Posts Tagged ‘Nostalagia’

Come Play With Me – 6th April 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

I happened to catch Brooders when they supported Hands Off Gretel in York last summer, and was taken by their grungy tunes. Specifically, the combination of weight and melody. They’re probably to young to grow stubble, let alone have been born when Kurt Cobain was still alive, and yet they’ve got the whole thing nailed, encapsulating the spirit of c.1992 with aplomb.

‘Lie’ captures all of this, along with the energy of their live show, perfectly. The hefty psychedelic aspect of the sound is also well-represented. You might reference Alice in Chains and Queens of the Stone Age, and justifiably but there’s a sludgy density to the sound that brings another dimension.

Adam Bairstow (guitar / vocals, and to differentiate from the other Adams in the band – they’re like the Ramones or something, only they’re all called Adam) says of ‘Lie’, “It’s a culmination of the stresses and pressures that come with love, loss and paranoia all rolled into one brutally honest, twisted, chaotic track.”

For all this, it’s a strangely ambiguous sensation that bubbles in my gut when I wrestle with the notion of the youth of today appropriating the music of my own youth. However objectively one tries to critique music, it’s inevitable that any response to music or any art is personal and entirely subjective. Because the purpose of art is to stir an emotional response which has nothing to do with the mechanics and technicality of its production or process.

Is part of their appeal to me the fact they stir a certain nostalgia? As it happens, no. Grunge may have embossed itself within the sphere of my musical appreciation in my teens, but what I, like anyone else – I like to think – responds to is the language of sound and the overall sonic experience, spanning lyrics, instrumentation and dynamics.

These elements are all fundamental to the driving force that is ‘Lie’. There’s nothing about this snarling mess of overdriven guitars that suggests they’re trying to artificially recreate the zeitgeist of a previous age, or that they’re anything but entirely authentic. Most importantly, ‘Lie’ is a full-blooded, full-on riff-driven effort that sees Brooders come on with all guns blazing. And it’s a real rush.

AA

Brooders

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Pelagic Records – 29th January 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

Is the vinyl revival all a part of the mass cultural shift toward nostalgia? Were the ‘good old days’ really better, or is it simply that the present is so unbearable that the majority would seemingly wish to regress to the past? Of course, every generation has its old golden age, and it’s inevitable that the first years spent getting into anything new will sparkle the brightest with the passage of time. And so, for many, the late teens and early twenties are synonymous with ‘finding’ music and a sense of individual identity – but also a commonality. The more disaffected the youth, the more powerful the experience is likely to be.

Times have changed. Social relations are a different kind of minefield, and the music scene and industry more broadly are unrecognisable now from 20 years ago. Having recently turned 40, and as someone who spent a good decade from around the time I turned 14 hanging out and working in independent record shops and record airs, travelling to gigs and reading the weekly music inkies, I miss all of that.

This split EP is very much in the spirit of now bygone times, of record stores, of bands touring together with a shared record, and discovering new bands at gigs and bagging a chunk of vinyl (at an affordable price) at the merch stand on the way out to play at home when your ears had stopped ringing.

Whether or not the Internet has made the dissemination of music easier or better for bands isn’t the question here: it’s more about the fact that it’s stripped out all of the mystery. You can find music by any band on-line without having to venture to a toilet venue and take a punt on four bands for three quid, and similarly, you can ‘own’ the music on your iPod at a single click. Instant gratification has its downsides, and the wonder of discovery and the rush of connecting with a new band simply isn’t there in the digital age.

Cult of Luna and The Old Wind – two bands of significant standing, but too obtuse and heavy to ever trouble even the peripheries of the mainstream – evoke the spirit of the old-school on this vinyl release, which very much rewards the patient listener.

Cult of Luna offer ‘Last Will and Testament’, which is a veritable behemoth of a track which, after a delicate intro, slams in with full force. It’s a brutal beast, clocking in at an epic seven minutes – but it’s not all about the length, check the weight.

The first of the two tracks by The Old Wind, ‘Wooden Scythe’ brings a medieval fury through a barrage of guitars that hit like a battering ram, and the second, ‘Daughters of Cleanse’ delivers more of the same fire and brimstone. It’s gnarly, raw, dense and bloody. And very, very good.

Cult of Luna Old Wind Split