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Thomas Morris Headshot

Sorry for Party Cock Rocking

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LMFAO has to be one of the worst band names that has graced the world of music. Apart from maybe Staind. Or Bananarama. Theory of a Dead Man's pretty terrible too. Ok, there's quite a lot of contenders. But the point remains, on first hearing of the band LMFAO, I don't think any of us were expecting chart success. As monikers go, it really is just "lol"s long-winded cousin. And actually, noticeably less accurate in any given situation. I mean, obviously no-one's ever laughed their arse (or ass) off, but the times an acronym like LMFAO is called for rarely provoke the kind of posterior crippling laughter such a phrase suggests. Except for this maybe.

Imagine if they'd called themselves rofl...

All this etymological nitpicking aside though, ROFL LMFAO are a successful band. For anyone not acquainted with them, here's a quick guide:

Red foo - afro and glasses
Sky blue - glasses no 'fro.

Er, that's it.

Likewise, their songs are equally homogenous. The formula goes: simple beat plus quirky sound effect, looped, effective raps about having fun, drinking, having fun, looking for somebody to bone, having fun, shuffling and having fun. You get the picture. It's enjoyable dance music without pretensions. What's more, in a genre that so often leaves its videos to be dominated by faceless female bodies (curves, largely), LMFAO inject a tongue in cheek self-mockery, charismatic personality and swaggering enthusiasm into the generic "sex appeal" which has become so omnipresent as to have reached a level of sexlessness previously ascribed only to Barbie and Ken dolls.

As with any popular group playing on the good time vibe though, LMFAO have their detractors. The accusations are hardly original. The music's too simple, the subject's banal, they stand for nothing, why is there a man with a box on his head? etc. And indeed, while LMFAO's particular brand of dance-rap may be quirky and original in its own new way, the ethos hardly is. From Elvis to The Monkees, from T-Rex to Kiss and from Bon Jovi to Oasis, every generation has its songsters who are just in it for one thing: to enjoy the ride while it lasts.

As a long-term strategy perhaps, it's not the best. The subject becomes tired and the group disbands or, in the worst cases, the artists burn up and expire. Yet the appeal shows no signs of diminishing. In fact, the appeal of a musical landscape that for some time was dominated by the cock-rocking bombast of machismo has in fact extended its reach. Moving out of the macho confines of rock and roll and hair metal, genres like pop, dance, hip-hop and house have all taken up the flag of enthusiasm in order to demonstrate how much fun both men and women are having with their metaphorical balls.

And why wouldn't you? Revelling in the bragadaccio of your self-assurance should not be restricted to one genre and certainly not one gender. Indeed, looking at LMFAO's Superbowl performance, it was notable for the fact it took place alongside MIA. And it was MIA in particular who stood out for her defiant (if subsequently overhyped) gesture of sticking up her middle finger. If there was any further need to illustrate the point, take a look at her video for 'Bad Girls'. Turning the Middle East into a party playground for car tricks, MIA on the one hand gives a nod to the Arab Spring, the rise in gender equality and by extension, secular government. On the other, it's just an absolutely banging track with a sick video.

And it's that self-confidence which has given grace to the rise of the latest slang word ricocheting around conversations everywhere. I think it's been about a year since I first heard the word "Swag" but there it is, still bobbing about. Part of me thinks the economic climate, has something to do with it. I mean think about it. Singing a song in a booth is actually not that glamorous. The imagination it takes to sing about having this much fun in what is essentially a sound-proof comes from the same place we use to reassure ourselves that really, things are ok and that we're plodding along just fine in the world. It's also the imagination which lets us believe that some day, we too might be capable of enjoying a life with, in the words of the well-respected Dr. Dre,"no more living hard, Barbeques every day [and] driving fancy cars".

So there we have it. Hate or love it, having the balls to be confident in your own skin is an attribute that rightly deserves to be celebrated, whoever it comes from. We may not want to be party rocking all the time, but even if it's just those two seconds of screaming ("wooahhh we're halfway there"), those are the times to feel good. Whether we follow it up or not, we know that we just might be able to go out there and do whatever we want. And really, what these under-achieving party rockers teach us, is that if you really want it you can. Personally, I'm a fan.

Wiggle wiggle wiggle,

Dodgson.