Glassy-eyed: Bad bands better beware
Today I walked on broken glass– a whole lot of broken glass. It was all over the floor. Nice healthy shards from beer bottles and preserves jars just lay there in the middle of the living room, and I walked right through it. It wasn't an accident. I wanted to. I did it once. I did it twice. I did it five times; four with my eyes closed, and came out with not even a single nick.
From the experience, I learned that there are two ways to walk on glass. You can feel your way through the shards, taking every step cautiously, trying to avoid the sharp pieces. This is the riskier technique. Or you can move the glass so there are flat, smooth surfaces to walk on. Then the walk is easy because you've created your own path. You control the glass, not vice versa.
Thus, my New Year's resolution is in full effect: No more tip-toeing through the glass. Bands beware, and pray to God you don't suck. Whereas in the past I may have searched for the positive in anything I saw, I have found that my credibility's on the line because I've failed to get straight to the nitty gritty. I owe it to you, the reader, to give my most direct opinion.
It's time to stand firmly on the glass and write my own ticket through the rubble. Get Him Eat Him and Property picked the wrong weekend to play. This was my transformation weekend. This was not the weekend to suck.
Let's start with Get Him Eat Him. No. Let's start with what I hate about most indie-anglo-brit-derived-swingless rock. It's not about the intent, or what they're "trying to say" with their lo-fi toys, asinine alternate tunings, and creative get-ups. It's (how should I say this?) what they actually say.
Here's a clue: learn to listen to each other. Play as a group. If the only instrument you can hear on stage is your own, you can't possibly figure out how it meshes with the rest of the band. And it therefore follows that you probably don't realize how bad your band sounds to the people watching. They hear the discord (if they can even hear at all).
Get Him Eat Him could have been good. Maybe. But I don't know because all I heard was a jumbled mélange of drums, guitars, and cheap synths.
Wait– let's be fair. I could hear the bass. Great tone. Nice bass lines– the saving grace. But all in all, there wasn't much to redeem the performance. The band did have disks for sale that featured pretty intriguing artwork, kind of like cheap imitation Bruegel crossed with Basquiat. The Ninja Turtles killing kittens made me smile briefly.
After Get Him Ate Him, I went to The Outback Lodge where I ran into a bunch of white dudes dressed in all black called Property. (Funny to think that 200 years ago in this same spot there were probably a bunch of black dudes dressed in white who went by the same name.)
Even funnier were the lame attempt and angst-driven hard rock they called original songs. I mean, come on guys, at least get the solos in the right frickin key. And you butchered that ballad you wrote just outright killed it in cold blood.
Property did play a Metallica cover pretty decently. I wished they had played Metallica all night, but they insisted on playing original songs as well. Sheesh. I almost bought a beer– and I don't even drink.
I left 'cause I couldn't take it any more, and drove home thinking of the changes I wanted to make in the New Year. The bottom line: bland bands are safe no longer. Beware of the new, improved, transformed prowler.