Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting excited in a jaded world

I want you to cast your mind back. Go back to the last time that you heard a song by a band and thought YES! That's it. Then you bought the album. You loved that too, and with a hungry passion you set about finding everything by that artist. A great time.

That doesn't happen for me anymore. Well, not until quite recently. Let me give you some background on why.

It's the eighties.
Sick of mainstream music, I started listening to a genre called (back then) Heavy Metal. Men with hair larger than the ridiculously sized drum risers sported by their drummers, swaggered across the stadiums of the world singing songs about kicking arse and taking names. I wanted to live in L.A and have a go at killing myself through drink and one night stands with strippers. I grew my hair long and formed friendships that would last until this very day.

Needless to say that you couldn't be the king of rock without a band, so with some fairly likeminded pals I formed a band, that after a few permutations became the entity known as Sheet Metal.

For over a decade the Sheet Metal machine created tunes that we liked, and *I* liked, but I found myself changing. Creating my music was fine, but now I knew the workings of music I could pick out how that song that I loved ten years previously had been recorded. How that voice that had sounded so emotive and thick in timbre was just a relatively ordinary guy double or triple tracking his voice. I had opened Pandora's Box and I was jaded and sad about the fact that I had spoiled music for myself.

From time to time I would find myself getting into a band or an artist, but after a while I would start to recognise when they had lost their way. The familiar signs of musical dead ends and the stale well trodden paths shown on their previous work starting to get rehashed yet again into new burnt offerings would then immediately turn me off. don't get me wrong - I know that creativity can be a hit and miss affair, but as a kid growing up I used to think of my musical heroes as invincible super humans who could do no wrong. Slighted, I would go off and sulk.

There was no way out for me. Music was a dead medium, limited by the glass ceiling of human creativity.

So, coming back to the present day and a major haircut later, I’m happy to report that I have visited music in the hospital and (for me at least) it’s recovering well after a shot of a wonderful drug called Laudanum. Apparently it grows in a forest.

Having been privy to the works of this outstanding (and unsigned) musical act I have to say that whilst some of their tracks are not an immediately easy listen, they are all growers. I am actually excited when I put their CD in the machine, and from the first bars of the intro I can feel my jaded bones getting some much needed audio relief. The music is impeccably done, and challenges whilst giving the listener what they need. Lyrically the delivery and content of the songs tell us familiar and classic stories. Love, lost love, madness, violence, addiction to violence and betrayal are all represented in the Laudanum Forest canon.

I’m working on a track with them now on a site called Sellaband. You can visit their Sellaband profile here and their website here.

I’m excited about music again……. I just want to share that excitement with you.