Blog Random Rant

2007: Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now

(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]

Blog Rant

Hello again….

Firstly, great thanks for everyone at Rawkstar to allow me back to write. I’ve been on somewhat of a religious mission working on online radio and so forth, but it’s nice to be writing again.
(I’m a suck up at heart)
Anyhoo – my question is, what happened to all the great bands of the early 90’s? I’m talking about bands like Luscious Jackson, Elastica, Sleeper, Juliana Hatfield, Buffalo Tom… I could go on and on and on. These were bands who dominated a time where the whole ‘alternative’ scene was cool, that it wasn’t bogged down into the scheme of stereotypical genre placement (it all gets so confusing these days as well, especially trying to follow genre’s of dance music), who got masses of time on MTV and other sources of music television, and were definitive “college” rock bands (there, I used one of the stereotypes I tried to stray away from”. Only today I stuck on “Tree House” by Buffalo Tom and nearly shed a damn tear when next on my iPod came Razorlight. It’s not that I hate Razorlight, it’s just not the same – the contrasts between music and glamour.

I do, however, count my lucky stars bands like Mudhoney and Sonic Youth are still on the go. I jumped for joy when I heard The Pixies were reforming for a few ‘nostalgic’ shows. I jumped even more when rumours broke that Smashing Pumpkins might reform. Sadly though, some of these bands seem to have been caught up in the media hype machine. beloved Foo Fighters seems more preoccupied now raising political awareness and telling dick jokes than going back to their rugged, less-than-polished heavy routes (that’s coming from a die hard Foo Fighters fan as well… so yeah, I am taken aback by it all), meanwhile Courtney Love is peddling her wares with Steve Coogan, allegedly, of all people.

Oh well, at least we’ve still Dinosaur Jr.

I’m off to wipe the tears from my eyes 😛

Blog Quickies Random Rant

All you’ll ever be is a dancer…

Is a song by This Et Al. Furthermore, I absolutely love it. From the jarring chords to the sensitive chorus bit, it’s all good. Ticking in at under 2 minutes “all you’ll ever be…” is terribly short, but my, those 96 seconds are purest gold.

Blog Rant

raise your skinny fists…

One thing that generally annoys me with the state of music journalism and publications is the lack of coverage of post-rock. For the uninitiated, post-rock is a genre in which traditional rock instruments are used to perform classical tasks. That is, a focus on composition, timbres, crescendos and what have you. The songs performed by post-rock artists are typically long, often pushing the 8 minute or over mark, and void of any song. Now, I do realise that there are two million things that sound infinitely better on paper, but bear with me. Post-rock groups like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky have created some of the most beautiful pieces of modern music. Songs that build up from a meagre beginning, only to end in a heart-wrenching crash, boom and a bang 8 minutes later as guitars are throttled, drummers ravage their kits and violins float on top.

As I am a great fan of this genre, I’d like to see more coverage of it in the press. Usually the average review of a post-rock album is short, mentions something about the artist being from Canada, and gives it a high rating without explaining why. Because of this, I feel that many people are passed by these wonderful artists and the music they make. As such, here is a list of some great bands you should experience:

– Godspeed You! Black Emperor
– Explosions in the Sky
– Mono
– A Silver Mt. Zion
– Fly Pan AM
– 65 Days of Static
– The Cathode Ray Syndrome*
– The Exploits of Elaine
– Mogwai

Blog Rant

Radio 1 and Wikipedia

I was listening to Radio 1 today (Scott Mills show) while driving home from work, they started talking about Wikipedia and how they thought it was amusing to edit other Radio 1 presenters profiles (e.g. saying they’re romantically linked to random people). Now, anyone that knows about Wikipedia, understands that it’s a resource for information, not a page to have a little fun making things up about random people and events and the users and administrators would get slightly pissed… some of it was amusing, I have to admit, but all it did was cause their profiles to be locked and probably their user accounts removed/banned (and probably the entire BBC’s IP address range blocked!).

Most people who keep up with the news will have heard about people adding fake data to journalist John Seigenthaler’s biography and other such incidents and know how big an effect it had on the site and peoples views on it.

Another thing that annoys me about the Scott Mills show is the people that request songs which have been played about 20 times already that day i.e. Sugababes, Ugly. It’s just pointless. I guess it’s limited to their playlists though… Good thing is, Starsailor are having a lot of airtime lately! (They’re on as I write this) with their new single ‘This Time’.