their long-awaited reunion at this year’s Skate and Surf festival. The blunt, adamant, and self-assured nature of Midtown’s Forget What You Know still holds a tight grip on its place in alternative music in the company of today’s (conversely) neurotic and unsure world of awkward, fumbling pop-punk bands. From the shouting, beseeching chorus of “Give It Up” to the unapologetic “Empty Like The Ocean”, Midtown certainly still saves. – Brittany Oblak
Most important song on Forget What You Know
Selecting a song from Forget What You Know is by no means a simple task. Some will take the easier way out and go with “Give It Up” or “Is It Me? Is It True?” and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with either of those choices. For me though, “Empty Like The Ocean” is the track that always sticks. That opening guitar intro sounds like an alarm is being set off, and Midtown is giving us a wake-up call.
The song is so raw, biting and brutally honest, and you can feel Gabe’s sense of dark desperation wash over you. “I don’t care where you come from/ If it’s awful there/ All of us are alone/ I forget where I come from/ And I don’t care,” he sings in the chorus. The energy from this song momentarily releases you from the heavy burdens weighing you down in your life, and the guitars build these intricate layers of intensity, giving the tune an eerie, sinister vibe. The emotion is dripping everywhere, as emphasized by every drumbeat, and nothing is faked or forced. (Like how many orgasms can you fake if you’re fucking someone meaningless, ya know? Gabe gets it.)
We all get lost inside our heads as we try to decipher what our individual purpose in this world is, but all we can really do is dance it off and sweat it out. This is why I’ve always loved Midtown, and when I listen to this track, I know that this is what they were all about for this album. - Sydney Gore