Awesome Stupid Songs: Queensryche's 'Empire'

Y'know what was cool about the first three Indiana Jones movies? For us, it was that no matter whatever sticky situations would arise, Indy could freestyle his way to safety and success -- usually with a charming smirk and funny quip. What a charmer. Dreamy.

Y'know what's cool about the new-ish Indiana Jones And The Blahblingy Blah Dildo Skull? Nothing. At all. The leaden fourquel is pure exposition, as the new Indy -- which is to say, the old-as-shit Indy -- doesn't need any seat-of-the-pants escapes or kooky thrills: The guy just calmly blathers throughout the entire film, whether tumbling perilously down a disappearing staircase or riding bitch on a motorcycle driven by just-met friend and mullet enthusiast Shia LaBoef. [In other news, I LaBoef'd all over my Deftones sweatshirt last Saturday.] wIndy's always barking orders, and when the viewer isn't distracted by Harrison Ford's diaper-line or being treated to the umpteenth close-up of Indy's hat (it's brown!), it's easy to get the impression that we're all looking over screenwriter George Lucas' shoulder as he spends a weekend on Wikipedia. Blah blah blah secret relics. Bling bling blag lost treasure. Joogly-bloogidy ancient extinct race. Whatever! Just behead somebody already! We at HooM! have Lucas pegged as a red-wine-and-vicodin man -- who else would pack a adventure flick with seven dubious historical references for every kick to the face? A shit-faced shit-talker, that's who. Which reminds us of Queensryche's "Empire." 

Musically, the song is a towering achievement in the sometimes shaky 'Ryche catalogue, though its lyrics suffer from a similar eye-roll factor as Indy 4. See, Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate is from the shtreet and he's gonna kick some knowledge down to all the complacent suburbanites who just don't get it. More like, Geoff Tate takes you through his morning newspaper. Observe:

Now he's out on the streets all day
Selling crack to the people who pay
He's got an AK-47 for his best friend:
Business the American Way

Here Tate conjures the image of a single young man with an AK-47 selling crack. I know this is 1990 and The Wire is, like, a decade away. But puh-leeeeze. 

Black man trapped again
Holds his chains in his hand
Brother killing brother for the profit of another
Game point: Nobody wins

I'm pretty sure Geoff Tate has never performed "Empire" in the presence of non-whites because there's no record of him getting his ass kicked into a different dimension for this half-cocked verse. The use of 'brother' is cringe-inducing enough without the Seattlite bungling a sports metaphor so badly; I'm pretty sure that only sports like volleyball and tennis have game points. Shit, in tennis, game point doesn't even decide the winner. 

By this point in the song, Tate & Co. are well-intentioned but ill-spoken advocates of justice and equality. That is, until the retards preface the guitar solo with some hard-hitting stats about inadequate law enforcement spending. Suddenly, Queensryche are no longer social reformists but frothing reactionaries urging tighter police control lest someone breaks into their giant swimming pool or sells crack to their massage therapist. With this shift in tone, the feverish crescendo of a final chorus plays like Jim Sensenbrenner theme music:

Don't you feel it coming? Empire.
Don't you hear it calling? Empire.
Won't someone here stop it? Empire.

 'Officer! Officer! They Went Thatta Way'

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