Friday, 14 March 2008

The 5 Day Blog Post.

This blog was started on Monday and ended on Friday. I don't really know why I'm telling you that. It's pretty useless of me really.

My job does not always provide the healthiest environment for a wandering mind. Sometimes it can be the perfect breeding ground for dark thoughts. Dwell on those too long and people start to look at you like you may try to bite their knees off or something. It's all too easy to lose yourself in things like imagining what you're going to do to that cunt if you ever meet him, or what you're going to do to this prick if he doesn't shut up, and it's far too easy to become unable to think of anything other than your own hang ups, neuroses, problems, issues, etc, etc, while doing some task that requires the brain power of a stoned kitten.

One successful way to combat this is to become momentarily obsessed with trivial ponderings. For example, today I was wondering what a Pot Noodle would taste like if you made it with hot milk, what a cat would look like if it had a 5th paw, how words were created/invented, why I am often asked for drugs but never offered them, and what would the world be like if sharks evolved and grew legs and walked on dry land.

I also wondered for about thirty seconds why NME only gave The Young Knives "Superabundance" album 5 out of 10. Of course, the answer came immediately. It's because instead of emphasising upon the post-punk cool side of their sound, they have instead gone for a pop-rock sound, essentially making an album of guitar pop songs. Gone is the "cool" sheen, in comes a band unashamed of brushing that aside and choosing pop hooks as their trade. It's a shame that NME can't see past this really, because it's a damn fine album. The song "Counters" should pretty much just be called "Anthem", because if there is any justice, that is exactly what it will be. Like "She's Attracted To" from the previous album, "Counters" is a song that has the phrase "Staying Power" sewn into it's DNA, an absolute killer of a chorus (literally), and the kind of sound that the summer goes crazy for. If it's not been used on a thousand tv & radio shows and adverts by the end of the year, then some people really won't have been doing their jobs properly. "Current Of The River" meanwhile is surely going to be one of the years great album closers. Previously released as a b-side, I was never that keen on this song, and didn't really get why the band liked it so much. Hearing it re-jigged and re-recorded though, it suddenly makes sense.

The band seem to be more comfortable, more at ease with this direction. Oxford can legitimately lay claim to another great guitar-pop band.

So NME "loses" another of it's prodigal sons. Well, they stayed in favour with them longer than some have (anyone remember Terris?). Still, NME's fickle nature wouldn't necessarily be so annoying, if it wasn't for the fact that it's so bloody obvious. They've stopped being a music magazine, and have instead become a printed version of the fickle, trendy kids at indie clubs. Gone is any sort of legitimacy of anything approaching journalism, it's all about who dresses cool and who's sound is "in" or "hot" right now. More concerned about being seen to be cool, rather than having any sort of mind of their own.

Case in point: MGMT. A bunch of chancers who put some nasty but optimistic sounding synth on one of their songs, record company sticks it on an advert, BAM, EVERYONE wants a piece. They're so young, fresh & new. They're so hot right now.

No they're not. They're just another bland twee American indie band making the same music as every other bland twee American indie band. They are not fresh or new, they may play with ever-so-slightly differing styles on the same album, but without any sort of talent they end up just sounding like Modest Mouse lite. And I don't even like Modest Mouse.

I was gonna make a point about bands sounding like other bands but not being as good as them here, but the only example I can think of right now is Editors sounding like Interpol. Thing is, and I know this is pretty controversial to hardened indie fans reading this, I prefer Editors to Interpol.
My problem with Interpol is that their first album opened with "Untitled", an incredible song that was powerful and moving and made me really excited by this band and wonder what could possibly come next. The answer was an ok album that never matched up to the heights of that first song, and actually got a little boring towards the end. Then came a second album that sounded exactly the same as the first but with even worse lyrics.
Seriously, those lyrics. They're terrible. They're right up there with that guy from The Killers in terms of dreadful lyrics. "I submit my incentive is romance, I watched the pole dance of the stars, We rejoice because the hurting is so painless blah blah blah dirge dirge He doesn't look a thing like Jesus but he talks like a gentleman etc etc"
See what I did there? Merge the bands together and they both sound ridiculous.
Indie kids and Interpol fans think the guy from Interpol writes such great meaningful lyrics. Testicles, this is the kind of arse-wank we used to write in sixth-form when we thought we were fucking poets. Would you read a book of sixth-form poetry, or listen to someone reciting it?, coz unless I had to, I sure as shit wouldn't.
And yes, I like Editors. Start the backlash now. I know they're just a UK version of Interpol, but they do it far better in my book. I defy anyone to listen to "Blood" and honestly tell me that Interpol are better. I will brand you a liar and throw rotten fruit at you.

(Seriously, what's happened with the font here? It's annoying me!)

But I digress. I don't know why I'm surprised about MGMT. I should've seen it coming. The hype machine working it's magic once again. You hope it'll throw something interesting your way, and occasionally it does (can't think of any examples now though (apart from Foals, obviously)), but I really should've known they were going to be awful when a friend of mine whose music taste is pretty awful recommended them to me. I know what you're gonna say, "But Axl, music is like, this thing with no set of rules, people like what they like and it may be different to yours, but that doesn't mean it's inherently any worse."

Bollocks. I can understand why people like bands I don't and all that, but certain bands I just don't. This person likes the band Cute Is What We Aim For. Have you ever heard them? They sound like puberty. There is no reason for anyone over the age of 16 to be listening to them. If you listen to their album intently enough, you can actually hear their pubes growing.

I've wondered off the point again and I can't remember how I was going to conclude this post. Oh, hang on, that's right, I never figured that out.
MGMT are rubbish. Interpol are boring. The Young Knives are ace.

1 comment:

The Purple Gooroo said...

It seems to me that NME hasn't been a reliable souce for rating records since probably the early 80s--but yeah, they've become especially bad in the past 5 or 6 years. I think too many trendoids have joined the staff there and the club-kid atmosphere has increased steadily. I haven't heard the new Young Knives album yet, but I suspect that even without the post-punk edge, it's probably more listenable than 95% of the crap out there.

I don't like Editors or Interpol - but at least Editors are from England, giving them a bit more legitimacy in the "Junior-Joy-Division" stakes.

I'm not impressed with MGMT either. Supposedly, those trust-fund kidz met at Weslyan University in Connecticut. The next time someone asks why I've left Conn., I'll say "MGMT".