Ricky Eat Acid Shares Essay-Length Car Seat Headrest Takedown

When not functioning as the prolific musician behind such projects as Ricky Eat Acid and Teen Suicide, Sam Ray loves to mouth off online. Today that instinct manifests in the form of an essay-length critique of Ray’s former buzz-band contemporary and fellow hot-take dispenser Car Seat Headrest. For some reason, Ray has decided to voice his distaste for Will Toledo’s band — which Ray admits has ballooned in popularity well beyond any of his own projects — with a misanthropic screed that begins as semi-coherent prose before devolving into a series of punchlines at Car Seat Headrest’s expense.

The piece begins with 26-year-old Ray declaring, “Being mad is a young man’s game, and I am neither young nor willing to play games anymore.” He proceeds to describe Car Seat Headrest as “an annoyingly persistent Last.fm recommendation that somehow landed a deal with Matador,” dismissing Toledo’s “thoroughly bland & lifeless” music by noting, “If you walk into any house show in America with a handful of rocks, by the second or third throw you’ll have hit a boy with a Bandcamp that sounds exactly like them.” He then goes on to explain that he wouldn’t care so much about Car Seat Headrest’s success if Toledo had not begun having contentious media interactions that Ray considers subpar: “Much like his music & lyrics, Toledo’s public persona exists in between dull platitudes and esoteric name-dropping. This consistent lack of personality might actually be the most sincere thing about him & his band.”

After explaining why comparisons to Pavement, Guided By Voices, and the Lemonheads are off-base, Ray concludes with the zingers, many of which take the form of facetious band slogans. Most of them seem pretty half-baked to me, though I did get a chuckle out of “Car Seat Headrest–So bad we haven’t even made fun of the name yet.” Then there’s a screenshot of a headline about the original pressing of CSH’s Teens Of Denial getting recalled due to unauthorized use of a Cars song. Finally, there’s this:

I want to acknowledge fully that this is a Bad Career Move, but we both seem fully committed to having Bad Careers, as well as talking cash shit about our contemporaries, so fuck it. Besides, he’s signed to Matador and though I’m too lazy to Soundscan his record, I’m going to assume it’s outsold mine simply based on the press he gets. We will therefore consider this all “punching up”.

For what it’s worth, based on Toledo’s own history criticizing other musicians, he could probably write a pretty sick response piece if he so chose, though I’d prefer if we got a series of rap-style diss tracks out of this instead. The world deserves to hear Car Seat Headrest’s answer to “Ether.”

UPDATE: Toledo posted a couple tweets vaguely referencing Ray’s essay.