On the Dullsville Highway to Rubbish Musictown


Features, Music | by — April 1, 2006

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by Isla MC

As one who was a young whippersnapper at the birth of Brit pop, and loved Blur and Pulp and Oasis as part of my soul, I must confess that their (effective) spawn leave me utterly cold.

What is it with all these identikit indie bands at the moment? Theyre like the boy bands of the nineties. Move over Westlife, Boyzone, 911 (leaving Take That out of this because they are godlike geniuses of balladry and pop power) and make room for the Arctic Monkeys, Editors, Delays, Rakes, Cherubs, Others, Bloc Party, Maximo Park, Razorlight. have I made my point? I could go on for hours, theres that many of them. Im sure there are subtle differences to the way these various bands sound, but to my ears they all sound like a slight, and very dull, variation on a single theme. STOP TAKING YOURSELF SO SERIOUSLY AND START HAVING SOME FUN! Muck about a bit. Music is supposed to be personal and expressive, not just a lame rip-off of everything youve heard before.

Now, I appreciate that we have interviewed some of the aforementioned on this very site, but I think Joanna is more forgiving than I am when it comes to this lot. Its just so BORING. Wheres the imagination? Where the experimentation and excitement that pretty much classifies great music? Theres no sense of adventure with this lot. They heard a band, they liked it, they thought Im going to make music that sounds like that, and they did.

It was all fine and dandy when there was just a few of them knocking around. The Strokes for example sounded pretty fresh at the time. But now the whole thing has escalated and become really quite depressing. Its like the apocalypse of British music. When the so-called alternative crowd become as limp and predictable as the cheesy boybands they used to vilify, you can be sure the end is nigh.

Just a couple more points and then Ill end the rant.

What is it with all the shit band names? A startling percentage of them begin with The and end with something just sooooo wittily postmodern (Im being sarcastic here). Im guessing that the origins of this The phenomenon are old fifties and sixties bands like Johnny Casino and the Gamblers etc and so was intended to be some sort of cool, ironic reference. But come on guys, its over. OLD AND TIRED. Lets have something a bit more imaginative. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd! Now THESE are good band names! Something that says a bit more about you and your manifesto than a The followed by something boring and/or pathetic. Do these bands have no sense of self-respect? Joannas got the right idea. All her band names have been awesome. Domesticated Housewife Experiment anyone? And what about Sugababes! Now theres a properly witty and postmodern band name! (note: Joanna was NOT in the Sugababes. This sentence is completely separate from the previous thought.)

And while were on the subject of Joanna and Sugababes, where are all the women in these bands? I mean for Christs sake! Its 2006 and its like weve returned to the days when women werent allowed on stages! Come on boys, be a bit more open-minded: women can play too you know! And girls, you really should be pulling your fingers out and pushing yourselves forward a bit harder. Sort it out everyone! If we really try we can rid the country of this identikit indie scourge (much of which I blame on Xfm who refuse to ever play ANYTHING exciting) and get us back to proper music-making once more.

Joannas thoughts: I sort of agree, but mostly not. I agree that there are such bands, but to the musically trained ear, some of them are quite good and unique. The ones mentioned in the article – I agree. Same old same old. But then you get the few standouts like The Hives, Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, White Stripes, and it makes it all worthwhile. I love indie!

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