“Alternative rock” is a broad term and it can be a lot of things, but rarely is it better than what Hyattsvillain has concocted on their latest single, “YOLO Is A Lie.” With a sharp production perfectly melding both old and new styles, the mysterious ski-masked man attempts to disprove – and effectively retire – perhaps the most overused phrase of the past decade.
‘You only live once’ (YOLO) has, with a little help from Drake, become this generation’s ‘carpe diem’: live each day like it’s your last because, eventually, one of them will be. Hyattsvillain takes exception to this, claiming, “You live each and every day/Once is how you die.” The song is a repudiation of the free-and-easy lifestyle that promotes drugs, fast cars, and overall “reckless behavior” that “guarantees your fall into the fire.” It plays like a last-ditch effort by Hyattsvillain to save his own people, pleading with us not to take another roll of the dice because the odds are not in our favor.
Complementing the lyrical theme is a proper initiation of mammoth grunge guitars into the 21st century. The music sounds like Stone Temple Pilots holed up with Twenty One Pilots; it’s heavy and melodically sinister, yet maintains a lively playfulness. The guitars are distorted almost to the point of becoming alien; the drums are so enormous and in-your-face that they would make John Bonham drool. Even if YOLO is your life’s motto, you’ve still got to appreciate the production value and attention to detail on this track.
“YOLO Is A Lie” is big and bold, but if you can see past the aggressive, maniacal production you’ll see that the message here is actually quite beautiful and sincere: “When you wake up each morning/Your life is anew.” So as we head into 2022, we’re not YOLO-ing anymore. We’re living each day not like it’ll be our last, but like it’s our first.
Written by Tim Clark