I think your favorite band sounds just like another band. And I’m glad. Originality is fine and dandy for geniuses, but geniuses don’t make the trains run on time. Okay, they did with the initial trains, but what have they done for me lately. I don’t want a jetpack; I want socks that won’t quit on me.
I don’t fear the new, I just don’t particularly care about it. Rather, something being new isn’t what really matters to me. I wish the current 90s revivalism was less college rock oriented, but I have no problem with the revival itself. The 90s were totally boss and, as far as I’m concerned, they ended too early. When every band in New York was post-punk obsessed and sounded like Gang of Four and all the writers were crying about how unoriginal it all was I just thought, “Oh. Cool. I get to see Gang of Four seven nights a week!” I know that, taken too far, it can all become pastiche, but if the spirit and energy are there, I can love a band that is maybe not entirely original in the same way that I love a well-made cabinet or shoes that keep my feet dry and get me compliments at the bar. People sometimes look down on craft, but look what an obsession with “the new” has done to the art world: made it entirely inaccessible to anyone who might want to, you know, look at stuff.
I am not advocating some exclusive love of nostalgia, nor do I give one of many fucks about “real rock and roll” partisans who see the third Beatles record as the beginning of our collective decline. I do, however, want more variance in the looking backwards. There’s no shortage of hard rock nunnery, OC bonehead hardcore, or Jack White garage fetishism (all, okay by me, BTW) but I’d really love it if all the genres and subgenres got re-polished and unleashed on the world. More rockabilly, more go-go, more Miranda Sex Garden. A MILLION MORE MIRANDA SEX GARDENS. The Internet isn’t enough. Memory and history isn’t enough. I want new and current versions of every band and everything that ever happened ever, so I can live wild and free and see the Declaration of Independence re-signed every night in a different terrible club.
If you want to give your influences a bit of a twist, that would be fantastic, but don’t feel like you have to. Though, please, no matter how much you love the spirit of UK82, if you’re from New Brunswick, maybe you can skip the cockney accent.
Hey. Friends. Guess what. There’s a new band called Chron Turbine. They’re really good. They sound like a bunch of other bands, and, yeah, sure, fuck it, they give it their own twist (even though they really didn’t have to), and I totally love them. Their drummer was in the most underrated hardcore band of all time, Merel, and their singer can do the post hardcore yelp as well as the Pete Steele Type O Negative sexy low vibe, which is all I ask of any singer. They have a new record that I can’t stop listening too. The reason I bring them up—besides the fact that I want you all to buy their album and make them rich—is that they fit nicely into my belief system this week. They were brought to my attention by one of the dudes from Violent Bullshit telling me, “You need to check these guys out. They sound like the 70s…but all the wrong 70s.” As you probably know, there’s little higher praise among record nerds than saying a band gets a sound wrong and does it well.
When I talked to Chris Turco, the singer of Chron, warning him that I may include them in an article about bands that sound like other bands, he was like, “Yeah, we know there’s a lot of Jesus Lizard…” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Chron Turbine sounds like the Pink Fairies doing Torche doing “Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School.” And that it is fantastic. The Touch and Go stuff is there too, but I’m already on record as encouraging everybody to sound like the Cows, so I want to add that I also dig men and women of all ages and stripes earning the stringiness of their hair through abject 70s groove worship. I encourage everybody to sound like everybody else—just not the everybody else that everybody else sounds like. You grock? Great! Now go form a band! Or, better yet, a better band!
Chron Turbine’s new album is out on Peter Walkee Records. Here’s a Chron Turbine song for you to download! AND, the entirely gross video for Chron Turbine’s song “Sidewalk Pudding.”
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