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    Tuesday, January 15, 2019

    #ThemeSongTuesday: It's Goin' Down (in the U.K.)

    #ThemeSongTuesday is back, BAYBAY!

    It's been a busy stretch of weeks with the holidays having gotten a little too crazy for ya boy, on top of not really having much room to breathe up until recently. Thank God for that recent trip to Batanes—one that actually came with a return flight home. I'm glad to be the first PWR personality to have made it to and from that beautiful archipelago since the traumatic events of 2016.

    Anyway, let's kick off the 2019 volume of #TST with a pretty familiar theme, especially to those of you who follow NXT UK.

    We all first heard this track as the theme song of the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament a couple of years ago. We didn't hear it again until the following year, when the UKCT
    had its sequel, leading to NXT UK premiering last October on the WWE Network.

    Fortunately for your humble scribe, the first theme I'm reviewing in 2019 is not a CFO$ production. It's a track called "Dusted" by Astroid Boys, a band from Cardiff, Wales, whose genre fits somewhere between punk rock, hardcore punk, and grime. Yes, grime is actually a genre of music. It's basically a grittier EDM, where the vocalists typically rap and talk about how rough life in the city is. Musically, it sounds a bit like dubstep because of the breakbeats, which come at you all fast and syncopated.

    "Dusted" is a B-side off Astroid Boys' first EP, Bacon Dream, from 2013. As soon as I heard it in full, I could totally see this being used in wrestling. If it weren't going to be used in some highlight reel or video package, then it totally does make sense in the context of a show intro or OBB. Not that I'm an ace video editor, but a song with the breakbeats you can hear in "Dusted" is easy to use for wrestling OBBs, where you can match the slams and strikes with the drops in the beat.

    You can check out the lyrics here.

    Before looking up grime and how it actually sounds, I thought of drawing a comparison to a song you might actually recognize.

    Yep, it reminded me of "It's Goin' Down" by X-Ecutioners, a track from 2002 that featured Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda on vocals and Joe Hahn on the turntables, as well as the late Wayne Static on guitars. Whether or not it was intentional on the part of Astroid Boys, you can see the influences of this song all over "Dusted," from Mr. Hahn's scratching, to the breakbeats of X-Ecutioners, to the flow of Mike Shinoda. The problem is that the similarities are too in-your-face that it's very clear which the superior song is. And if you think it's "Dusted," then you owe it to yourself to listen to expand your musical tastes.

    It's funny how we live in a world where a lot of what was in vogue a decade or two ago is making its way back into whatever's new. I mean, Chris Brown just sampled Shanice's "I Love Your Smile" on his latest single. Then again, that's probably the same thing the Gen X-ers said when Vanilla Ice sampled Queen. (Oh, you didn't know?) It'll be weird once these Gen Z kids end up sampling R. Kelly a decade after he's been cancelldt.

    Going back to "Dusted," it's not a bad song. The fact that it isn't some verse-chorus-verse-chorus loop that goes on for five minutes is a breath of fresh air on its own. Plus, it's in a genre that doesn't really get a lot of exposure to most wrestling fans, what more a mainstream audience. If anything, this Astroid Boys track is a decent introduction to grime and what it's about.

    It helps that the song goes hard enough for you to imagine it setting the town for a grittier show in NXT UK, which is trying to go for that hard-nosed edge compared to the American WWE in-ring programs. If that were the basis of whether or not "Dusted" fits as a theme song, then the answer would be a resounding yes.

    Photo from WWE


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: It's Goin' Down (in the U.K.) Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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