(Was going to be a) Review: Razorlight – Before I Fall To Pieces EP
…Because we’re not all quite sick of this song already. Actually, no, I jest, but you have to admit that, like all Razorlight EPs to date, it’s had a huge amount of airplay.
Why all the airplay? Well, although (contrary to rumours) millions of people can actually be wrong, the song’s quite catchy. Hell, you all know it’s catchy, you’ve probably got it right up there in your head, ready to be pulled down at any moment as the situation may demand.
So, next question: why the review? They covered Teenage Kicks (by the Undertones, and incidentally John Peel’s favourite song) for track 2, and an audacious attempt like that deserves, nay begs for review. They’re joining an odd bunch of melody-thieves, since bands like Green Day and Therapy? and Ash have also covered this track. Oh, and so has B*sted. Apologies for the cuss-word, but the disparity has to be noted.
The very first thing to note is that it’s a live recording. The first thing this calls to mind is America. Not the country, duh, but the single. Remember the fan-screams mixed in at the beginning? That seems to be a recurring theme. They want us to believe that they’re a bona fide proper proper non-commercialised band who can actually play live shows, which is what sells more records.
A quick reaction here: does this mean we should like them (like the mugs we are) or hate them (like the musical snobs we are)?
Anyway, the second thing to note is that their version sounds… well, just like the old version. Just like the other versions. A version. Nothing to see here, folks.
But wait, let’s not go too far. Okay, let’s admit it, Razorlight are good. Take that as a given, if you will. You know they’re good, I know they’re good, all our friends know they’re good, the record industry knows that they’re good, and everyone’s all cool with them being good.
Thing is, all the other bands know they’re good, too. And they’re trying to piggyback on that Razorlight magic, that skinny-trousered Russell-Brand-haired pretend-rebellion. Listen to any “up and coming” list/ compilation / etc, and you’ll find hours and hours of Razorlight-esq posing. It’s getting hard to sift the good from the mediocre from the downright dull. It’s a whole other argument, the “Internet music: for good or for bad?” argument, but one thread of that discussion is very useful here: there’s definitely room to argue that we’ve been flooded with too much of a good thing.
British Indie Rock is all starting to look the same. There are too many bands out there, all being heard at the same time, all with their dedicated little street teams and thousand-fold adoring MySpace friends. All sending out their damn pointless and annoyingly desperate MySpace bulletins, and all ultimately grasping at the same straws. Think endless bad promos from the increasingly-desperate Lorraine, and you’re in the right frame of mind.
Everything sounds alike. The Scissor Sisters sound just like Beck (and why oh why does nobody ever point this out?), Busted sound like Green Day, and now Razorlight are trying to sound like The Undertones. New music is not just the same as old music, but it’s the same as all the other new music.
And now we don’t even have the brilliant old-as-time sure-fire way of kicking them out – even if you don’t buy their music, you can’t avoid seeing these pillocks all over the inter-web. They don’t need your money any more. They’re like some weird mutant brand of phoenix – kick one down, and three pop up to take its place. It’s like a horror movie. Revenge of the Russell Brand-a-likes. (More on that cnut later)
God knows how fast Peelie’s spinning in his grave now, but by the end of the year he’ll be able to provide electricity for a street of terraced houses. [/cliche]