Spin It: Yule Be Sorry EP

Henrique Couto/Legend of Flannel Bear

Yule Be Sorry EP

Sometimes, you can tell all you need to know from looking at an album cover. Like, for instance, this one. Take a long, hard look at this album cover. Seriously – it’s right here. If you consider yourself the kind of person who would look at this particular album cover and say, “this might be pretty good,” please, do not continue reading. Do not stop to think; purchase this album, have yourself a merry little chuckle. However, if you saw something that irked you about the cover of this album – and it could be anything (the font[i], their faces, etc.), it will not be the last time you wince regarding the confusing and largely unmusical Yule Be Sorry EP, a seasonal split album between Henrique Couto and the Legend of Flannel Bear.

Conceivably taking a ‘punk rock’ approach to recording ukulele ‘songs,’ the first three belong to Couto, and he appears to have little or no understanding of ‘pitch,’ ‘key,’ or ‘beat.’ This becomes blatantly evident as soon as the album begins it’s uncaring and boorish onslaught. Obnoxious faux-jingle bells loop without stopping; luckily, Couto eventually does – but not before the songs become more confusing and disorienting, carrying on for what seems like hours. The second guy (responsible for the last three), Flannel Dude, seems to also have trouble obtaining listenable results (which makes me wonder if he’s actually listening to himself), utilizing an extremely strange and self-derivative song structure three times over – all the while oddly (and perhaps predictably?) ignoring his guitar chords completely in regards to vocal melody.

Both of these ‘court jesters’ strive for humorous lyrics and end up falling just a bit short. The neat little Henrique ditty, “We Wish Jew A Merry Christmas,” while not particularly hateful in any lyrical sense, ends up offering a slice of insight into  what these ‘performers’ consider entertaining and/or comical; slightly bewildering misogyny (asking for presents from “bitches”) and your slightly-below average middle school “gross out” humour. None of this proves to be offensive as it retains no biting social commentary nor the outright wit or intelligence to actually hurt anyone’s feelings. The laughs you may have are clearly not intentional.

Yes, I am sorry, but I think that may be the larger point: They’re charging $8 for an album of good intentions (six tracks of them, in fact), and someone (i.e., you, people with poor taste, friends, well-wishers) will buy it. In light of this horrible review[ii], I imagine these two will bemoan the fact that the ‘establishment’ doesn’t ‘get their style’ and that writers for print-media are ‘out-of-touch,’ and then themselves begin to force everyday folks to seek out this criminally misunderstood ‘album’ in order to prove me wrong. This was premeditated, and someone (probably you) let it happen. This is not to say these men are not untalented. I believe in the good of all people, and that everyone has a larger purpose in our terrestrial existence. If Yule Be Sorry is any indication, this is clearly not the correct path for either of these folks. Look – in a day and age when people are famous for being the joke on accident, We, the buying public[iii], will always sniff out those that are trying too hard, and will always reserve the right to call it as such. We demand forced realism, so long as it’s pretty and succinct. We demand fiction, so long as it’s just far enough removed from our own reality that it is no longer squeamish to enjoy. As an artistic concept, this album is neither. There is an upside, however; Yule Be Sorry eventually ends, but nobody’s[iv] laughing with them.

We begin to unravel the social and cultural connotations: Is this the forced outcome of our post-modernist obsession with shameless and unwarranted self-promotion? Are we to accept this as the product of the amalgamation of over sixty years of pop culture readily available at our fingertips? Perhaps, if it were not for the internet, this album would not exist (it has been promoted actively online), and we’ll blame the web instead – or possibly the lack thereof; there is no conceivable reason anyone with this many freely open reference points should be able to produce an album justifiably deserving of a negative review in a local paper. This is not a fun album; this is devastating. One imagines that “Weird” Al Yankovic must now feel the same about this as Zach de la Rocha feels when he listens to Limp Bizkit – an overwhelming sense of guilt for spawning such reprehensible concepts and unintentional hilarity. Does this particular album deserve this many words? No. BUT, if this trend continues, at least someone will be able to say “I told them to stop.” Shape up or ship off. We can vote your albums off the island.

[i] I am perhaps a font snob, and if that seems inconsequential or dubious to the reader, these particular fonts would be the equivalent of a guy who insists ranch dressing on pizza is good while fingering everyone else’s slice. Also, what kind of person needs two Holiday-themed fonts on album that already has Santa hats and a Christmas tree?
[ii] Or perhaps in spite of it.
[iii] And the downloading public.
[iv] Nobody but the aforementioned.


