F2K10 is a countdown of the 20 worst songs of 2010. Track our progress here.
The concept of “twee” reached a nadir in 2010, the inevitable result of a swaddling culture that seems hell-bent on keeping people in Peter Pan mode until they’re sent six feet under. But even more disheartening than the DVD release of (500) Days Of Summer or the Deschanelian “we make pop songs real, man” scourge that was Pamplemousse was “cheatercheaterbestfriendeater,” the lightly misogynist, spell-check-breaking single from the teenaged Missourian Christofer Drew Ingle, who goes by the stage name NeverShoutNever.
You’re forgiven if you’ve heard “cheatercheater” in the background and mistook it for an ad touting some sort of 21st-century answering service. Ingle’s sweet bleat as he sings about “three text messages” and “four missed calls,” when paired with a lightly strummed ukulele and delicate percussion, seems tailor-made for inclusion in some sort of commercial, or at least on the compilation Now That’s What I Call Songs That Endlessly Rattle Around My Brain When I’m Just Trying To Get Some Sleep. Not bad for something that was borne from a combination of modern technology and timeless romantic tragedies:
‘Cause oh! I know all about your type
You’re the type of girl that texts all day and talks all night
And oh! I know that you are feeling sad
I don’t feel bad, cause even after 3 text messages, 4 missed calls,
You still slept with my best friend
Yes, “cheatercheaterbestfriendeater” is an ode to a young lass who, as it turns out, Ingle just can’t keep out of the sack despite her straying ways. At least, that seems to be what the song’s about; the lyrics are a jumble of shout-outs to cell phones’ messaging capabilities and self-loathing directed outward in which having sex with the cheating chick causes both the hours to “move to minutes” and the days to “turn into weeks.” (Physics professors around the world would like to have a word with this time-bending siren, as would I, because, um, can sex really do that?)
As is turns out, Ingle himself is growing weary of his act — perhaps because he has “cheatercheater” stuck in his head all the time, too? He told the Phoenix New Times back in October:
I’m kind of sick of this band and the negative connotations with the band. I want to start over and start something new. I think people have the wrong idea about us. I want to bust out the Stratocaster and play some feel-good shit. I’m just a kid playing music. There’s a bunch of kids playing music, and if (my fans) are really into this acoustic stuff, they can find 100 other kids doing it.
But will any of those 100 other kids have the advert-ready smarm of “cheatercheaterbestfriendeater”? God help us if they do and some car company finds out about it.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 9, 2010