5 Flucloxacillin - Los Campesinos!

from the album Sick Scenes (2017)

At first listen, 5 Flucloxacillan by Los Campesinos! is a catchy, eclectic, indie-alternative song that contains some clever pharmaceutical-related lyrics.  However, when you dig in a bit, this song hits on some pretty deep themes centered on the generational friction between the millennial and the almost-boomer set.

It is the subject matter that fascinates me about this song.

Most of the cross-generational sniping I hear comes from the older contingent, grousing about know-it-all slackers and their sense of entitlement.  But on 5 Flucloxacillan, we here the flip-side of the argument, with millennials chastising a generation that is more worried about getting their retirement paid for than fixing the mess they have made of our planet.

I particularly dig the use of visual imagery and metaphors from bicycle racing to exemplify the point of view.  Check out this lyric:

A peloton of OAPs cycling up behind me
Shouting, "Step up your paces, we've got places to be"
A pile-on of AOPs crashing in my slipstream
I turn, "Shut up your faces, I'm not your domestique"

The imagery of a large pack of cycling "Old Age Pensioners" crashing and flipping over the handlebars while this young person looks in his rear-view mirror with anger towards them is powerful.  As is the use of the phrase "I'm not your domestique," which I find particularly cutting.

The chorus also provides a damning lyric:

They say if they had got the victory
They'd act with so much more humility
They say if they had got the victory
Well, I guess we'll never know

Effectively, this chorus calls out the older generation as losers and whiners, with the phrase "I guess we'll never know" offering a particularly painful condemnation.

Hats off to Los Campesinos! for wrapping thoughtful insight into a three-minute radio tune.

Click Here to listen to 5 Flucloxacillan.

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