3OH!3 and 100 Gecs' "LONELY MACHINE" Explores the Millennial/Gen-Z Divide
100 Gecs have become the darlings of post-genre trashcore for digital natives, and their iconic, ear-splitting "Money Machine" is the closest thing we have to today's "Don't Trust Me."
In one of the year's most uncalled-for collaborations, 30H!3 has returned to accompany 100 Gecs on a new song.
The song is everything you would expect from these bands' combined efforts. It's abrasive, excessive, grating, and obnoxious. It features some aggressive lyrics and flickers of vintage 200s emo-tronica from 3OH!3. It also features some absurdly auto-tuned, extremely confessional lyrics from Laura Les that are sure to resonate with anyone who grew up using the Internet.
The song marks 3OH!3's first musical return in four years. The group achieved astronomical fame in the 2000s thanks to their song "Don't Trust Me," a staple of teen karaoke parties and bar mitzvahs in the aughts.
Like 100 Gecs, 3OH!3's music is almost so bad it's funny, but it's also strangely catchy and hard-hitting, if only in its daring refusal to even try to sound like anything approaching "traditionally good music." It's the sonic version of freaking out on the subway or having a breakdown in the venue bathroom and then scrolling through your news feed, quietly sob-laughing at a TikTok about your favorite childhood show.
A collaboration between the two was perhaps inevitable. 100 Gecs have become the darlings of post-genre trashcore for digital natives, and their iconic, ear-splitting "Money Machine" is the closest thing we have to today's "Don't Trust Me."
3OH!3 and Gecs's music is a study in maximalist contrast that sounds like it was pushed through a thousand overdrive filters, drenched in red glitter, and lit on fire inside a dumpster. Plus, both bands' names both make no sense to the uninitiated masses.
Yet in some ways, this collaboration between 3OH!3 and Gecs is also extremely awkward, and it definitely highlights the generational divide between the groups. In the lyrics, 30H!3 are creepy dudes asking for photos (classic elder millennial) while Les is the auto-tuned frustrated Gen-Z kid just trying to survive while fielding messages from said elder millennials.
The video plays into this narrative, featuring the 3OH!3 guys making purchases on eBay and using an old telephone. Then the 100 Gecs duo comes in as a weird-looking ukulele-playing duo dressed as wizards, cheered on by the 3OH!3 guys. In the end, they all seem to form a cult and join forces to create some sort of musical miracle, which, I guess, is supposed to be "LONELY MACHINES."
The song won't be a hit, but it's certainly an entertaining study in contrasting generational Internet trends.
3OH!3 - LONELY MACHINES (feat 100 gecs) [Official Video]www.youtube.com
It would be more disturbing if the video wasn't a pretty exact representation of what the Internet is actually like nowadays: A pastiche of semi-absurdist, overwhelming, clashing senses of humor. Whatever you think of their music, 30H!3 and 100 Gecs are some of the best bands of their respective generations in terms of reflecting what living in the modern, hyper-digitized world actually feels and sounds like. And that, if nothing else, is art.