England Says “Please No More Crappy Indie Rock”

jharv | October 15, 2007 4:00 am

The Guardian is cranky today! Under the blunt headline “2007 Has Been A Stinker For Indie Rock,” writer Ben Myers goes on a tear about a genre that’s apparently “artistically long dead and more discernibly derivative than ever.” To be fair, I’d probably agree with him wholeheartedly if I had to live in England.

The obvious comparisons for this year’s breakthrough nerks are laughably easy: The View (The Libertines), The Enemy (Northern Uproar), The Fratellis (Supergrass), Pigeon Detectives (every bloke-rock band in every English town, ever), Reverend and the Makers (ditto). Whichever way you look at them, they’re all terrible. Christ, have you heard The Twang (Flowered Up)? Jamie T, Kate Nash and Jack Peñate meanwhile have released sub-standard debut albums, creative victims of the industry’s need for everything now, now, now. Let’s see if they’re still around in three years’ time.

Indie rock’s A-list is even more laughable: Kasabian (Primal Scream), Razorlight (Dire Straits), The Killers (Shed Seven), Hard Fi (cease … now). That the Kaiser Chiefs (Terrorvision) have had the fourth biggest selling single of the year with Ruby – and Mika (Leo Sayer) the biggest – makes me pray, in the words of Bill Hicks, for nuclear holocaust in five seconds.

Oh, it’s not that bad, but have we really reached the point where Shed Seven are a reference point? Ye gods. (Also, leave Leo Sayer and Mark Knopfler out of this.) Anyway, Myers’ hot tips for the future of indie rock?

It’s not been all bad. For me, Gallows, Akira the Don, Gogol Bordello, Gossip, Dillinger Escape Plan, Les Savy Fav, MIA, Patrick Wolf, Jakobinarina and Future of the Left have kept things interesting and there are also plenty of exciting unsigned bands bubbling under – I’m tipping Dead Kids, The Bobby McGee’s and The Ting Tings.

The Bobby McGee’s? The Ting Tings? Zuh? In case you’re wondering, the Ting Tings “sound like Beth Ditto slipping into an elasticated polka-dot number and bumping one of The Pipettes off stage mid-handclap,” according to Popjustice. Let that description rattle around in your brain. Now ask yourself if Sam’s Town was really all that bad.

2007 Has Been A Stinker For Indie Rock [Guardian]