New music over the past few days ...and me talking nonsense. If you like my ranting please let me know, I can't help myself, so it's not going to stop, but I reckon people get a line of two in and go back to facebook while they listen to the songs ...don't blame them either, but here goes!
Grunge is a funny term. As a teen I was all about Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam etc. and while I'll dip back every now and again, I'd never say I like grunge. Which is silly, cos if you think about it, there was a lot of really good "grunge" music. Also, it was never really a genre, just a catch all for punk, lo-fi, hardcore, metal influenced music, probably based in Seattle. I heard Pearl Jam on the radio the other day which reminded me of how much I liked them. The angst and emotion of the lyrics and vocals does nothing for me any more, the slick guitar solos sound dated and grown up millionaires dressing like homeless teenagers is a tad laughable in hindsite. But at the end of the day, late 80's, early 90's college rock/lo-fi/moshpit whatever you want to call it is damn fine music.
The reason I say all of this is that the term grunge is being hoisted upon Hunters, a Brooklyn band who've recently entered my radar. In reality what they play is rather similar to a lot of lo-fi pop stuff that's been about for a while but the guitars are a tad fuller, more over-driven. Some of it isn't far of Nirvana's better stuff, but do understand it's no 90's throwback. Also, James Iha, guitar genius formerly of Smashing Pumpkins is their producer. My point is, if (understandably) you avoid the term grunge: Firstly, rethink your stance, not all grunge bands are as bad as Creed, much like not all indie bands are as bad as Hard-Fi. Secondly, this ain't grunge per se, in fact it's nothing if not good rock n' roll. And that's all you can ask for at the end of the day ...all that and I forgot to mention Nick Zinner from Yeah Yeah Yeahs mixed it.
Anyway, when was the last time Pearl Jam released tunes as a pay what you want on bandcamp?
Brat Mouth by huntersny
New Strokes. Not too bad. I do think though that their main fanbase i.e those of us that were young and silly during their hey-day are getting older, and that they'll struggle to nail this shtick to the kids of today. It ain't timeless, it doesn't need to be, but we were in on the joke, the skinnies, the drunk NY rich-kid punks. "Zeitgeist of the time" is a bit much, but I've always felt there was a touch of "you had to be there to get it" about the Stokes. I'd be interested to hear what your average rock n' roll 15 year old thinks of this.
However as a rock n' roll dipshit in my 20's I'm glad that Angles is out March 18th.
The Strokes - 'Under Cover Of Darkness' by stripeyjumper
Initially I'd written Okkervil River off as a poor mans Arcade Fire. I was wrong. They're nothing like Arcade Fire. They're a fine band in their own right. This song sounds like an already much loved classic pop folk song. I wouldn't be surprised if this had been lifted from an old Woman's Heart album*. And much like I remember those Woman's Heart compilations fondly I am terribly fond of this new track, the first from I Am Very Far, which is due May 10th.
Okkervil River - Mermaid by weallwantsome1
Foster The People make outrageously good pop music. I'm not saying that ironically or whatever or anything. What I mean is this it what pop music should sound like. I understand why I can't hear Nobunny when I turn on my radio. But what I don't understand is why I can't hear this. Bloody brilliant.
Foster The People - Helena Beat by Pretty Much Amazing
Finally, The Raveonettes. How I love to Raveonettes. Outside of them reminding of some of the happiest times of my life, they are a wonderful band. They continue in good form with this upbeat beauty. I hope it makes you as happy as it makes me.
Raven In The Grave is out April 5th.
The Raveonettes - Forget That You're Young by thisisfakediy
* A Woman's Heart was a compilation album of 12 tracks by 6 of Ireland's finest female artists at the time, released in 1992. It has sold more copies in Ireland than any other Irish album ever. It must have been issued free with packs of Barrys Tea because every mother in the entire country had a copy. I've probably heard it more than I've heard Nevermind, Is This Is, Funeral, Doolittle ...in fact more than any album I bought, heard and loved. Car journeys, Sunday afternoons, after school snacks, were all accompanied by the sound of A Woman's Heart. If you're ever stuck for something to talk about with an Irish person in their 20's ask them about it.