The Welcomed Return of Suburban Rock

note: This post will soon be followed by a more general "blog-conscious" post about the state of our blog and a call for revitalization/re-conceptualization of Epic Mail.

Maybe I've just been back in my hometown for too long and am currently being pulled out to sea by the riptide of high school nostalgia. Maybe I've gotten burned out on all the disco-infused music I listened to in college and no longer want to listen to music with "This would be so sweet to dance to at the party tonight" in mind. Or maybe I just miss my epic bros (but not enough to go see "I Love You, Man", Dana Stevens). Whatever the reason(s), I'm currently loving the new and perhaps brief resurgence of slacker-rock that allows me to relive the glory days of late night driving/screaming to Pavement, Weezer (ugh), Built to Spill, and Modest Mouse. I can only listen to that collection of albums so much before I feel anachronistic and trapped by my musical past.

The new slacker-rockers I'm referring to are Cymbals Eat Guitars and Suckers. Both bands have been all over Pitchfork et al, and they both are living up to the hype. I don't know their back stories that well and honestly I don't really care that much. CEG (sorry, I'm only capable of typing that awful name once) have an unbelievable album out now in digital form called "Why There Are Mountains." All nine tracks perfectly synthesize the cosmic guitars of BTS, the jangle and rambling of Pavement, and the grit both vocally and production-wise of Modest Mouse but without sounding merely derivative; itt plays like a lost gem of the mid-nineties. The other band, Suckers, from Brooklyn, are releasing an EP this Spring and seem to have a similar musical approach. "It Gets Your Body Movin'" has plenty of desperate group vocals that would allow a car full of bros to, in a slight revision of Ari from Entourage, "yell it out."

One last bit: I realize these bands both have horrible names. The only thing I can say to that is that their predecessors have equally stupid names when you think about them for more than two seconds. Pavement? I can't even think of a humorous situation in which bandmates might arrive at such a name. Modest Mouse? I even reMEMber thinking that was "raaaaaandom" in middle school. My point is that they're in good company and soon we'll get used to the poor choice of names... that is if they don't follow the debut album boom and bust trend of the myspace era.

So get on hypemachine, download their stuff, gather up some bros, choose a driver, and spend the night singing these guys' songs at the top of your lungs. And give me a call - I've had to pull an Alanis Morisette and imagine copies of myself in the car with me.



I have a serious problem with the label "slacker rock" when it comes to this Suckers band. Notwithstanding the fact that they really really really suck (suggesting laziness), just what about them makes you want to call them "slackers"? This in no way sounds like a throwback to the early or mid 90's to me, and if it's "retro," at all, it owes much more to the post-rock of the early 00's, with a little incongruous whistling thrown in. It's got a little of the anthemic qualities of the Arcade Fire and their spawn going on towards the end as well. Dave, I know you love slacker rock as much as I do. Respect the terminology. And turn up the Superchunk.

Daves n' Davin' said...

Point taken. I really just wanted to write about Cymbals Eat Guitars and I was reaching for a unifying theme for my post. I agree that another comparison could be Arcade Fire but what made me group Suckers with "slacker rock" was the fact that they're not danceable - the only and best forum to listen to them (that one song at least) seems to me to be in the car, thus hearkening back to my over-arching motif. I'm not trying to write an indie rock dictionary, Matt. Why so serious? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5rDVIUC9z4

jessica said...

"for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises."
-- virginia woolf, "the mark on the wall"

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