wait, i still haven’t written about my favorite release of the year thus far? wow.
the debate murmurs eternal in my mind; what exactly is the appeal (to me) of your standard indie band. is it the farmiliarilty in hearing the things that made my heart race when built to spill or modest mouse did them done again, but with diffent drum accents and regional accents? is it that each band somehow deviates from “the formula” (any help defining exactly what that is) enough to keep it interesting (so calexico adds the desert and centro-matic add mythology and the silver jews add poetry etc.). i guess i’m curious because i can see the argument made that, from the perspective of someone who doesn’t listen to it all that much, indie rock could appear sloppy, boring, and also entirely redundant.
Ladies and Gentleman, Grand Archives are indie rock, in the most typical (fashionable, bearded, signed to sub pop, ex-band of horses dude) fashion imaginable. and they also make me want to become a botanist so i can splice seeds on the molecular level that might grow flowers that are purple and black with thick stems and strong petals but that would tear themselves apart if they get too much rainwater, and that are only able to blossom during harvest moons. if i ever made that flower, i’d freeze it and put it in Saran Wrap and send it to Grand Archives, a band built for forests and driveways and summer moons. There are moments on the band’s self titled debut where the band sounds as passionate and carefree as my favorite Saves The Day songs, and moments where they sound like they’re from Rutland Vermont (when the harmonica mops up the empty space), and there are moments when all four of the bands’ vocalists move from sloppy makeshift chorus to wedding choir. this music is all harmony.
i only know five bands from Scotland (Idlewild, Mogwai, Frightened Rabbit, Arab Strap, and The real mackenzies), and with the exception of one of those (the absolutely attrocious real mackenzies; wouldn’t it be common sense to most people that the bagpipe isn’t a good addition to already awful crust punk?) they’re all about opening up their hearts, letting you inside, and then sewing up the suture and trapping you in there. These are intense, intellegent, emotional bands, and while Idlewild have probably written the best albums, and Mogwai are probably more brilliant and out there, the fireeaters in Frightened Rabbit have been my favorite of the bunch since their most recent album The Midnight Organ Fight dropped into my lap. The album, all wide eyed and spinning, is lovesongs for people who spend all day working manual labor jobs.