Grizzly Bear – Shields (2012, Warp)

The thing I really hate in (modern) indie singers is the idea that they’re sounding soulful because they’re using a ‘quiet’ voice. They’re not screaming, shouting or grunting, just lightly singing – it’s more of a moan, really – probably with their eyes closed. This is what seems to count for ‘soul’ in much modern indie music – a barely ushered sound.

It is the sound of boredom, of tedium, of emotionless gimboids whining their way around life, because to be angry, to be sad, to be anything would break the tedium of kitch consumer capitalism, of the dreamy state that doesn’t have to deal with how fucked up things are. You can buy a nicely coloured silicone spatula from than vaguely French/Danish/Swedish store, so you don’t have to contemplate on how shitty things really are. Oh Ernold Same, his life stays the same. It’s a sound that Damon Albarn has descended into, in lieu of some idea that he sounds mournful. Just sounds fucking bored and boring to me.

And this, at it’s heart, is my biggest problem with modern indie. Everybody involved in it, in some sort of post-Morrissey, post-Thom Yorke moan, has lost all interest in what the fuck they’re playing. Just close your eyes and user forth a moan and it’ll be like having a soul, you don’t have to have a soul.

It even transpire’s to the instruments, where they’re barely touched. Oh, FUCK OFF AND HIT SOMETHING, YOU ARSEHOLES. Feel something apart from TEDIUM.

Wankers.

I bought Grizzly Bear’s Shields after hearing a technical part of a song of theirs in a pub and thinking it sounded interesting, and quite exciting. When I dabbled with their stuff online, I thought maybe I need to listen to a whole album. Having got the whole album, I’m stupified to whatever I found interesting.

Some people might call this progressive indie, I’d call it boring as fuck.

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Tight Bro’s FroM When Back When – Runnin’ Thru My Bones

I have this album because it features Jarred from Karp/Big Business/Melvins bass fame. His vocal performances on Big Business (particularly ‘The Drift’)/Melvins stuff peaked my ears when the Melvins first did the two-drummer/multi-vocal bits, and I became a big fan.

Tight Bro’s From Way Back When is a bit of an obscure find. It’s a hard rocking band in the chaotic MC5 hard rocking stereotype. Lots of double denim, bandanna’s, screeched vocals, bluesy rock riffs, etc. And, it’s fun. Lots of fun – very loud, lots of pumping energy, and vocals that seem grasped between jumping around.

And, I imagine this band must’ve been tremendous fun to be around – a late ’90s mindless party band that the local scene was crazy about. Lots of drunken parties, fists in the air.

I’ve never been much into this sort of blues hard rock. I love AC/DC, but in small doses. I can’t listen to it on loop. I always admired MC5, but I’m more a Stooge. So, I think I’m going to have to grow up about this one.

Let’s be harsh about this – it’s wilfully non-progressive, forward thinking. This is a good-time band for good-times that don’t need to be thought about. It is not adding anything to the genre, the songs are fine, but there’s not a real hardrocking genius in here. It’s an ode to hard rock, and if I’m having to be harsh, and essentially give up a Melvins-related collection, this has to go. It’s a decent album, but it’s not a forgotten gem.

Primus – Rhinoplasty

I did write quite a lengthy review, where I detailed how generally boring I find most of this record, how much I hate The Police, and find most prog rock very boring. At the same time, I said, I’m a massive Primus fan – they’re a very important band for me. This makes this a hard decision.

The studio tracks don’t do much, but the live renditions of ‘Tommy the Cat’ and ‘Bob’s Party Time’ find the band on fire. Tommy the Cat has great solo section, where they effortlessly go into ‘The Awakening’ (previously on a live album), and Bob’s Party Time is a little meandering, but has great moments.

So, it’s 7 boring tracks to 2 rather fine ones. 7 tracks with one or two redeemable features, with 2 nots. I was ready to chuck this during the first 7 – they’re fine (apart from The Police) really, but boring. I’m crumbling. This has to go on the keep-pile: the live tracks are too good. Every time they switch ‘on’, they’re on fire. If I’m resigning as a Claypool completist, I can maintain to be a Primus one. Thus, it is to stay.