Author Topic: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?  (Read 9959 times)

The Mollusk

  • spirit ditties of no tone
Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« on: May 11, 2021, 10:47:32 AM »
Let's have a thread on YOUR musical heroes, ones who've had prolific and/or influential careers, and whether or not they are now PAST IT. Either end of the scale is valid here, for example we can also discuss artists/acts who should by all rights be PAST IT but are bafflingly enjoying one or another career high points at present.

On that positive tip, I'd say Sparks are among those acts who have really exceeded expectations, five decades into their career releasing two albums that would easily rank amongst their finest work, if not at least being broadly representative of their exact style of idiosyncratic, sardonic and extremely smart pop craft. Well done Ron and Russ!

On the other end, however, one artist who's very recently come to mind as someone whom I have no longer come to expect or even bother to hope for good new material, is Mike Patton. The Mr. Bungle revival was bizarrely revered by a great deal of their fan base and journalists alike, but I'm glad I wasn't alone on this forum in thinking that it was a tedious, pointless exercise in middle-aged indugence, and the latest Tomahawk album is further testament to his vastly dwindling talents and abilities. Fair enough, he's had a good run! But I refuse to sit back and wave a hand casually across any of his newer output and say that this is still the work of an active and forward-thinking genius. It's fucking pap.

There's another whose work is linked to Patton and who I similarly think is almost at the point of no return, and that's Justin Pearson, frontman of (in my eyes) legendary grindcore/hardcore outfits The Locust and Retox as well as other Three One G staples Head Wound City and Holy Molar. In recent years, he also formed the massively underwhelming hardcore supergroup Dead Cross with Patton (and Dave Lombardo, another whose work is slowly edging towards the pastures), as well as the naff hip hop group Planet B with once-legendary rapper Kool Keith (yeah, he's very much due a panning) and the frankly fucking shite industrial project Satanic Planet alongside Lombardo and ... wait for it ... founder of the Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves. It's just rubbish! The producer Luke Henshaw is definitely to blame in part, his contributions across those latter two projects being very much middle of the road and uninspired industrial sampling, but overall I find absolutely nothing confrontational, fresh, exciting or even just fun or engaging about any of this stuff.

Kool Keith has of course been past it for years now. I used to casually follow his output in the hopes of finding some rare flickers of his former glories but after the dreadful unnecessary guff of the Dr. Octagon comeback album I completely gave up.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2021, 01:15:22 PM »
Kool Keith has of course been past it for years now. I used to casually follow his output in the hopes of finding some rare flickers of his former glories but after the dreadful unnecessary guff of the Dr. Octagon comeback album I completely gave up.

His pizzas aren't as good as they used to be either.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2021, 02:07:45 PM »
Nick Cave - Definitely not past it, having made some of his best records to date in the last ten years after he got the embarassing hand-clappy "woo yeah rock and roll!" Grinderman-isms out of his system and stepped boldly into the late 20th century and started to embrace the use of the kind of electronic textures. Carnage is very much a triumph, and Ghosteen is my joint favourite Cave record with Your Funeral, My Trial; just above Junkyard in my ranking.

Xiu Xiu - THe Xiu Xiu record from this year was disturbingly normal and for the most part could be pretty much any mildly quirkier than usual indie rock band but how on earth do you follow Girl With A Basket of Fruit? That record really shook me up when I first heard it and following releases like the Twin Peaks covers album, Forget and Angel Guts I can forgive Jamie Stewart a blip. As long as he doesn't make a habit of making records that don't frighten me. Verdict - possibly past it but it'd be fool-hardy to think I can guess where he's going next.

Consumer Electronics - To my mind the work Philip Best is currently doing with Sarah Froelich and Russell Haswell is much braver than continuing to yell about how YOU'RE ALL CUNTS over the kind of white noise hiss that sounds cool until you actually sit down with a synthesizer and realise how easy it is to do that. I like that the last few Consumer Electronics records featuring technoid rhythms and Sarah doing a lot of the actual power-electronics type vocalising and leaving Philip Best to mutter menacingly have pissed on the chips of the people who got into Whitehouse because they're craven misogynistic edge-lord arseholes who have no idea of the intent that Bennett, Best and Sotos set out to make this material with. That plus his Amphetamine Sulphate publishing imprint, I'm going to say that Philip Best is very much not past it.

Seconding Mike Patton being utterly past it, would throw Josh Homme in too but he's just low-hanging fruit at this point. The man's an embarrassment.



The Mollusk

  • spirit ditties of no tone
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2021, 02:50:01 PM »
Josh Homme is a fucking useless twat!

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2021, 02:52:53 PM »
Rush: one is dead and they're retired a few years ago.

