The All-American Rejects: Gives You Hell (2008)

There’s something about this song that makes me want to shake a fist and cry “so there!” to that ex who always said I’d be a nothing. And that’s saying something, because I don’t have an ex—let alone a jerkish ex—to stick it to! It’s a fiery anthem, the kind that could start a riot of underdogs who have, by the power vested in this track, risen against their belittling former beaus and come out on top.

So what is this song about? The official vid chronicles two warring brothers: a clean cut corporate stuffed shirt with a white picket fence and quaint, plastic-y wife and a rough-and-tumble rock star who rises when the sun sets and lives it up with his bandmates. Pranks and shenanigans ensue: Rocker Brother riding a tractor through Perfect Brother’s yard and distracting him from a rousing game of Operation; Perfect Brother blinding  Rocker Brother while he’s catching Z’s midday; Rocker enlisting an army of megaphone-equipped loudmouths to disrupt Perf’s sound slumber and give him a taste of his own medicine. By the end of the clip, the two switch places for the night, with the fuddy-duddy letting loose and the wild child settling down.

But despite the funny-but-slightly-irrelevant video, this is clearly a jab at the writer’s sayounara’d sweetheart who had a chip on their shoulder. It’s a “look at me now, chickie,” a PG-rated “F-U” song. The best lyric is a sweetly delivered “Truth be told I miss you…” followed by a spiteful “and truth be told I’m lying!”

It’s been eight years since this gem first dropped, and eight years from now, it’s still going to be my go-to track for those days when I just want to rock out and show up that Doubting Thomas that I never dated but, you know, still dumped.



  1. kristenistheword · April 25, 2016

    I literally LOVE this song. When I saw this blog post I was so excited 😀 happy to see someone else enjoying it as much as I do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Sukala · April 26, 2016

      Glad to have found a kindred soul! Thanks for reading and commenting :).


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