Author Topic: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer  (Read 2370 times)

The Mollusk

  • I spoke with fervour, embracing the evening
I was listening to the new album by post-punk band Pottery this afternoon and I legitimately had to switch it off a few tracks in because it is a monstrously derivative Talking Heads rip off. I went to their Last.fm page and saw these comments:



Mate. That's because they're literally trying to recreate the sound of Talking Heads in the most blandly obvious way possible. The singer sounds fucking exactly like David Byrne. It's not even subtle.

This little experience has made me ponder something I've been wondering for a while: For the youth of today, is the line between old and new music so blurred that they think this sort of thing is not only passable, but commendable? Are bands like Pottery or King Gizzard (who, for the record, I do really like) no different in terms of cultural impact and general excellence from bands like, say, ESG or Aphrodite's Child? The generation below me is so well informed on sociopolitical issues, BLM, climate change and everything, but is it the effectively the same deal, whereby the history is exactly as important as the present and their future?

Kids need something tangible to hold close to their chests and I am of course very happy about the thought of them seriously connecting to music and going out to gigs and having a grand old time, but knowing the difference between where we are now and where we came from is vital. Modern bands like these are certainly adept at what they're doing, but essentially a great deal of it is unimaginative revivalist stuff. Is the pioneering music of yesteryear in danger of being lumped in with the stuff it inspired half a century later? Or is this just the first sign of me being one of those cynical cunts in record shops moaning to the disinterested staff that "they just don't make 'em like they used to! Show the kids Stop Making Sense, that'll learn 'em"?

I am comforted by the fact that new music in these veins still thrills me (hell, I'll say it here too: PROTOMARTYR) but the sands of time shifting one's cultural perspective is something that I think about a great deal. What do you think?


Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2020, 12:37:21 PM »
Most things are derivative to be fair aren't they? It's like a whole generation of early 90s teens loving Oasis or something.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2020, 12:41:32 PM »
I've found there's some really good pop about of late. Lots of throwbacks to rnb I didn't really get into the first time round.

The Mollusk

  • I spoke with fervour, embracing the evening
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2020, 04:02:40 PM »
Most things are derivative to be fair aren't they?

Yeah but some are far more than others. Listen to the Pottery song I linked, it's ridiculous and doesn't pass as something authentic and fresh enough to be acceptable in my opinion.

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2020, 04:17:20 PM »
I remember in the mid-nineties standing behind a young woman buying the latest Supergrass album in Rough Trade. The shop assistant told her she might as well get into T Rex as they were were doing this sort of stomping glam rock fayre twenty years earlier. She replied that she knew about T Rex and added that unfortunately they'd split up and Marc Bolan died in a fatal car accident years ago. Crucially, Supergrass are still together, none of them are dead and she wanted to bang Gaz Coombes.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2020, 04:21:02 PM »
hahaha

I saw Gaz Coomes and some cunt from The Bluetones doe an acoustic set a few years ago when a mate was passing through town. It was shit.

chveik

  • I feel like swimmin' in rat piss
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2020, 04:33:42 PM »
I thought the derivative post-punk fashion had passed... I can't see these guys having much success though.

wosl

  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • Kermit?
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2020, 04:43:26 PM »
Most things are derivative to be fair aren't they? It's like a whole generation of early 90s teens loving Oasis or something.

I was looking at an old Jacques Rivette interview a while back, in which he said that much of the best art is good because it's derivative: you can better differentiate and enjoy the new little bits and pieces that have been brought to the table that way. Frank Lloyd Wright (or it may've been Josef Albers* - there's no hope of me finding the ragged photocopy of the article in which it appears in the short-term) also once said something to the effect that originality is overrated, a goal that should be confined to professions such as hairdressing. The view that it's the artist's job to create boldly original works is a fairly modern one.