— W.C. Ruffnel

If anyone is interested the album is available at http://ukeordie.bandcamp.com/

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99 Responses to “Spin It: Yule Be Sorry EP” Subscribe

  1. Prance Varner January 11, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Does anyone else realize this music blows regardless of this guy writing??

  2. Philmonster January 11, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Not much I can say that hasnt already been said on here. Obviously you picked a target you were biased against. and it shows the poor quality of your character and you lack of ability in achieving the high quality “review” you were aiming for but you came out looking like an ass with a chip on your shoulder. We expect this from nonsense news like The National Enquirer and the New York Times but not with a huge source like the Dayton city paper. Whether you like the album or not you should have critiqued it instead of personally bashing the artists (which had the courage and conviction to record promote and collect a following) and their friends. This is a published article not a personal blog on your failure of a band’s myspace page,

    • philtheweiner January 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

      course the writer thinks it sucks, and I guess that’s probably his bias? And are you really bringing myspace into it? nice job with the grammatical acrobatics, i bet you’re a real fucking winner!

  3. flannelbear January 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    I have just a couple things to say.
    I would first like to simply thank anyone who went to the defense of myself, Henrique or the ep its self. As the comments kept coming in yesterday I found myself in awe, sure people did not like the cd at all and maybe think I should give up and stop doing what I love. But hey thats music right? What I read was tons of friends and supporters defending two artists they enjoy. That warms my heart.

    With that I want to thank Mr. W.C. Ruffnel or christian or whoever you are. Yesterday I felt tons of love and support thanks to you!

    The whole christmas split ep was my idea. Henrique is not only one of my best friends but he is someone I look up to. The things this guy can do when he puts his mind to is unbelievable. I was honored that he agreed to do a split ep with me. I had a blast writing, recording and shooting music videos. At our ep release show tons of people came out and we had a Gay ole time. (that means happy if anyone was thinking I was being homophobic.)

    So I took a day before I made a response on this post.
    I want to be 100% clear when I say I am not sad, mad or angry. If the reviewer thought he would offend myself or even Henrique he clearly did not get the cd at all. I do not think “the public” misunderstands my music or that the establishment hates me. In the end I am happy.

    Happy with the EP
    Happy with the review
    Happy with the comments
    Happy with my supporters
    Happy with my Haters

    Thanks to anyone who took time to listen to the ep, read this review, and leave a comment.

    Please continue to support Local music as Dayton is packed full of a variety of talented musicians.

    -Flannel Dude

  4. Matt Lake January 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Physician, heal thyself. You call out these two singer/songwriters for not knowing their craft, but you convey disdain by using a quotation marks around words. That’s not the mark of a self-respecting writer, it’s what middle schoolers grow out of when they hit 9th grade. And while I can’t fault a reviewer for his taste in music, I will always fault him for using a possessive apostrophe in the word “its”.

    There’s no real reason for your review either, unless the reason is to vent spleen. The artists let you preview all the tracks online, so you’ll know in advance whether it’s to your taste. If you were a true consumer journalist, you’d mention this in your review and leave it at that.

    If these two musicians have any sense, they’ll do what Tom Lehrer did in his albums: Quote some of the more frothy invective from unfavorable reviews in a “Praise for the artist” sidebar in their future works. It’ll show them for the witty individuals they are, and the reviewers for the rather sour and humorless creatures that come across in their writing.

  5. Paul January 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    Heard about this album via Facebook and ended up laughing quite a bit. I sort of knew what to expect, but could
    not resist the couplets like “No toys….for girls and boys!” My favorite may be “The ***** Who Stole Christmas”(!)

    • Grill Vogel Fan January 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

      Oh yeah? Just wait for the Grill Vogel/Henrique Couto Easter ep collaboration this April “Pooped on the Third Day, Wiped on the Fourth” It’s gonna be a good one.

  6. Grill Vogel January 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

    Henrique, I’ve been evaluating your sense of humor and would love to collaborte with you on some funny songs that I think are right up your alley. Here are some funny song topics I’ve been mulling over:

    – A baby dressed like Hitler shits in a punch bowl.
    – A monkey hears voices in his head that tell him to
    shit on a little boy.
    – Maybe a song called “Let’s Go to McDonalds.” Sample
    lyric: “went to Mickey D’s/gotta a quarter pounder with cheese/I pooped in a punch bowl/now I have to pee!”
    – I know you think jokes about Miley Cyrus are funny so maybe a song about pooping on Miley Cyrus.
    – Some people like zombies, maybe right a funny song about that called “I Had Sex With A Zombie.” Sample lyric:
    “Jews are dumb/I wanna have some fun/I had sex with a zombie and pooped out of my butt.”

