Dear Retro Post-Punk Thing That’s Going On For The Last Few Years:
Man, are you tiresome.
Generally I think that good music is timeless. If you want to make music that sounds like it was done 20 years ago, go for it–whatever blows your skirt up. But when all of a sudden every-fuckin’-body has decided that they wanna sound like the alternative rock that was hip when their parents got married, it’s just overkill. “Ooh! Abrasive, angular guitars and edgy lyrics! That’s so IN!” Really. I’m getting bloody sick of it.
Have you noticed how some musicians take those old influences and use them to make something new? “New” as in “original?” Yeah; you’re not really doing that. You’re just copycatting. Hey! Interpol! When every goddamned critic in the world says that you sound just like Joy Division, you might try to pick up on the hint, hey?
You there! The Rapture! Identity theft is a serious issue; let’s just hope Gang of Four never catches you.
And Radio 4. Naming yourself after a Public Image Limited song. From Metal Box, no less. How deliciously clever and not at all transparent!
(Notice I don’t mention The Strokes? They don’t concern me. Anyone who’s been on Spin‘s cover as “The World’s Most Important Band” surely understands that their career is over.)
Don’t get me wrong, Retro Post Punk Thing. I like some of your disciples. No matter how hard I try, for example, I just love Franz Ferdinand. And the reissues of old stuff is great: Wire. Crispy Ambulance. Lilliput/Kleenex. (Oh, and hey! This would be a great time to do deluxe bonus-track packagings of MX-80 Sound’s Crowd Control LP.) Can we maybe stick to that?
Bottom line, Retro Post-Punk Thing, is this: remember that scene in Napoleon Dynamite where Uncle Rico buys the time machine and tries to go back to his glory days in 1982? Pathetic, wasn’t it? Yeah, that’s you. Time to accept the present tense, kids.
P.S. I’m CCing this message to 24 Hour Party People, a movie I love but which, let’s face it, is partly to blame. Hope you don’t mind.
(Originally posted to Pop Musicology)