Few contemporary pop bands are more unabashedly
commercial than "The Adjusters," a group whose
claim-to-something-opposite-fame is that all of its songs are about
insurance. Their current release, "Don't
Drive Your Car Too Fast," an upbeat tune written by a committee
of actuaries at Smith & Tucker Insurance of Portland, Maine, is
mounting the charts despite being unequivocally awful.
"Too fast, too fast, you gotta slow down/don't get no more
tickets/keep your tires on the ground," is how the lyrics begin, and
they get worse from there, limning cliche accident scenes and,
predictably, a police encounter. It's plain from the first muddy
chords that "The Adjusters" are incapable of playing their
instruments, and the overall effect is a kind of "meta" joke, in
that disbelieving listeners can only imagine that the song is,
itself, a quasi-intentional invocation of some sort of inevitable
Nevertheless, radio stations have placed it in heavy rotation,
alongside songs by "The Trust" and "The Fiduciaries."
"We only play the hits," explained Gayle Liszt, Director of
Programming for WXXY in Detroit, Michigan. "The Adjusters'" company
spends a lot of money advertising its insurance products with us, so
our audience will have to tolerate them," she added.
Music critics and independent traffic safety experts are unanimous
in deploring "The Adjusters'" single, and the rest of the band's
oeuvre. "If anything, 'The Adjusters' music is likely to cause an
increase in insurance claims," Hal Prentis of the National Institute
For Highway Musical Safety asserted. "Studies show that terrible
music causes temporary stupidity in drivers. In some cases, drivers
will abruptly exit a speeding car to escape the din. Unfortunately
the results of such precipitous music-driven behavior are not
temporary in many cases."
"Jersey" Tucker, lead vocalist for "The Adjusters" is unapologetic.
"It's all about insurance, man. The whole world is insurance.
Everything important, it all comes back to insurance when you really
think about it. These other bands, they're all like 'Ooh, ooh, baby,
let me help you re-finance' which is cool as far as it goes. But
when you're out in your new car that has, like, comprehensive
insurance coverage, well, how can you not love that?"
Guitarist Jimmy "Claims" Fault agrees. "This hatred of our songs is
temporary, you know. I mean we're not that bad, and everybody knows
that if you keep playing a song, even if it's a song about life
insurance, eventually people will learn to like it. We have a big
marketing budget, you know?"
But rock radio listeners in Detroit and elsewhere have been voting
with their ears. "I just don't listen anymore to the radio" said
Emma Hardin, "'cause they already had commercials, but now even the
songs are commercials. At first I thought that them playing all this
music by bankers and insurance agents was temporary, but it sure
seems like they're goin' to keep doin' it. So, you know, I'm just
gonna keep listenin' to my MP3 player when I'm in my car."
Evan Chuckster was even more vociferous in his condemnation. "It's
like man, they're playin' this track about--how's that go again? Oh
yeah: 'your disability is temporary' and they rhyme it with
'solemnity' and 'insurance fairy?' I mean come ON!"
Smith & Tucker's next release, "Git Your Deductible," is scheduled
for release later this month.