Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Goodbye... Wait For Me

The latest in my series about albums to be deleted from my iPod.

There’s an underground British scene creating some great music right now. It’s cranking it out at a frantic pace, with nearly every release being borderline essential. Taking cues from, but not aping, important pop forefathers, this scene is arguably the future of the underground and a refreshingly creative alternative to the run-of-the-mill fodder largely being released right now.

The Pigeon Detectives are not part of this scene.

A band called The Libertines was formed in the late '90s. They took cues from such NME favorites as The Clash, The Jam, and Oasis. The Libertines broke up after two mediocre albums, but were a huge commercial success anyway. This was due in no small part to the critical bandwagon driven by, surprise surprise, NME and Q magazines. Their legacy has now reached legendary status, and their followers (re: posers) are burning up British radio and charts. This means whatever creativity The Libertines once claimed to own has been mined and stripped of all value. Now the first wave of imitators (see: Artic Monkeys) have imitators of their own. Heaven help us.

Yes, The Pigeon Detectives are one of these rip-off rip-offs.

Let’s get one thing straight. The Pigeon Detectives don’t suck. They are a pretty good technical band: they play tight, seem to have aptitude at their instruments, and are well-produced. No, my problem with has nothing to do with their aptitude. I just wish they’d, you know, try.

You can’t fault a band for using standard song structures. Most songs are written that way because it’s what works. But The Pigeon Detectives have other common (re: cliché) elements to their songs: hand-claps (see: The Kaiser Chiefs), responding backing vocals (see: Artic Monkeys), danceable staccato guitar lines (see: Franz Ferdinand), and attempts at “humorous,” self-effacing lyrics (see: every other band in this lousy genre). And they do it pretty well. The thing is, there are hundreds of other bands doing the exact same thing!

The world doesn’t need another Jam/Clash/Oasis/Libertines/Arctic Monkeys/Franz Ferdinand/Kaiser Chiefs.

The thing is, their sound isn’t even that good! It’s danceable, but not that danceable. It’s driving, but not that driving. It’s clever, but not that clever. Man, it all just sounds the same.

I know I haven’t even mentioned their album, Wait For Me, yet. Do I have to? I mean, c’mon, I can’t even tell the songs apart, much less these bands. I wouldn’t listen to The Pigeon Detectives even if I liked this type of music. Go listen to dubstep, England’s other current underground music scene. It’s inspired, groundbreaking, creative, and just… better. This garbage? Delete.

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