Nuggets 2.0

A few months ago, I posted an article lamenting the death of creativity in guitar playing.  I lamented the fact that a lack of creativity in guitar playing would ultimately lead to the end of rock and roll.  Now, as I write this, the situation seems even worse.  Critically acclaimed (at least by Pitchfork Media) indie pop band The Pains of Being Pure At Heart (Fall Out Boy song title-cum-wimpy band name) use a guitar sound perfectly ripped off from C86; it’s nearly postmodern indie pop, which tends to undercut any emotional impact the lyrics may have.   The hardest riffs of the twenty-first century were played by Death From Above 1979- on a bass.  And like it or not, No Age and Boris can’t save rock and roll by themselves.

But the difference now is that I don’t actually care about the death of the guitar, because I have seen rock and roll’s future, and it is dance music.  In some ways, this is a revival of the late 90s “electronica is the new rock” craze, but there’s a subtle difference here- now it’s “electronic music is the new garage rock!”

Yes, garage rock.  Sloppy garage rock.  Sloppy, fantastic, Nuggets-worthy garage rock.  And it’s largely because of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Their new album, It’s Blitz, is a strange kind of departure from their previous indie rock sound.  They are now a largely electronic band. but they do not sound like obsessively programmed electronica.  They don’t even sound quite as professional as Fat of the Land-era Prodigy.  They do, however, sound fantastic. 

First single Zero might as well be the New York Dolls translated into a dance anthem- it’s primitive, rough, and near out of tune.  And this makes it absolutely amazing.  Zero is one of the most organic electronic songs I’ve ever heard, because it is a rock song, but not a rock song that could be done with guitar, bass, and drums.  This is the true dance-punk, this is the true nu-rave, this is rock and roll.

A few days ago, I talked to a member of the electronic group Bluebird Handwriting.  He told me going electronic was the easiest and cheapest way to make good music.   Sounds an awful lot like garage to me.

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3 Responses to “Nuggets 2.0”

  1. Fabulous news, great review. Garage (or basement) will never die, just re-invent.

  2. Their performance of zero was incredibly terrible

  3. on saturday night live, i dont know why i didnt just specify thatLOZL

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