*more likely to have been him, I think

The Mollusk

  • I spoke with fervour, embracing the evening
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2020, 05:02:15 PM »
I don't mind derivative music as long as the artist is bringing an energy that is refreshing enough to blow the cobwebs off something that already exists. For example, Thee Oh Sees are certainly a derivative psych/garage punk outfit but John Dwyer unashamedly belts out as much material as he can, and in doing so he removes the pretension of appearing as though he's cornering a particular sound as his own in favour of just having fun and learning new styles as he goes along. I'm not sure whether or not that's his intention but it works massively in his favour. Similarly the stuff that King Khan has put out over the years is very much run of the mill soul/garage rock in structure but the dude is so fucking wild that it conjures up the bombastic exuberance of Little Richard and the stinking trash aesthetic of John Waters and it absolutely rips the fuck out.

Energy is a big deal, I can see hear that shit coming a mile off and falseness is not difficult for me to spot. It's pretty easy to listen to something and ascertain whether or not it would be great to see performed live or if it would be a relatively stationery affair. Mimicry is easy but you've got to fucking sell it to me, pal. It ain't about the story, it's about how you tell it.

Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2020, 05:07:29 PM »
I don't see what's so different about this to some of the other newer post-punky acts occasionally hyped on here (think the last one was called Crack Cloud or something like that?).  They all sound like something spat out after opening your phone and saying, "Alexa, make me a CBGB band."  Music without an aura.

The Mollusk

  • I spoke with fervour, embracing the evening
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2020, 05:25:36 PM »
Nah mate Crack Cloud is great, do one

chveik

  • I feel like swimmin' in rat piss
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2020, 05:32:54 PM »
I don't see what's so different about this to some of the other newer post-punky acts occasionally hyped on here (think the last one was called Crack Cloud or something like that?).  They all sound like something spat out after opening your phone and saying, "Alexa, make me a CBGB band."  Music without an aura.

agreed. they can have all the energy they want, it's still utterly boring

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2020, 05:47:17 PM »
What they need is a bit of Phil Minton.

QDRPHNC

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • "A soupçon of pizzazz."
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2020, 06:54:37 PM »
My dad said something similar when grunge came along.

PlanktonSideburns

  • and now the dream is over: the pingu is awake
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2020, 06:58:45 PM »
Lots of new stuff in pop music, it's only the weird people who still like bands with guitar in where this is a problem I recon

Angrew Lloyg Wegger

  • can we lose the part
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • about the slow crushing of his skull?
    • instagram ponce
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2020, 07:25:00 PM »
Lots of new stuff in pop music, it's only the weird people who still like bands with guitar in where this is a problem I recon

True that. I fired the guitarist of my band and put a euphonium player in instead. Suddenly our sound was the most original thing ever heard and none of the rock fans wanted anything to do with us, and neither did the pop fans or anyone else.

Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2020, 07:46:48 PM »
Lots of new stuff in pop music, it's only the weird people who still like bands with guitar in where this is a problem I recon

For sure.  A.G. Cook[dandbombd] alone makes this an exciting time to be alive.  Then again, my favourite GFOTY release is still the one where she goes a bit rocky, Call Him a Doctor.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2020, 08:17:27 PM »
Do they write good songs? Do the recordings sound good?

Really, the only two questions that need asking when you're listening to a recorded song. Martin Newell's been knocking out heavily '60s indebted guitar pop for decades, but I still buy new Cleaners from Venus albums because the songs are fucking great and I enjoy Newell's lo-fi approach. Never have I thought "I'm really enjoying this song, but actually it sounds a lot like The Kinks so I'm not enjoying it anymore".

Can we have a specific thread where people discuss whether the use of a popular six stringed instrument is inherent to the worth of music at this point? It's such a tedious discussion.

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2020, 08:21:39 PM »
Brian Eno remarked years ago about how baffled he was by modern bands (The Hold Steady, Hot Chip, The Futureheads etc) apeing the same mistakes that he and his peers had made a quarter of a century earlier. "We were white musicians getting black music wrong.. Move on!"

Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2020, 08:25:46 PM »
Do they write good songs? Do the recordings sound good?

Really, the only two questions that need asking when you're listening to a recorded song. Martin Newell's been knocking out heavily '60s indebted guitar pop for decades, but I still buy new Cleaners from Venus albums because the songs are fucking great and I enjoy Newell's lo-fi approach. Never have I thought "I'm really enjoying this song, but actually it sounds a lot like The Kinks so I'm not enjoying it anymore".

Can we have a specific thread where people discuss whether the use of a popular six stringed instrument is inherent to the worth of music at this point? It's such a tedious discussion.

