I think it was some time in 2008 when I heard “El Scorcho” for the first time. It was either that year or 2007. Whichever year it was, the track was the one which persuaded me to ask for “Pinkerton” for my thirteenth birthday. A good decision, I know.
I had owned the band’s first self-titled blue album for about a year and a bit, but for some reason in that time listening to anything from “Pinkerton” never crossed my mind. Possibly because I had heard shit about it being named the worst album in 1996 by some music magazine. Eventually I thought I should listen to at least one track from it at some point, and where better to start than the album’s first single? What could go wrong? Nothing apparently, because it was very good and still is.
I have to admit, I was a bit confused at the start of it. Actually, I might have listened to it and then skipped it thinking the rest of the track wasn’t worth the time. The gargle and the loose guitar riff may bring up a few ‘wtf is this’ reactions. But as the track carried on I gradually found myself getting into it. The backing vocals sound improvised and are delivered with a ‘don’t give a fuck’ feel, so many times you will hear a random ad-lib here and there courtesy of former bassist Matt Sharp. But this does lead to the chorus sounding like a bunch of drunk guys at a karaoke night. If that is the thing you’re into, you might just be in luck.
Actually, a lot of first time listeners might find the track confusing. It’s slow for the majority, speeds up and gets very loud in the middle, has a guitar solo that sounds like it’s being made up on the spot and generally sounds like it could fall apart at any moment. But you might like it, so why not listen to it before making a decision for yourself?