The Outbreak: Bands that I just can't get into

Friday, February 25, 2005

Bands that I just can't get into

I just can't get into the Killers. It's weird, because everything I listen to these days is totally faggot-ass retro: the Faint, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, the Bravery, the Dandy Warhols, Interpol, LCD Soundsystem, Elefant, Fischerspooner, W.I.T., and on and on and on and on and on. I downloaded the Killers' whole album after going back and forth on "Somebody Told Me" (My question was, Can something that rips off Blur so flagrantly still be good? the answer is Yeah, it's still pretty good), but I don't know, something just didn't click. It's not like I hate 'em, I think they're alright, but I feel like I should be flipping out about them and I just ain't. I will say this for them, though: They dress well. And points for eyeliner, of course.

But this can only get you so far. I so wanted to like the Zutons because they looked damn sharp in the original video for that "Pressure Point" song (the version they show on Fuse as opposed to MTV), but if I hear that "ah-ooh, hoo, hoo" one more time, I'm going to drive my car through a Starbucks storefront.

I also just can't get into the Arcade Fire. I find this band really interesting because I think 90% of the people who've listened to them (myself included) had never heard of them before they started showing up on every, and I do mean EVERY, Best of 2004 list at the end of last year, in many cases in magazines that hadn't actually reviewed the record when it first came out. I know other *music critics* who hadn't heard of them until they showed up in the Best Of list their own publication published. I think a week before I first read a Best Of with them on it, one of my co-workers asked me if I listened to them and expressed surprise when I said no because I was his quote-unquote "hipster music connection," but that's it.

(Please note that I don't think anyone is less of an Arcade Fire fan due to when they started listening to the band, eg. after all the press they got. You can't listen to a band you haven't heard of! Life's too short to get worried about stuff like that.)

Anyway in the car on the way to lunch this friend from work played me "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" and I loved it--I thought this was another Rapture-style dance-rock band, and MAN, that sense of urgency. So I ran back to work and downloaded the album, and eh. Again, I don't hate them--the first 30 seconds or so of the first song are GREAT, and "Power Out" is still awesome--but the rest doesn't quite wang my dang, and I can't understand the absolutely RAPTUROUS reception they've gotten.

I think part of my problem with them is that the guy can't really sing--he's got one of those warbly Frank Black/Wayne Coyne/guy from Modest Mouse voices that don't really do it for me in the context of Big Anthemic Rock Music. (The only exception, for some reason, is the guy from the Polyphonic Spree, but they're so goofy and over-the-top that it doesn't matter; on the other hand you didn't see me running out to buy their second album, I guess.) If Arcade Fire Guy could sing like Thom Yorke they'd probably kick all kinds of ass, but as it stands it's like going to a Radiohead concert and finding out that Thom is sick and the guy who sets up the speakers is going to be singing tonight.

I dunno, like I said, I don't hate 'em, I just could take 'em or leave 'em.


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