It’s probably to classify music in terms of trends, but what does it mean that more and more bands are making there mark with fast, breathless and distortion laden slices of the much maligned genre of garage rock ?
Garage rock is a very laden term, it congers images of a very masculine testosterone driven american answer to the British phenomenon of Lad rock. Originating as a slightly dirtier answer to its guitar driven 60’s cousin, surf rock, Garage rock has changed in its history. As with most things in modern guitar music we can trace it’s current form back to the Strokes- in particular to 2003’s sublime “Room On Fire”. Dirtier, faster and more confident than the equally masterful Is This It it was garage rock at it’s absolute best.
It’s this essence that many bands are capturing now, nay-sayers may slag the frenetic guitars and racing bass lines off for being shallow but I think it still has a place in the current music landscape.
Look at the sublime Spring King, or the fantastic Oscar, or the superbly fun thrash of Vant, or even the criminally under appreciated Big Moon. All of these bands are making essentially fun guitar driven songs. And I think there is still most definitely still a need for this sort of thing, you’ve got to remember at it’s most basic level rock and roll music is just essentially fun. And with so much dreary and subdued music out there I think garage rock definitely has a place.
And whilst of course music should try and tread into emotional and intellectual areas that may be considered taboo or as of yet unexplored, It still needs to capture peoples imaginations, to excite people. Spring King”s “Rectifier” sums this up perfectly, gunshot snares and a racing baseline proper this song along to its heady hight and listening to this song you can totally understand why music needs to excite people.
In all, garage rock is never going to be looked upon in the way people look upon it’s more experimental cohort, but frankly it doesn’t matter, because it’s just plain old fashioned exciting, which is what rock music is, isn’t it ?