Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fueling the Post-Grunge Fire

They are becoming absolutely unavoidable. Their stink pollutes the air everywhere you go. Do you think you are safe in your car? Not a chance! That is where they will attack you the most! No, I am not talking about flesh-eating zombies. I am obviously referring to the post-grunge movement. Led by Nickelback, 3 Doors Down, and Daughtry, more and more bands are coming out of nowhere to inflate this genre. Continuing with the theme of non-original sounds in today's music, there are too many bands who are trying to follow in the footsteps of monster acts such as Nickelback.

...and why shouldn't they, right? What band in their right mind wouldn't want to have the type of world-wide success as Chad Kroeger and the Nickelback gang? What's not to love? They sold eight million copies of their last album in America and seem to be having similar success with their new "masterpiece." They have their flag perched high on the peak of Pop Radio Mountain. Yes, and if that is not enough, it is impossible to walk into a bar or clothing store without being treated with a listen of their epically written and performed "Rock Star." Alright, you caught me! Obviously I am laying the sarcasm on pretty thick. Although sometimes uncalled for and unprovoked, it is always enjoyable to take shots at Nickelback. After all, a Canadian band that at first glance appears to be led by Sammy Hagar's ass-ugly son is an easy target. Plus, a wise man once told me that every time a Nickelback song plays, a puppy dies. Fine, back to the point: As incredibly awful as they truly are, selling millions of albums is no accident. Sure, every song sounds the same and they are EMI's puppets, but somebody must be doing something right...

Now we have all these copy-cat bands sprouting out everywhere. It is highly doubtful these kids dreamed their whole lives of one day sounding exactly like Nickelback. They may have had huge ambitions of writing the next "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Night Moves", or "Stairway to Heaven". Perhaps they were raised on bands from the 80's such as Duran Duran, New Order, or Psychedelic Furs. I have money riding on the fact they once pictured themselves gracefully tearing up the stage while channeling Mick Jagger or Freddie Mercury. So, what happened? It actually is not a tough case to solve. They woke up one morning and realized that type of sound and behavior just does not sell records anymore! Why would you want to be like Brandon Flowers and be out of the Top 10 after two weeks, when you can be like Daughtry and have your album hang strong on the charts for years?

Hinder, Saving Abel, Shinedown, and Theory of a Deadman all sound a like to me. It would be totally within the realm to believe any Hinder song could easily fit into Shinedown's game plan. Oh well, this bland music is selling better than the original, unique sounds being released by bands such as MGMT and Franz Ferdinand. We can spend our whole lives making fun of Chad Kroeger's hair, Daughtry's American Idol roots, and 3 Doors Down self-inflicted decline from rock stars to pop whores all we want, but we are to blame for this madness. Americans keep forking out the cash for the music and fueling this endemic...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Later this week...

Later this week I am going to do a write-up that goes more in-depth on the state of rock music. Not only because it is so much fun to trash Nickelback, but also because I believe this is a serious issue in the music scene. I think it should be interesting and worth tuning in to check out...

Also, I would like to thank everyone for the feedback on the The Killers post below. It has been overwhelmingly positive on both this page and other sites that have gotten a hold of it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brandon Flowers & The Killers : What America Needs...

Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of The Killers, is a mystery to me. He spits out ambitious lyrics such as "Are we human or are we dancer?" and wears gold tuxedos. He is perhaps best known as having diarrhea of the mouth for his infamous "best album of the last 20 years quote" and also bashing such popular bands as The Bravery and Fall Out Boy. On the other hand, he usually has a very awkward stage presence and comes off boyish and shy while struggling through interviews. Sometimes it seems like he wouldn't say shit if his mouth was full of it. Every aspect of his personality seems to contradict another. Is this the man we want to lead a rock music revolution here in the states?

It is no secret that The Killers are rock Gods overseas. "The best British band from America" appeal to music fans across the ocean with the outrageous outfits, stage lights, showmanship, and ambitious music. They obviously understand how to reach each other. After all, they need each other. The fans are used to being spoiled by bombastic showman of the past such as Freddie Mercury and David Bowie. Brandon Flowers has grabbed the torch over there and marched on with it.

...but what about America? American music fans love to hate The Killers. Americans relate more to the bands who try too hard to look sloppy. We are more interested in watching a man with shaggy hair sporting a white t-shirt and ripped up blue jeans than a man dancing around the stage in a tuxedo. The typical American fan has grown lazy and unable to accept new sounds and personalities. We have been "spoiled" too long by mundane assembly-line music written by bands such as Nickelback, Disturbed, and Staind. Honestly, can anyone differentiate one Nickelback song from another? Did you know they sold 8 million copies of their last album in the United States alone? I think it is time to put an end to this madness! Supporting this type of musical behavior is no way to influence new original sounds!

I picked up The Killers' new album "Day and Age" last Monday and was absolutely blown away. Every song sounds unique. Different influences ooze through each word and note on every track. There is truly something for everybody on this album. I can only compare it to putting your radio on scan and letting it hit different stations with different genres. This type of album needs to be embraced, but instead it is getting dragged through the mud for the very same reasons it should be praised.

What we need is an American rock revolution! Brandon Flowers and The Killers want to lead us out of the dark and into a new generation of rock music. We need to saddle up and ride with them or we may find ourselves permanently imprisoned in a world led by Nickelback. Really, it does not make much sense that "Sam's Town", The Killers' sophomore effort that is basically a tribute to America, is more popular and understood across the ocean than it is over here.