TV

Battle Of The TV Bands: The Horsehead Collective Vs. Sh*tpope


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American Vandal and GLOW have a few things in common. They’re both Netflix comedies. They both use humor to get to more serious issues, with American Vandal examining the effects of social media and GLOW looking at sexism and equality in the workplace. And, as of their second seasons, they both feature awful teen bands that I love with every single droplet of blood gushing through my veins.

Yes, the time has come to talk about The Horsehead Collective and Shitpope. And to attempt to decide which one was better. It’s going to be tough. And unnecessary. I could very easily just say “Both are great!” and be done with it. I probably should, to be honest. But that’s not nearly as much fun and also I can’t file a one-sentence article without getting yelled at, so here we are. The battle begins.

The Horsehead Collective

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The Horsehead Collective is a techno group that has had more lineup changes than Guns N Roses. If we’re extending this analogy, and we are, that makes Kevin McClain — the intentionally odd first Turd Burglar suspect, who often wears a newsboy cap and has many opinions about horchata — the group’s version of Axl Rose, as he is the group’s only consistent member. He started the group with his once and future friend Tanner and briefly replaced Tanner with an awesome middle school kid named Myles, in part to fill the void left by Tanner and in-part to re-corner the middle school market. I hope The Horsehead Collective hits it big and Myles writes a tell-all. I really like Myles.

The group is called The Horsehead Collective because, as you can see, its members wear horse masks while playing lousy electronic music at birthday parties, kind of like an equestrian Daft Punk that has songs titled “Digital Refrigerator” and sucks tremendously. I wouldn’t normally say something like “lousy electronic music” because art is subjective and people like different things, but I feel justified in this case for two reasons. First of all, because this is the official Netflix subtitle that pops up when the music plays.

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And second, because we have eyewitness (earwitness?) testimony.

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Case closed. The Horsehead Collective is bad. I adore them.

Shitpope

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Shitpope was the group fronted by Justine’s crappy boyfriend, Billy. They played a much smaller role in GLOW than The Horsehead Collective did in American Vandal, as we only got to see them at their gig for few minutes in the second season’s second episode. Does not matter. Could not matter less. Shitpope is and was perfect. They’re an 80s eyeliner punk metal that plays songs about anarchy and people being drones and they’re made up of angsty teens who apparently all read Howard Zinn and listened to the Sex Pistols on cassette over the summer. They’re like every argument that took place in your freshman dorm boiled down into a gooey musical paste. Their drummer wears a pope hat. Because their name is Shitpope. Their name is Shitpope.

Do I have screencaps of Shitpope, a band that was on-screen for maybe five minutes of a full season of television that had almost nothing to do with them? I am pleased to report that I do. Here’s Billy introducing the aforementioned songs about drones and business that also contains a line about what his guidance counselor told him, which is just such a perfect touch.

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Netflix

This admittedly loses something in the transition from the spoken word to the written word, because it trips all over the punchline in its setup, but you can see what’s happening here. “Mourning in America.” It’s so beautifully on-the-nose for the show’s Reagan-era setting. Imagine how happy they were when they figured that out. But even this is not the greatest of Shitpope’s moments. And it is not because this, our first glimpse of them on stage, is and always will be.

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The biggest of moods.

Verdict

Shitpope wins. Also, if anyone has a time machine, let’s take Myles back to the 1980s and get him in there. Or, better yet, bring Shitpope to the present-day. I can’t wait to hear their take on Facebook.

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