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Tuesday Music: Landfill casualties

6 Apr 10 | Re: Miscarriage of musical justice

Landfill indie and mortgage rock. Before they became dulled by overuse, these were two terms that skewered unimaginative, unremarkable music with cruel aptness. They were a brilliant way to lampoon over-serious or under-competent groups like the Editors, Boy Kill Boy, the Enemy and oh so many others. Music critics never got tired of using them.

The trouble was, it was so much fun to chuck these slurs about that they also got aimed at some undeserving victims, foremost among whom were the Twang. The Twang were great, or at least they could have been. First I heard a couple of singles on the radio, which were both unreasonably good. Then I went to see them at Glastonbury and the performance was triumphant, a highlight of the weekend. Then I got the album, Love It When I Feel Like This, and lo and behold the singles weren’t even the best tracks on there. Imagine my surprise, then, to read in the press that the album was ham-fisted nonsense, the Glasto performance was perfunctory, and the band themselves were tainted with the stench of the indie landfill!

This kind of rubbish was repeated so often that even I, who had seen and heard diametrically opposed evidence for my very own self, had to be careful not to kind of almost believe it. And so it became a self-fulfilling prophecy: the rug was pulled out from under them, nobody paid attention to the second album, and the other day I saw the debut CD suffering the ignominy of being 2 in Fopp (3 is no shame at all, but 2 means they’re despairing of ever shifting it).

Thanks very much, Alex Petridis and similar people. Just because it’s become fun to point out that a lot of new indie bands are no good does not mean that none of them are any good. The Twang had an innovative two-vocalist setup, intelligent lyrics full of Skinner- or Turneresque everyday observations, a rhythm section much more informed by the Stone Roses than lumpen latter-day indie types, and a cross-genre approach that saw them borrow from dance music and interpolate Salt n Pepa. Hardly Hard-Fi territory, I think you’ll agree, and if you don’t believe me you can listen to Loosely Dancing on We7 and see for yourself. Look out for the start of the second verse, which is all about popping off to the gents (but good).

The Twang: A beautiful baby whose only crime was being in the wrong bathwater at the wrong time.

Posted by LIEUTENANT STITCHIE at 19:58

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