Of all the relics from the year 2000, I’d have predicted the Madden Brothers would last slightly longer than Y2K panic, and disappear around the time of Wheatus’ follow-up single.
Yet it’s a good seventeen years since we were first introduced to Joel and Benji Madden, and they are surviving and thriving across numerous facets of the entertainment world, and have been for close to two decades. They are multi-hyphenates. They are quadruple threats. Triple double, no assist. Time to give the Madden brothers some well-deserved props. That’s all.
Now, I’m not really a fan of their music. They have about half a dozen songs that I enjoy, most of which lift the melody from ‘Forgotten Years’ by Midnight Oil. They write earnest songs about being angry with their father — with lyrics such as “I’m angry at my father” — and seem to momentarily forget during photo shoots that they weren’t ever in the Crips All their album covers look like self-published YA novels, and their debut single was named ‘Little Things’ and came months after ‘All The Small Things’. But still…
There’s a line on the title track of ‘The Young and the Hopeless’ where Benji sings, “These critics and these trust fund kids try to tell me what punk is, but when I see them on the street they got nothing to say.”
Now, the improbability of Benji ever sizing up and intimidating anyone on the street aside, this line is quite true. No, really, it is. At first you wanna laugh at them being punk, then you start to think. Maybe they are punk. Do you know what punk is? Punk is doing a PETA campaign, then doing a KFC commercial. Punk is dating Nicole Ritchie, Hilary Duff, Sophie Monk, Paris Hilton, Cameron Diaz, and Holly from that ‘Girls Next Door’ series about Hef’s girlfriends (Kendra was the best).
Punk is winning the Best New Talent Logie. Punk is having Benjamin Franklin’s face tattooed on your entire back. Punk is releasing an album under the name The Madden Brothers despite it sounding like a Good Charlotte album. Punk is shouting out “reduced lunch” in your debut single like you’re Flavor Flav or something. Punk is hanging out with your twin.
Australia loves the Madden Brothers. While many bands tour and tell us they think of Australia as a second home, and we roll our eyes and cheer anyway, it’s quite true when Joel and Benji do it. They’ve won Logies! Joel has appeared on five series of Australian TV, which is more than Isla Fisher did. I think he still lives in Sydney. Maybe he is reading this. If so, sorry about the YA joke (but they do).
You know those early press shots of fellow twins The Veronicas where they stand, limbs akimbo, fists victoriously thrust into the air as if to say, “We are the shit”? That’s the stance the Madden brothers should be permanently in.