Friday, February 27, 2015

Rock N Roll is alive again! but was it better dead?

Slaves, Live in 2014.
Apologies for the click bait-y title, I know more than anyone that Rock n roll is alive and well and has been for several years. The point is that Royal Blood's performance at the Brits was a testament to the fact that the tides are turning. Royal Blood winning best new band is a sign that the industry has woken up to what the public actually wants to hear, which as it turns out is massive riffs. Thank god they won that award, can you imagine anything quite so emasculating as Jimmy Page walking on stage opening the letter and reading out 'The Winner is One Direction?'
Hastily assembled compilations by major label execs who are as clued up to the true redeeming power of R'NR, as I am to my tax return forms, are already hitting the market. The first wave of post 00's major label RN'R bands is upon us, Headed by the likes of Royal Blood, but also other amazing bands such as Slaves. What I'm worried about is the second wave. Rewind your mind back to 2005, The Strokes had paved the way for a host of amazing new young Rock and Rollers, Libertines, Vines, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, Arcade Fire, DFA 1979... tonnes of amazing stuff. Fast forward to 2007, and bands are being signed for a quick buck, with no real plan or reason, The Pigeon Detectives, Little Man Tate, Hoosiers, Fratellis. This was the era of landfill indie, which gave us loads of indie dance-floor hits, but a lack of artistry. By 2008, the whole thing was nearly over, and teenage kids like me were getting into electro pop and dubstep. Bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club, and The Maccabees, responded by getting cleverer. By making great tunes but also experimenting with their music. These bands paved the way for the current crop of louder, noisier, grittier bands. Peace, Palma Violets, Slaves, Fat Whites, Savages, Eagulls. Bands that felt life affirming, bands you could believe in. Rock n Roll's exile had served it well. Which is why the news that a band of welsh teenagers called Pretty Vicious, have caused a major label bidding war after only playing 8 gigs troubles me. Sure they could be excellent, but if labels are only ever looking for the next Oasis then the bands they sign will only ever be half as good as Oasis. If the majors nurture the next wave of bands the same way that the independents have done for bands such as The Horrors, then we could be in for a new golden age of rock. If they just sign any fucker with a guitar looking for a hit, then welcome landfill indie 2.0.


I have named quite a few bands here, by no means am I claiming that any of these bands are the 'Saviours of Rock N Roll', or slagging any of them off. I am just using them as examples. Just because I'm a big fan of Peace doesn't mean you have to be.

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