Thursday, 15 April 2010

U Turns

This sent in by our sometimes electro-pop correspondent (he lives in a shoe you know) Neil K

It’s big to admit your wrong, particularly after being so vocally anti something that it’s seen as a real back down. It’s happened to me on a few occasions musically, where early output from a band makes me take an instant (often illogical) dislike of them, and laugh loudly in the face of anyone that claims to like them. What? You’re that naïve you buy THAT!? … Sometimes it’s not so much the music but the personalities, or maybe inappropriate levels of press adulation or success, or because I’ve been told I’d like them because they’re like band “x” that I’ve been know to champion. Anyway, however it starts - 99.9% of the time it remains that way – but sometimes – just sometimes - something happens (usually hearing a particular song or a full album) where said band get rewarded with a reappraisal – or maybe they just raise their game and they really were crap. Either way, something happens where I see them in a different light and I think “you know what, on their day, they’re actually pretty damn good, and the world is a better place for their noise after all…”.

So, what examples of this phenomenon can I recall?

Feeder – What? The band that did that annoying Buck Rogers (“it’s got a cd player –player – player” indeed) that the Radio overplayed – and still plays now? The joke Welsh rockers with the Japanese Adam Clayton? This was until I heard a work colleagues (you remember ‘Pete’ don’t you Kevin T? – came in Our Price and stood there staring at you?) copy of Echo Park – and in particular the glorious “Turn”. That song got stuck on repeat play for many a day after that. Since then, I’ve discovered other highlights such as Tender, Feeling A Moment, Purple and the gloriously souring Silent Cry. A band that can rock but also do subtle and heartfelt. One of those bands where you look at the lyrics and think it’s a bit clichéd – but when your hear the delivery by Grant – you feel it. They really do regret and loss incredibly eloquently. One band I’m still hoping to get chance to see live one day.

Green Day – What? Those cartoon punks? Fronted by the Cliff Richard of Punk? Following the Punk A-Z handbook. Piercings? Check. Bright hair? Check. Throwing TVs out of Window? Check. Rich boys acting poor? You betcha. Sooooo rock ‘n’ roll… Until I heard “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”- the ultimate ode to taking comfort in solitude. Perfect meld of melancholy and melody. One of those moments where the words and music and mood and image just works together to produce something stellar. Holiday was alright too, and American Idiot was just the right side of a joke song. That said, the 20th Century bollocks CD (do you mean 21st Century? - Kevin T) was a big let down and they’re close to going back in my bad books.

The Smashing Pumpkins – What? Baldy screacher looking like someone from the Adams Family? “Tonight…” Who’s dragging their nails down a black bored?! Arrggghh!?!?!??! Be quiet – let me just listen to the music. Until I heard Ava Adore CD – where thankfully Billy Corgan's singing is generally more restrained and thus more bearable. I still can only take one album at a time before my ears start bleeding, but I can recognise the beauty in the melodies and hear the words without the barbed wire delivery. He also wrote Hole's only good song (and I thus hold him responsible for keeping the despicable Courtney Love in the public eye for so long). Songwriter for hire however is probably a good direction for him to take - let a singer sing it.

Beastie BoysFight For Your Right To Party indeed. You may have gathered - joke songs I don’t like. Punk I wasn’t keen on at that time. I wanted my pop stars to leave me in awe, not make me think I could do what they did but better. I thought and hoped these guys would disappear within 15 minutes. They didn’t. They actually developed their sound and went on to produce gems such as Sabotage and Intergalactic Planetary. And they’re still going – so much for 15 minutes.

I’m still waiting for the Billy Brag reassessment mind you, I’m beginning to think it will never happen...
Anyone out there with similar cases?

No comments:

Post a Comment