The Joy Formidable – Back To Nothing
Have you ever strolled upon one of the numerous YouTube reaction videos of rap fans first-time hearing Bohemian Rhapsody? Or any other rock song, for that matter. Invariably the video creators look amazed, pretend they’ve never heard it, and remark that it “sounds big“.
The charm wears off quickly. However, this reveals one thing. Certainly, rock has remained the go-to music genre for bombast. People who never listen to rock will bob their head, flash the devils’ horns and yell out whenever they encounter a song with guitars. It could even be the Bee Gees. Rock is expected to entertain in the same way that a big action or fantasy picture would.
Using that rationale, The Joy Formidable’s Back To Nothing is created to draw in even the least rock-oriented audiences. The music and accompanying video are grand. The production is also large and menacing. Vocals are dreamy yet confident. It’s pop-art for people sed to watching their dramas on the big screens.
Sharkorama – Wicked Machine
All types of professional therapies eventually end up talking about the subject’s childhood, looking to find a link between their current behaviour and the events that helped shape their personality.
Rightfully or not, certain traumatic events will end up being highlighted as moments that irrevocably moulded the personality and worldview of the subject. With that in mind, I find it difficult to understand why favourite books, the number of hours spent watching television, or how much pocket money went into purchasing records never gets brought up. I ain’t no doctor, but I figure that the many days spent in a dark room listening to Black Sabbath’s early records on poor quality vinyl has to have played a part in my upbringing.
Cody Knauer sounds like the kind of kid that spent a long time in the company of television, books, and music. These influences sip through on the comfortable rock Wicked Machine. The tune finds Knauer’s storytelling centred around the menacing power of his first car. Garage-rock guitars sway in and out of the song in the tradition of the old, great American road tunes. It’s much for slacking off in meaningful ways.