Insufferable Dave Matthews Band Releases Not Terrible New Single

When he’s not being mistaken for actor John Cusack, Dave Matthews (still) fronts the Dave Matthews Band, a travelling bastion of missionary sex and white middle class values. Though commonly billed as a rock group, the Dave Matthews Band’s tuneless drivel is so watered down it makes Don Henley sound like GG Allin. Forget Tex-Mex, this is the Delaware-Mex of rock music. I’d largely forgotten about the Dave Matthews Band until I was working for “Vancouver’s Finest” a few years ago and my supervisor described seeing them in concert as “freedom” personified, providing the kind of endorsement for a life of crime even El Chapo would envy. Yet after avoiding Mr. Don’t Drink the Water himself all these years, is it time to give the Dave Matthews Band another chance? Well, sort of.

“Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)”, the lead-off track from the Dave Matthews Band’s new album, Come Tomorrow, is a pleasant enough introduction to the group’s chill 2018 vibe. If you can look past Rolling Stone’s endorsement of “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)” as an “understated plea for compassion and tolerance,” which ought to set anyone’s blood boiling, the single offers a rather sweet and subdued look at childhood innocence. That’s not to say it’s anything groundbreaking. In fact, with such a steady build and angular riffs, “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)” feels a bit like an Okkervil River or My Morning Jacket B-side circa 2003 – but that’s hardly a bad thing. We should be grateful “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)” lacks the bombast of an “I Did It” or the tedium of a “Proudest Monkey”. And while nothing remarkable, “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)” should come as a shock to anyone expecting another textbook case of bumbling Caucasian swagger from the Dave Matthews Band. Perhaps after over 25 years in the business, Dave finally understands how to write a remotely appealing song for the non-bridge and tunnel crowd. Of course, that means those of us sharpening our pitchforks might be disappointed to learn there’s surprisingly little to hate here. Oh, joy begin, I guess.   

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