Cynical Bastards

Album: High Noon (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • Arkells love for Hamilton, Ontario is a well-known fact as the band often makes references to the city in their music. Arkells formed in Hamilton in 2006 when they met while attending university and took their name from the street where they held their band practices. Arkells debut album in 2008, Jackson Square, was named after a decaying shopping mall that is located in the heart of downtown Hamilton. On Arkells third album High Noon, they have not forgotten about the place, as they mention it on the third track "Cynical Bastards" when frontman Max Kerman sings, "Jackson Square dropouts avoid the police."
  • Max Kerman explained in our interview that "Cynical Bastards" takes on the people who disparage Hamilton (many times without having lived there), often referring to it as the "Armpit of Ontario." As Kerman points out, the people who live in great industrial cities are not to blame for the circumstances of those cities. "Cynical Bastards" hearkens back to that old saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say it at all."

    Kerman adds that the song salutes everyone who is working hard in Hamilton to make it better, "Who are pouring love into the city to make it a great place for me to live, which I'm extremely appreciative."

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