For a couple of very good reasons, it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve put up anything new. Firstly, I’ve been very busy in my day job. I’ve been bringing work home at night and doing all the stuff you tell yourself you’re not going to do, which has affected my blogging. Secondly, and more crucially, I’ve had to lie in a darkened room for most of the past fortnight after hearing the latest records by 2 tribute acts being played to death on BBC 6 Music every hour of the day.
I am referring of course to the latest singles by Black Kids and the Shout Out Louds. Two perfectly acceptable, inoffensive wee indie pop bands. Well, they would be acceptable and inoffensive if they didn’t wear their Cure influences so brazenly on their cap sleeves. Talent borrows, genius steals, but this pair rip off their favourite band’s vocal style, scrubbed nylon-stringed acoustic guitar, synthetic trumpet stabs and keyboards so much it’s quite incredible Robert Smith hasn’t put on his best crumpled suit and hi-top trainers and marched them off to the local plagiarism court for a good dose of how the fuck did you think you could get away with that? Ok. Ripping off other artists is nothing new. What goes around comes around and all that, but really. Really! These records are quite incredible. Black Kids have recently been given a shiny make over by Bernard Butler but they still sound like the Cure. Here‘s the original lo-fi version of ‘Im Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’. It still sounds like the Cure. “You are the girl…..” the singer whines at the start and you think, “Hey! Where have I heard that before?” And by the time the chorus has kicked in it’s all too clear. The remix isn’t bad, mind. The Cure mixed by Daft Punk, but not bad.
Shout Out Louds are clearly in thrall to mid-80s Cure. ‘Tonight I Have To Leave It’ sounds like a 2 Many DJs mash-up of ‘In-Between Days’ and ‘Just Like Heaven’. Actually, I quite like this record. But don’t tell anyone. Compare and contrast with The Cure’s original (vocal-free) studio demo of ‘Just Like Heaven’ and an acoustic re-recording of ‘In-Between Days’. See what I mean?
At least J Mascis is an honest fellow. He liked ‘Just Like Heaven’ so much he recorded it and put it out on sexy green vinyl 7″. And he was honest enough to admit he didn’t know how to play the end of the record, so Dinosaur Jr‘s version just. Stops. Like that. It’s noisy and there’s a funny kind of wah-wah feedback effect playing in the background. There’s the odd scary bit too. You’ll like it. Here’s another scary bit………
If J Mascis cut his hair, he couldn’t half pass for Radio Clyde’s Billy ‘I Can Exclusively Reveal’ Sloan. No?