GoblinAhFuckScary

  • DIDN'T LIKE THE BEACH
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2021, 03:01:44 PM »
i felt this way about the fall, but i do regret never going to see them

Norton Canes

  • Pick up the pace with your cracked-out face
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2021, 03:19:55 PM »
Depeche Mode: sadly, yes. Plenty of people say they were never the same once Alan Wilder left but I've always thought the the drop in quality of their subsequent two albums, Ultra and Exciter, could be put down to finding their feet as a trio and an unfortunate case of using a producer they didn't connect with respectively. And their next two albums, with Ben Hillier at the helm, while not being especially consistent were actually their best post-Wilder long players. But they really went off a cliff with their latest efforts, Delta Machine in 2013 and 2017's Spirit, two dirge-ridden slogs where most songs are subsumed by their growing penchant for mid-tempo swampy blues plods and Martin Gore's ear for a tune (not to mention some different rhymes) appear to have all but deserted him. In fact the best songs on both these LPs have been by Dave Gahan and his co-writers.   

Speaking on which have you seen Gahan perform recently? I know his energetic displays have always relied more on enthusiasm than style but these days he minces around the stage like a Dick Emery character. Someone should have a word.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2021, 03:56:21 PM »
Autechre No. It seemed like they had gone a bit shit when elseq was 4 hours of widdling nothing, but they somehow turned it around with NTS sessions, 8 hours of better structured and more interesting widdling. The more condensed albums they released last year were very good (especially Sign). Helps for me that they've embraced the potential of digital music for escaping the contraints of length and release cycles.

Pixies. Yes, so past it they're basically mummified, and cannot become more past it.

Once an artist starts getting in cycle of sequential albums hailed as a 'return to form' they're almost certainly past it.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2021, 04:18:40 PM »
The Cure, who I loved dearly and learned to the play the guitar by listening to them on cassettes bought in Woolworths over and over again, have been an absolute embarrassment for the last 66% of their career. I always say it but it’s hard to think of another band that fell of the very high cliff that was everything before 1994.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2021, 05:01:43 PM »
Autechre No. It seemed like they had gone a bit shit when elseq was 4 hours of widdling nothing, but they somehow turned it around with NTS sessions, 8 hours of better structured and more interesting widdling.
Interesting, I feel exactly the other way: I love elseq (except 2), whereas NTS I find excruciatingly boring for the most part.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2021, 05:07:40 PM »
Saw Autechre at hallowe'en a few years back. Wasn't particularly hyped to go see two baldies look at their computers but I loved every second.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2021, 05:38:48 PM »
I don't think I've like anything Lolina has done since The Smoke.

:(

turnstyle

  • His wife doesn't like the Sarcastic Butlers
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2021, 05:42:53 PM »
Radiohead - These days Yorke looks like a miserable mollusc, but I can't fault the guys music output, still a great bunch of lads (TM). No embarrassment here.

Morrissey - The thing that really, really pisses me off is that the man can't stop being a total unsavoury bellend, to the extent that I can't even listen to the Smiths any more, which makes me extremely sad, as they were such a linchpin of my teenage years and beyond. And his music is shit now, obvs.

Divine Comedy - Consistently brilliant still. Yer man Hannon is the safest pair of hands in the biz. They're so safe I'd happily let him check my man orbs for lumps. Office Politics was fucking ace. Every Divine Comedy album feels like a best of, but it's all new songs. Thanks Hannon, Thannon.

Gary Glitter - Can't fault him, ledge.

DolphinFace

  • Put it in me
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2021, 05:48:45 PM »
We'll I've waited about 12 years for a kings of convenience album and their new single is shit. Not heard the album yet mind.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2021, 05:50:36 PM »

Once an artist starts getting in cycle of sequential albums hailed as a 'return to form' they're almost certainly past it.

Best album since Scary Monstersitus

Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2021, 06:58:11 PM »

Once an artist starts getting in cycle of sequential albums hailed as a 'return to form' they're almost certainly past it.

Or 'back-to-basics'? Sometimes translates as 'We can't afford that orchestra again' or 'the progressive rock direction wasn't a hit with the fans'

rue the polywhirl

  • eight lives left
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2021, 07:34:12 PM »
The Who. Their 2019 self-titled is one of the worst things I have heard. The sound of maximum doddering infirmity. I also get the lingering feeling that Paul McCartney might be a little past it. I didn’t mind his very last album too much but he seems to have got a facelift recently that has made him look like the alien from Mac and Me. I suppose I should correct that to even more like Mac and Me. Or Macca and Me.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2021, 07:40:03 PM »
I thought Radiohead's last album was their best. It's the only one that doesn't have at least one track that makes me want to throw a sink out of the window. Plus Thom Yorke's total creepy old fuck phase is great. "what if the singing potato mascot for Smith's Crisps was a sex pervert" is his best look since his band were the bishonen Pixies. Solo records are dross tho.

The Who. Their 2019 self-titled is one of the worst things I have heard. The sound of maximum doddering infirmity.

