Baithead – Baithead, Pt. 2
I like to have my Universe pulled upside down at least once in a while. I think of myself as someone with a pretty intimate knowledge of most styles of rock, but like the goth kid invited to a beach party, I’ve observed and admired ska, for the most part, from a distance.
Frankly, it’s just a bit too sweet for me usually, like someone dropping a couple of lumps of sugar in your coffee without asking first. Well, Baithead might have had to deal with this stereotype throughout their career and they’ve had enough of people as ignorant as me. Baithead, Pt. 2, is their angry Bohemian Rhapsody, a song where they pull all the stops, a tune in which they remind everyone that, after all, ska was the music of choice for most of the early punk and hardcore bands.
The tune is the band’s variant of controlled chaos. Their playing is excellent, switching effortlessly from sounds seemingly designed to tear someone’s head off to music made to enjoy while sipping lemonade by the beach. Entertaining as the concept is, it would, most likely, all fall apart were it not for the fact that these folks can really play and the singer, damnit, could stay in tune while standing on his head. Well deserving of respect.
Lord Huron – “Not Dead Yet”
Like it or not, the history of our pop culture, regardless of where you were born and raised, is tied to early rock n’ roll like the histories of the automobile, or the hula-hoop. It’s debatable how much it means to your life, certainly. But, at the end of the day, it’s undeniably a moment that has become part of our common fabric, of the way that we understand recent history.
Rock’s preferred tool for communication, the three-minute single, has become just as ubiquitous. We expect it to soundtrack our joys and our sorrows, make sense of our stories, accompany our art, our trash, and our entertainment. Other forms of songwriting exist and thrive, but none have managed to speak of our lives in quite the same way.
Lord Huron have made a name for themselves writing these sort of moody sonic telegrams. Not Dead Yet, with its enigmatic, charming video providing support is a familiar pull on the old heartstrings, yet one that few are going to be able to resist. It’s rock n’ roll reshaped and employed to soundtrack a familiar blues that, as far as we know, is here to stay.