If the continual cycles of bleeptro adorning every media facet of NME are anything to go by, it would seem that it doesn’t really take that much effort to create a decent track these days (check this out for hours of endless fun). Gone are the days when bands were famed for their instrumental talent – it’s all about crunkcore and horrorhop and electro now. Which is fine. I move with the times, you know.
However, it would seem that said bands are reluctant to accept defeat on the genre-trend battle ground. Bands like Green Day, for example. They’ve been kicking around for an unbelievable 22 years now. That’s older than most of the viewers that were tuned into NME TV the other day, when the channel (along with nearly every other ‘alternative music station’) seemed hell bent on cramming in as much Green Day as possible. Why? Because after FIVE years, the band have finally released something new. And it’s just so blah.
“Do you know the enemy? Do you know your enemy? Gotta know the enemy, wahay!” shouts Billie Joe Armstrong, over and over and over again. COME ON GREEN DAY. Yes, once you were a pivotal music force against ‘the establishment’, but Jesus. It’s like you’re not even trying anymore.
The same can be said for perennial oddball Marilyn Manson. In his glory days he held in his hands the fear and ignorance of thousands of parents everywhere. He was ‘responsible’ for the Columbine High School massacre, after all, and kids who listened to his music were dark and had problems. But now? He’s 40 years old, had an affair with a 19 year old despite (then) being married to extreme hottie Dita Von Teese and his new album is nothing short of an uncomfortable parody of himself. Pretty as a Swastika? Yawn. I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell? You don’t say. Unkillable Monster? So it would seem. Brian, your crazy shiz just doesn’t wash anymore, as you could probably tell by the sales of your last album, Eat Me, Drink Me. Time to bow out gracefully, eh?
Two examples, then, of the musical dead coming back to life. But three’s a trend, right? So, tempted as I was to include The Manic Street Preachers’ desperate clutch at straws with their new album Journal For Plague Lovers, I considered my current residency in Wales and thought better of it. Luckily though, a much more depressing option has come to light in the form of The Bangles. Yes, they of Eternal Flame, Manic Monday and Walk Like An Egyptian fame. Reports suggest that, as I write this, the band are busy squirreling away in the studio producing a new album.
Knowing your enemy and unkillable monsters are, at least, prevalent (and marketable!) issues on the social landscape at the moment, so unless The Bangles are gonna get crunk on the ass of the music industry – which I’m sure we can all agree would be an amazing spectacle that I for one would pay money to see – I suspect their efforts may well be in vain, and they will too be relegated to the ranks of once prominent bands who’ve had their day. Like the drunken uncle on the dancefloor at a wedding, perhaps they should just leave it to the kids now.