Amazing they've got worse than Endless Wire. Townsends vocals on that are choice. Sounds buried alive.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2021, 07:44:45 PM »
I haven't enjoyed a Radiohead record since Amnesiac. I think I listened to A Moon Shaped Pool once, the string arrangements were nice, but I'm not convinced they've actually written a new song for a long time. I always enjoyed Thom's versatility as a singer, he has a pretty powerful voice, so I'm baffled by his decision to go into the high pitched whine on every single song these days.

I still like 'Reckoner', mind. God knows where they pulled that one from.

Underworld had a couple of shaky albums, the dreadful Barking and the pleasant but largely Underworld-by-numbers Barbara Barbara, so I was delighted when they managed to release a 6CD boxset of new material and most of it was excellent. Not bad for a couple of guys 40+ years into their careers.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2021, 07:51:08 PM »
A Moon Shaped Pool had a great opener, a great closer and some broadly pleasant but unexciting stuff in between.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2021, 07:57:50 PM »
Neil Young was great, then past it, then had a comeback, then drifted back into past it, before settling into the legend status he enjoys today. See also, Bob Dylan.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2021, 07:59:48 PM »
I thought Radiohead's last album was their best. It's the only one that doesn't have at least one track that makes me want to throw a sink out of the window. Plus Thom Yorke's total creepy old fuck phase is great. "what if the singing potato mascot for Smith's Crisps was a sex pervert" is his best look since his band were the bishonen Pixies. Solo records are dross tho.

Amazing they've got worse than Endless Wire. Townsends vocals on that are choice. Sounds buried alive.

At least Endless Wire was an attempt at something new, the last album sounded like The Who by numbers. But not the album, The Who By Numbers.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2021, 11:01:19 PM »

Consumer Electronics - To my mind the work Philip Best is currently doing with Sarah Froelich and Russell Haswell is much braver than continuing to yell about how YOU'RE ALL CUNTS over the kind of white noise hiss that sounds cool until you actually sit down with a synthesizer and realise how easy it is to do that. I like that the last few Consumer Electronics records featuring technoid rhythms and Sarah doing a lot of the actual power-electronics type vocalising and leaving Philip Best to mutter menacingly have pissed on the chips of the people who got into Whitehouse because they're craven misogynistic edge-lord arseholes who have no idea of the intent that Bennett, Best and Sotos set out to make this material with. That plus his Amphetamine Sulphate publishing imprint, I'm going to say that Philip Best is very much not past it.


We got asked to play with these, I knew we'd never end up doing it because of the shit PB/WB and the rest have been involved in years back (in particular that dodgy old IPHAR comp) but part of me was sort of excited about the possibility of getting to sit in a 12 by 12 foot concrete box backstage with him doing his nut in about throwing chairs at Madonna in the 80s.

Those first few live actions that Susan Lawly used to sell, all up to the first break up, are fascinating to me, still, real just out of the blue fucked up sounds and situations pushed to the limit, so im glad PBs doing well still anyway.

Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2021, 11:02:40 PM »
Neil Young was great, then past it, then had a comeback, then drifted back into past it, before settling into the legend status he enjoys today. See also, Bob Dylan.

NY problem is loads of his albums lately have been spectacular unreleased stuff from the 70s so he can trick you into thinking he might still be able to write something of the quality of 'PAC MAN FEVER' and other hit singles

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2021, 11:24:58 PM »
The last great song Ray Davies wrote was Come Dancing in 1982. He's written some decent stuff since then, but the pickings are slim.

His lofty reputation is entirely based upon the work he produced in the '60s and '70s. But I don't begrudge him that, as pretty much everything he wrote during his prolific golden age was fantastic. Genius is finite. 

daf

  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2021, 12:09:43 AM »
The last great song Ray Davies wrote was Come Dancing in 1982.

I think Scattered is even better (which would bump it up to 1993 for me)

FerriswheelBueller

  • CaB rear of the year 2020
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • Take it easy, but take it.
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2021, 12:27:10 AM »
The Mountain Goats - no, they’re just starting to heat up. Or stay hot I suppose. 4 records in 3 years, and some of my favourite stuff from their 25+ year catalogue is on them.

Stewart Lee is looking like an overripe pear in the fruit bowl (physically and metaphorically). He’s terrific but starting to go.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2021, 12:29:23 AM »
I think Scattered is even better (which would bump it up to 1993 for me)

That's a lovely song, yes, but as I say - slim pickings post-82.

The Mollusk

  • spirit ditties of no tone
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2021, 07:17:48 AM »
Stewart Lee is looking like an overripe pear in the fruit bowl (physically and metaphorically). He’s terrific but starting to go.

That song with Asian Dub Foundation was quite a low point I thought. Embarrassing dad rock shite which ten years ago could have easily been served up as some sort of parody of itself.

Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
Re: Your heroes, are they PAST IT?
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2021, 08:07:14 AM »
That song with Asian Dub Foundation was quite a low point I thought. Embarrassing dad rock shite which ten years ago could have easily been served up as some sort of parody of itself.

"Coming over here, being the wrong side of fifty, taking the piss out of bigots and raising money for a refugee camp."

Tags: