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5 things that bands are doing way too much at the moment

  • By Art. Author Avatar
  • 30 September 2014

5 things that bands are doing way too much at the moment

Every week, month, year or whatever period in music is often defined by trends and, traditionally, these comes right from the bands. We aren't really talking about what headbands the fans are wearing or whatever, but rather the breed of fashion in amongst bands; the reasons why the Monkees existed. So, without being pointlessly destructive or negative, here are 5 things that bands are doing way too much at the moment.

PRETENDING THEY CAN'T PLAY THEIR INSTRUMENTS.

After the pleasure of a summer journeying around the small stages at festivals, we couldn't help but notice the amount of groups who are pointlessly lackadaisical when they play their instruments, but the thing that really concerned was that, on seeing some bands for a second time, the mess-ups, ticks and 'song falling apart moments' that were intended to be unique, were quite the opposite; totally rehearsed. There's something undignified and cynical about that, isn't there?

There's nothing quite like the way Gareth Liddiard kicks the shit out of his guitar or Austin Brown dabbles with dissonance - but rehearsed fuck abouts are fucking lame. Stop doing it.

SAYING 'HELLO {INSERT FESTIVAL/VENUE/CITY NAME}

You aren't Gene Simmons, it isn't 1976. It makes us feel cheap.

OVER TOURING

Ok, if you're in the position as a band that you can tour, that's great. You've surpassed the majority; been promoted to an elite; you're probably making some money, because it's basically the only pragmatic way to make money in 2014 for a small band. However, there's a real danger of becoming ostracised from your sound and development if you spend too much time on the road; you see it all the time. On the back of releasing a surprisingly successful album, bands will be sent out by their labels to tour incessantly until they just no longer can - Fat White Family, Bastille, Local Natives. It makes business sense: take advantage of the heat before the trend peaks, and try to make some of that investment back, but it's a difficult balance and can really stunt the longevity of a band. 

Spending all your time in a studio just isn't really an option for a group, nowadays: shame.

SHOOTING THEIR VIDEOS ON A CANON 5D WITH A SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD (...ALL YOUR VIDEOS LOOK THE SAME!)

It's extremely, extremely fashionable for bands to shoot their videos on a Canon... With a shallow depth of field... To the point that, in spite of whether the track is great or the images are inspiring, it's white noise. Do something different, for crying out loud. Here are a couple of examples (the Sam Smith one was released this week, and is partly comprised of some fake VHS stuff that looks alright, but the other bit is, you guessed it, Canon... bla bla...)

 

OVER-THINKING THE 'PACKAGE' OF THE GROUP AND NEGLECTING THE MUSIC...

I saw Peace's most recent video the other day and it really, really confused me - so they're going to be my example for this point.

If you don't want to watch it, they do a dance routine to a slightly groovy track. It's different to the material on their debut record 'In Love'... And that development is a good thing, most of the time, this qualifies for the part that isn't the most of the time.

It makes absolutely no sense. Usually when bands do this, they've made a strong decision on a concept but this is bereft of that; it's trivial. It's an absolute lack of acknowledgement to their own history, sound or trajectory, and it kind of bastardises your old stuff - your first record only came out about a year ago, for fuck's sake.

This doesn't feel like a development, but rather an effort to move your sound at the same pace as fashion; music just doesn't work like that. The neon isn't what made Reflektor good, it was the whole package.  

 

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