My apologies to Vampire Weekend, whose album is OK as a whole (for what it is). But listening to it yesterday sparked this train of thought that had been kicking around in my head for a while. Recently while watching SNL I couldn’t tell who was performing from the song and number of people on stage if it was the Shins or Arcade Fire, to which my Girlfriend correctly pointed out that it was because it all sounded like Adult Contemporary nowadays… “it” being Indie Rock. It’s weird that Vampire Weekend are getting comparisons to Orange Juice, Talking Heads, Belle & Sebastian to name a few. Lets just really say what we hear is The Strokes filtered through some musical cues you read about in a Maxim style article about bands you’ve never heard but should check out cause your favorite band probably like totally loves them.
I think the whole reason I’ve so heavily departed back into Metal and 90s Shoegaze is because all the new trumpeted heroes of Indie Rock have zero bite! A lot of new albums play like quirkier takes on Paul Simon rather than providing some sort of escape from the mundane of mainstream radio like they once did. Urgency has been replaced with complacency, sloppiness with skilled fiddlers and feedback with 3 part harmonies. I never thought that I would actually long for those days when every band and album sounded like the same three Gang of Four songs. Where’s the edge?
So much of what we do at Mishka is centered around not letting go of our youth and aging gracefully. So to me it’s sad when certain things needlessly just decide “lets totally grow up, wear suits, ties and sell insurance”. That’s what Indie Rock is doing! Hopefully like Indie-Dance this is just a phase.
Anyway, Vampire Weekend do a very good job of translating the Strokes to fit more into the oh so glamorous lives of the Murray Hill sect.- My Pal the Crook