Indie-finable

 

 

 

With the release of the Pigeon Detectives second album – Emergency – this week, it has suddenly become all-too worryingly familiar. Commerciality has suffocated the UK indie music scene and consequently there is a dearth of talent that has disguised itseslf as indie-rock.  Now is the time to address this issue.  What has happened to the bravura, style and creativity of our indie heroes?  They seem to have been replaced by this overwhelmingly banal form of skiffle-indie-pop.   Everywhere one looks; charts, festivals, TV, the country is swarming with them!  The Hoosiers, The View, Joe Ling and the Jing Jang Jong, The Kooks, The Wombats etc, etc, etc; there is a faint possibility that other countries will think we like this music.   Of course, it is really only following the cyclical trend of the industry, soon the bubble will burst and some other scene, maybe dub-pop or gothic techno, will enthral the country?  Better, for all these bands to cash in while they can –especially with the anxious encouragement from the big labels – hence the reason the Pigeon Detectives released their second album in 12 months, regardless of any decent songs.   So how did we get to this point?

 

2001

Remember a certain band that exploded out of the New York scene called The Strokes, released a seminal album which shook up the indie-rock world and has sent tremors through the genre ever since.  After a fallow period of nu-metal and sensitive-soft rock The Strokes reinvented stylish, savvy and spiky indie with an album that had the tunes to match.  We are now suffering the long, drawn out hangover.  With every great band follows a thousand imitators, with the labels all-too-keen to comply.  After The Strokes we had a myriad of bands with retro slacks and angular riffs. The Libertines followed with their Blake-inspired romance and urchin indie, to be followed by the crunching riffs and locale vernacular of the Arctic Monkeys.  Each band took the fundamentals of the former and spun their own unique and thrilling style.  It is a shame now that we have a plethora of bands that sound like a homogenised version of all three, without the talent. 

 

 

To continue the theme of cyclical and cultural rebirths we now look to the States and particularly New York once again to provide us with indie heroes who have innovation, verve and panache.  Yeasayer, Mgmt, Vampire Weekend, Battles, Black Keys, Band of Horses, to name but a few who are all brave enough to follow their own instincts, cast aside the desire to formulate a successful career and have faith in their art.

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