    What do you think, Henrique? Henrique? That’s like your sense of humor, right? Right Henrique?? Henrique???

  7. Bud Purple January 12, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    A lot of people didn’t like this album. I would venture to say more people hate it than like it. The reason all of these comments are all in favor of Henrique is because the people who hated this album don’t give enough of a shit to keep arguing about it. It was a shitty album, I mean, it was just insanely awful. But you know what? get the fuck over it. Who cares? There are more important things to worry about than whether or not a nobody released/wrote a shitty album/review.

    • Bud Violet January 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

      I get the sense that the friends of the artists in review are just going to bat for said artists because they feel personally attacked by the what the journalist wrote about them. It is absolute insanity to argue that this is a good album, because yes, it really is insanely awful. Give it up cronies, we really give less of a shit than you do. Besides at least we’re having fun responding.

    • Bud Violet January 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

      The friends of the artists in this review are just going up to bat for said artists because they feel personally offended by what was written about them in the review. It is absolute insanity to argue that this is a good album, because yes, it really is insanely awful.

  8. Douglas Waltz January 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    I have been a film and music reviewer for going on fifteen years. In all my time of reviewing and reading others reviews I have never seen such a pointless, vicious, self centered attack on a pair of musicians in my life. This writer clearly has an agenda against the artists and not the music itself, which is what he should be doing. in more than one place in the review he actually attacks his audience. Apparently, he knows what is good for us and this album is not it.
    If everyone liked the same thing the world would be a truly dull and boring place. Thank God that there are people like Henrique Couto and Flannel Bear around to give us their twisted view of the universe.
    I think, at this point the only recourse for this paper is to remove this personal attack disguised as a review from their website.
    I can only pray that they didn’t put this in print. It would make them look even more foolish than they are now.

    • philtheweiner January 13, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

      Based on your writing, it’s no wonder in fifteen years I haven’t heard of you once. This review of the review is biased.

  9. "Penguin" January 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    Despite what everyone says, not only is this album is a good listen too but the music videos that these two collaborated on is a must watch. It brings out these two musicians comical side as well as their musical.

  10. Spidey January 12, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    W.C. while its clear is not a fan of Couto’s style of music, does make great points at showing that this CD is not a good outing from Mr. Couto. While his music is not for everyone this Christmas E.P. is a very weak attempt at seasonal music.

  11. whocares January 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    These comments are way more personal than the actual review.

  12. Bud Violet January 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Awfully awful

  13. GetTrash'd January 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    Check out the other article on The Trash, they’re pretty cool.

    • Mr. Bull January 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

      Seen The Trash last Tuesday and they rocked really hard they are worth checking out!

  14. afanofmusic January 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    What is sad here is not the ep or even the review per-say.
    What is sad is that I have a good hunch that most of the hateful and disapproving comments about this album are in fact from people involved in the Dayton Music scene.

    I will not lie and deny that I am friends with Couto and Flannel Bear as well as a fan of their music and them. I also will not claim this Holiday album to be Gods gift to music however I will say that Couto and Flannel Bear have just as much right to be apart of this Scene as anyone. I have seen them out supporting local bands very bands that probably have members bashing them right now.

    I have read statements like

    “I’m sick of Dayton getting a bad rap because of shit like this (i.e. this album and everyone getting defensive about a completely objective, opinionated review).”

    as well as statement elsewhere that suggest “they” (flannel bear and Couto) give the music scene a bad rep.

    I feel that in fact its the guys like Couto and Flannel Bear who make the scene better. Guys who support a scene simply to support it. Whether they like the music a band plays or not. I don’t think you would ever see either of these two tell someone to stop doing something they love.
    In the end shouldn’t we want the Dayton Music scene to be about the music? All of the music the good, the bad, the great, the terrible….

    It is obvious that no matter how many times you say “the album was terrible none of us care anyways” that you obviously cared enough to say something. If Couto and Bear truly didn’t matter in the eyes of the “Haters” well said haters would have simply let the review do the talking for them. Just as it is obvious Couto and Bear are letting their fans Talk for them.

  15. Grill Vogel January 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    Now the Trash are a band. Completely free of Hawaiian shirts and an 8th grade mindset.

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