The Null Device
After listening to albums from Miss Kittin & The Hacker and Adult, I have realised that the lyrics of your typical electroclash song are stylistically very similar to KOMPRESSOR lyrics; i.e., all disjointed, monotonous assertions with scant regard for scansion or melody and the odd bit repeated for effect. In fact, if he did away with the distortion pedal, Andreas K. could easily hop on the electroclash bandwagon.
Finding myself in Glasgow last night, I decided to go to see whoever was playing at the 13th Note. First up was an outfit calling themselves Blind Dug, who were described as "rock with progressive leanings", and pretty surely disproved the assertion that the difference between prog-rock and post-rock is capes. None of them wore a cape, and they were definitely prog- and not post-; their songs had relatively complex chord progressions, 1970s-style guitar riffs (think some of the musical interludes from The Goodies), odd time signatures, florid embellishments, false endings and lots of different sections. At one stage they announced that they only had time for one more song, and proceeded to play for some 20 minutes, changing keys and tempos quite a few times. They seem to enjoy wallowing in the excesses of the 1970s, but they do it fairly well.
Next up was an outfit named Cat Kills Six, who were a sort of grungy alternative band, though with some quite original moments. At one stage, the vocalist started doing a human beatbox, upon which the bassist went into the bassline from The Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight, of which they did the first verse and then went off on a tangent.
Finally there was a band named Frayed, who were fairly textbook metal, with a heavy Metallica influence. (They covered Harvester of Sorrow as one of their songs, obviously wearing their influences on their sleeve.) Technically they were quite competent and tight, right down to the obligatory guitar solos, though they didn't diverge from the metal genre or do much else original, and ultimately ended up as Just Another Metal Band. Then again, I'm told that the singer is only 15 (which brings up comparisons with a certain Australian Seattle-sound band from the '90s). Perhaps few years they'll go on to do more interesting things.
I just got back to London, after five days spent up north in the land of whisky and Irn-Bru. It was fun.
Yesterday I caught the train down from Inverness, through the sweeping landscapes of central Scotland, to Glasgow, the city that gave us Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian and a lot of twee jangly-pop bands somewhat before my time. Within a few hours of arriving, I had made my way to The 13th Note, a local café and band venue, which seemed quite cool, and has bands on pretty much every night. (For the Melburnians reading this: the 13th Note would be somewhere between the Empress and the Tote, or perhaps like Revolver without the house music and vague miasma of wankerdom subtly permeating everything; it's a funky-yet-too-grungy-to-be-yuppified bar with vegan food, artworks on the walls and flyers everywhere else, and a subterranean cavern where the punters go to see bands make a lot of noise.)
(Aside: Glasgow seems to have a number of things in common with Melbourne. The rain, the grid-shaped street layout, the relative lack of spectacular monuments, and of course a vibrant live music scene. It doesn't have trams, though, and the closest thing to the notorious Rangers vs. Celtics sectarian rivalries that Melbourne would have would be the occasional Serbo-Croatian soccer riot or something.)