Challenger :: "I Am Switches"

Challenger, a very new band from New York, sound comfortable using metaphor and cliche. On what will be one of the finest debut singles of 2012, "I Am Switches", the first lyric presents a variation of the most common of visual metaphors, "I want to be with you when the other shoe falls." There are others, "my mind is a steel trap" and "I'm lost in the world", followed by the enticingly problematic, "that I'm in love with." For all this universality - these things can and do mean anything to anyone - there is an underlying specific that hurts and works. Behind the churning, ebullient arrangement of synthesizers and melody resides a deeper truth that says nothing of the song's second movement where the the lyrics play mostly in reverse; this is the central portrayal of the protagonist as "just switches". The image of being flipped on and flipped off, the image of the other shoe falling, of being lost in a thing you love, offers a sort of malleable projection for the listener while remaining chillingly specific for the artist. After all, the content of the inverted lyrics in the song's second half are still unknown. You, too, could be switches. It is unsurprising this project began as a film score and it will be even less surprising when the band releases a bizarre and compelling pop full-length, The World Is Too Much For Me, this fall. Think of a cinematic and American First Rate People. Like the sax solo in the midst of "I Am Switches", it will be both a bit cliched and unflinchingly appropriate.

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