I remember a few years ago, at least on RYM, everyone was dropping the words 'rockist' and 'poptimist' like this was the fall of Tsarist Russia and you had to pick a side. Do people still do that?

Oy, it's got its own in-depth wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockism_and_poptimism

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2020, 08:31:08 PM »
Do they write good songs? Do the recordings sound good?

Really, the only two questions that need asking when you're listening to a recorded song. Martin Newell's been knocking out heavily '60s indebted guitar pop for decades, but I still buy new Cleaners from Venus albums because the songs are fucking great and I enjoy Newell's lo-fi approach. Never have I thought "I'm really enjoying this song, but actually it sounds a lot like The Kinks so I'm not enjoying it anymore".

Can we have a specific thread where people discuss whether the use of a popular six stringed instrument is inherent to the worth of music at this point? It's such a tedious discussion.

It is tedious. Why does pop have to reinvent the wheel every fucking year? Critics who talk about relevancy can do one too. If a song/track is good, it's GOOD!

Having said that, the OP Pottery track is taking the piss though.

The Mollusk

  • I spoke with fervour, embracing the evening
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2020, 08:39:16 PM »
Yes the Pottery song really was the crux of my argument and I can't think of much else to back it up at the moment... save for maybe the thread I started about really enjoying the band Vundabar and everyone kicked me in the tits saying it ripped off Pavement and it was a load of shit.

Fuck.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2020, 08:41:58 PM »
I remember a few years ago, at least on RYM, everyone was dropping the words 'rockist' and 'poptimist' like this was the fall of Tsarist Russia and you had to pick a side. Do people still do that?

Oy, it's got its own in-depth wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockism_and_poptimism
I suppose the definitions on the wiki page make me a poptimist, in that I'm not especially interested in 'authenticity', and find pop music as worthy as rock music (indeed, most of my favourite rock bands tend to be those who write very poppy sounding music). But the idea that the guitar has suddenly had its day, and the hundreds of thousands of artists out there who play the instrument are now irrelevant, is fucking absurd (as absurd as people who only listen to bands with guitars). In terms of 'song-based' music, I probably buy as many records by electronic pop artists as I do guitar bands these days. Because the inherent quality of the band and their songs is far more important than how fashionable a particular instrument is.

PlanktonSideburns

  • and now the dream is over: the pingu is awake
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2020, 08:58:49 PM »
For sure.  A.G. Cook[dandbombd] alone makes this an exciting time to be alive.  Then again, my favourite GFOTY release is still the one where she goes a bit rocky, Call Him a Doctor.

Yea these are the ones

PlanktonSideburns

  • and now the dream is over: the pingu is awake
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2020, 09:02:11 PM »
Guitar is fine if you do something interesting with it like Mary halfvorson

Just don't do something suit and derivative like the op

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2020, 10:17:37 PM »
Yeah, people like A.G. Cook are great (although he's hardly using original production ideas himself, just recontextualising them in pop fashion), but that doesn't make guitar music any less good. Unless sounding as 'this year' as possible is your main criterion for quality.

PlanktonSideburns

  • and now the dream is over: the pingu is awake
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2020, 10:20:39 PM »
Yea there's a furtile gulf between reinventing the wheel and sounding exactly like post punk for 6 music wankers. You can sound quite old fashioned while simultaneously sounding new. On paper the cramps should sound like derivative rubbish, but they're genuine mutants

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20

The Mollusk

  • I spoke with fervour, embracing the evening
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2020, 10:45:10 PM »
Time for my obligatory mention that I’m good friends with GFOTY and she recorded “Boy Next Door” in my house, with my housemate who’s a fairly successful producer now (he did one of the tracks on the new 100 gecs remix album). I am neither of those people so that doesn’t make me as cool as them whatsoever but I still like to mention it because lockdown has turned my life into a drab mush and I need to try and convince myself I still exist with some shameless name-dropping.

PlanktonSideburns

  • and now the dream is over: the pingu is awake
Re: Gen Z thinking derivative modern guff is the best music on offer
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2020, 10:50:03 PM »
Well jealous. Those first gfoty tunes really made me sit down and have a think5

Tags: