... A Sour Apple Tree

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Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What clever name will it be called this time?

Every few years, a batch of talented musical acts from Britain pops up on the American music scene and inevitably the whole genre gets saddled with some lame label coughed up by some hack at the music rags. The 60s saw "The British Invasion," led by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, and such. The 80s brought the elctropoptastic New Romanitc style of music to our shores. the most disturbing of them all, however, came the 90s. The whole Britpop/Cool Britannia scene---with the sole exception of Oasis' fantastic Whats the Story (Morning Glory) album---made me pray nightly for deafness.

Fortunately for us, there is a new crop of Brits that, unlike the Spice Girls and The Verve, don't suck that are about to hit stateside that promise to liberate us from Emo hell. Today ...ASAT will discuss the three most promising acts: Kaiser Chiefs, The Fratellis, and Arctic Monkeys.

Probably the best known of these acts in America is Kaiser Chiefs, a five-piece act out of Leeds. Their second album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, was released here in March. The CD's lead track, Ruby (youtube link), is currently #15 on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. Popular Charleston based disc jockey Spike Nesmith has described it as "very singalongable" and I couldn't agree more. In fact, the chorus is stuck in my head right now.

The Fratellis are a Glaswegian indie rock trio that ie together hints of rock, punk, pop, and an occasional banjo to create a sound that is absolutely kicking my ass right now. As an experiment, check out Whistle for the Choir (youtube link) and Chelsea Dagger (youtube link) and try not to bug the bejesus out of your friends telling them about the band (hint: it can't be done. Ask my friends.).

Last, but certainly not least, are Arctic Monkeys. This Mercury Prize-winning quartet out of suburban Sheffield is probably my favorite band right now and their newest album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, is beating the crap out of all other albums in terms of sales right now in the UK. I am already guessing that the CD's second single, Fluorescent Adolescent (youtube link) (a tune about the transition from the carefree days of a 20-something to a more mature/boring, post 30 version of adulthood), will be one of my favorite tunes of the decade.

With music this good, who needs a shitty genre label?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Silverback said...

Very impressive reviews, Chris.

We here in Leeds, even oldies like me, are proud of our young Chiefs and even begrudgingly tip our hats to 'that lot from down the M1' too.

Enjoyable blog which I will continue to explore............

Ian (Leeds UK)

Thursday, May 10, 2007  
Blogger Chris James said...

Thanks for the kind words.

Here's hopin' that Leeds United gets things turned around

Thursday, May 10, 2007  

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