The Machine Gun Kelly/Bring Me The Horizon Collab Is as

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The issue that I, and I would gander a lot of other old-ass people like me who lived through the genre when it first blew up, have with much of the new music labeling itself “pop-punk” is that it lacks the ground-level humanity of the genre’s original wave. Early in their careers, bands like The Offspring and Less Than Jake and blink-182 made music about being an average fuck-up in small-town America, while acts like former rapper Machine Gun Kelly really focus on the genre after all of its big acts got rich and tired, or played up that we’re-from-LA-and-we-are-rich kind of thing (which I mostly associate with Good Charlotte and beyond). Now, MGK has dropped a new track in collaboration with former deathcore act Bring Me The Horizon, and it’s everything that pop-punk has been since it got worried about Walmart.

The word that comes to mind listening to “maybe,” the new track by Machine Gun Kelly and Bring Me The Horizon, is “caged.” This song’s music, lyrics, and general vibe exist in a smooth, careful set of boundaries. The song vaguely references drink and drugs, but in a distant, romantic way. It sort of looks at personal emotional struggles, but in a presentable fashion that never seems in touch with the mess of being a human. Even the literal mess on the video’s thumbnail — the pink-painted tomatoes under the white Doc Martens, which I guess is a reference to MGK’s new album cover — is so cleanly depicted and carefully designed that you can automatically imagine the production team adding paint blots one by one to the set. This is a once-colorful animal now living at a midwestern zoo, trained to stand on its hind legs so assholes can clap at it when all it wants to do is run.

Listen to Machine Gun Kelly’s “maybe” featuring Bring Me The Horizon below and prove me wrong.

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