I started "Overgrown & Undersexed" with the urge to write a put-down song, like the Blondie song "Rip her to shreds", but without the drag queen subtext, since I was oblivious to the appeal of a drag queen subtext, and thoroughly immersed in my own little world of teenaged girls who liked punk rock boys like me. These girls fancied themselves little tough stuffs, ready to take on the entire world of sex, punk rock music, and find a personal mix of sex and autonomy that I couldn't even begin to fathom because I was inclined to regard girls as mysterious beings, vastly different from me, who seemed to like what I liked, and then suddenly didn't, and I refused to think through why.
I had the mistaken idea that these girls were just as tough as they pretended to be, even though they were all between 16 and 18 years old and couldn't have known what they really felt anyway, since none of us were examining critically our sex roles through the lens of gender bias and shared humanity. When a beautiful teen girl would let a tear drop from her huge blue eyes, telling me her father was threatening to put me in jail for violating the statutory rape laws that everyone constantly flouted openly back then, there was a moment of profound disconnect between the punk streetwise front and the little girl just underneath. A disconnect far more worthy of profound exploration than the crap song I wrote instead, but hints of this conflict can be sniffed out by those sympathetic to the situation.
The lyrics of this song have many weak spots, and when you are already a weak lyricist like me, it can get pretty stupid pretty fast. I liked my songs to be fun, and that meant bad jokes when I failed, and below we can see not only bad jokes, but mean spirited and smug lyrics, too. But set in this bright sunny pop frame, I was trying to deliver an amusing contrast, and by ripping off a tiny bit of "Bus Stop" by the Hollies and then nosediving into what I called a middle-eastern scale based on a half-step repetition, I tried to mix it all up the point where it could become interesting. So take a listen:
Overgrown & Undersexed
You don't realize that you are a mess
Overgrown & Undersexed
You're about to climb out of your dress
You're the kind of girl
Who turns around when flashbulbs pop
You've got plenty of mirrors
To show you who's on top
If you want my opinion
I'll give it straight to you
You've had it too easy girl,
It will come back to you
You know I like to watch your
Curves and fleshly swells
But underneath all this
We find funky smells
As long as you're living,
Why don't you join us in some tea?
You're so independent,
You can do without me
This song was recorded at the second big Obvious recording session somewhere in Illinois, when we recorded and mixed five or six songs in one long day. It has the usual Obvious lineup on it: Alex Mutrux on guitar (I remember teaching him the scale to use on his solo, which was a struggle for him, but much better than mine), Kevin Brueseke on drums, Sally Barnes on Arp, me singing, and my brother Augustino playing bass and singing.
Download "Overgrown & Undersexed"