Wednesday, September 28, 2011

grouplove: never trust a happy song (canvasback)

A new somewhat scathing review (sorry Grouplove!) up on TMT:

What’s that? You’ve never heard of Grouplove? But they came 10th — TENTH! — in NME’s list of the hottest new bands of 2010. Yes, that NME. The not-all-past-its-prime, totally hip and zeitgeist savvy, trendsetting little zine out of the UK. You know... the one with Oasis on the cover.

Never Trust a Happy Song is the debut full-length from L.A. indie-poppers Grouplove, and I’m afraid to say it makes for a pretty dreadful listen. It starts well enough. Although lyrically totally nonsensical, Itching On a Photograph is a vaguely infectious sing-clap-and-whoop-along in the style of The Killers, The Thrills, and Modest Mouse. Okay, so it sounds dated. Seth Cohen was listening to this sort of thing back in 2003. But it’s tuneful enough. Definitely proficient. From there on in, however, it’s pretty much downhill all the way. The more you listen, the worse it gets. And not just in terms of the songwriting either. Never Trust a Happy Song is unremittingly hyperactive. There’s only so much of this relentlessly bland, super-duper sincere, happy-clappy drivel a man can take. It’s like being bludgeoned over the head with a massive piece of indie-pop candy cane. And it makes you wonder: who or what is this music actually for?

...For my totally incisive and incredibly well expressed answer to that question read on here

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

towards an acoustic jurisprudence

A piece I presented at the recent Critical Legal Conference in Aberystwyth is now up on the ever excellent Check it out here. A longer, far more developed version under the title 'The Soundscape of Justice' will be coming shortly in the next issue of the Griffith Law Review.