Rock Music Today

Here we have it, Ryan’s smug and unjustified quickie reviews of today’s modern and largely caucasian rock bands. Special coverage of all of today’s “the” bands…the shins, the killers, the bravery, the strokes, the rapture, the walkmen, the kaiser chiefs, the jalapenos, the stallones, the…

The Killers: Contrived.
Faint: Too electro.
Futureheads: Too fast.
Arcade Fire: Who’d’ve guessed they did that one shitty song I always thought was from the Modest Mouse cd I stopped listening to? Otherwise, not so bad.
Kaiser Chiefs: I predict a riot.
The Thrills: Worst band of the last 20 years. ’Big Sur’ = worst song of the last 150 years. Poor Man’s Belle and Sebastian. Worst lead singer voice in the history of lead singer voices.
The Kills: Merge the killers and the thrills and you get the kills. Merge their reviews and you get the most contrived and worst band of the last 20 years. Do the math, you can’t argue with math.
Si Se: I saw you, walking in the rain. You were solidly 5% listenable.
Sam Prekop: Should be our national spokesperson. 90% listenability.
Kasabian: New mancunian. New and unimpressive.
Rapture: Bad rip-off artists. Unlistenable. Blatant theft of Bowie’s ’five years’ made me turn it off.
Mando Diao: Worthless. Utterly without merit.
Stellastarr*: Is the girl a hottie? Maybe hottie-but-not-quite-shirley-manson-level of “band chick hottie”? I just can’t tell, my co-co-co.
Muse: When head is full of last night’s alcohol, this band can bring me to tears. 85-90% listenability on a hangover. 30-40% all other times.
Doves: Not shabby. See muse notes.
Broken Social Scene: Just couldn’t get past their horrible album title and trite band name. On the upside at least they are not a “the” band i.e. the broken social scenes.
Ambulance LTD: Boring but listenable. Good to do work to. Once.
LCd Soundsystem: Pass.
Walkmen: Great.
Bravery: Truly horrible – and I bought it. Go back to bad ska, mister what’s-your-name. Rubbish.
Hives: Ok for a 20-minute album. The second song is begging to be played in a bad austin powers commercial. It’s bad. I was talked into buying Tyrannosaurus Hives by my hairstylist and later realized I already had it on iPod. Never listen to either version.
Secret Machines: Worst lyricist on the planet. And I bought it. Another hairstylist tip. Shame.
Kings of Leon: Both albums rock the fucking house. You will not convince me otherwise. They look like 12-year-olds and they rock.
Bloc Party: Not bad. First half can be good. 50-60% listenability. That song about gas has to go.
Black Keys: Can rock. Very derivative and white. Give me the real deal. In lieu of that, ok these white guys. 30% listenability.
Shins: Good. Please stop playing country. Wait – ok, you can play some country but let’s not make it the focus guys.
Bees: This album is being released stateside at the end of the week. Sorry to pan it in advance but a survey of UK version says 20% listenability – akin to listening to an album by those people that sang ’kites are fun’ – brief, novel, and ultimately soulless.
Kings of Convenience: As much as I like the KoC, I admit both albums are about 20% listenability max.
Spoon: Bad name. As such the music reminds me of taking medicine as a lad.
Jet: 10% listenability awarded for re-christening roll over beethoven into a modern-day oft-annoying stomper.
My Morning Jacket: They are in danger of rating high on the smug factor. 70% listenability and declining in direct proportion to the smugincrease.
Polyphonic Spree: Tripping Daisy, I miss you. Lose the robes and work on the songs Tim.
Dears: I like them, what of it. Me and the Moz we’re fans.
Air: RoboGeniusLove. Last album is the worst. 10,000hZ is their crown jewel and you will never convince me otherwise so don’t try.
Postal Service: 70% listenability. Much better than when iron and wine covers them.
Iron and Wine: Great when not covering the postal service. Have yet to actually finish hearing any full album; unable to stay awake.
Raveonettes: Blah, the cup I tried was very bland. First song was good. The next 19 songs all sounded like the first song but slightly worse.
White Stripes: Bleh. Saw them for $5 in downtown LA playing to a crowd of 20 people in 2000. Jack = great. Meg = horrid.
Dandy Warhols: Yech! Two good songs out of 15-odd years making music? How long have they been around?
Brian Jonestown Etc…I once downloaded their entire catalog, free, from the official band site. 100% props for this. How are they making money?
Strokes: Still like ’em, but can’t stomach the bland live show. 50% listenability for the second album. 40% for the first. 0% for live.
Interpol: Good 60% listenable album. Get out — they have a second album? Why? And ew! Carlos bassist slinking around on stage = bad visual for later cd listenings.
I am the world trade center: 15% listenability.
I am Kloot: No, you are the world trade center – didn’t you read above.
Har Mar SuperStar: Oh please just go away, chubby pauly shore guy.
Hot Hot Heat: Always confuse them with Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Don’t listen to either. Wait – Yeahs has a girl singer. Yep, don’t listen to either.
Morgan Geist / Metro Area: Unclassic with a solid 45% listenability.
Cat Power: Listenable. Nothing more or less. You don’t blame me.
Liz Phair: That one song about “why can’t” killed her for me. Actually everything after whip-smart killed her for me.
Dean Wareham: Can do no foreseeable wrong.
Jimmy Gnecco/Ours: Good set of pipes. Live shows create a massive urging in my chest to throw roses and chant “jimmy smits! Smits!” for some reason.
Ash: Not bad. Live shows create massive urge to shout “Ash! Aaaaaash!” for obvious reasons.
Graham Coxon: Bad name reminds me of grade school snacking. Bad blur-less band.
Beck: Way more smug than me. He’s been recently tainted in my book due to the infamous ’ticket sale incident’ in february 2005 followed by a scientology tsunami benefit show that lasted all of 20 minutes.
Damien Rice: crooned me to sweet tears of boredom and harmony. Props for cello usage.
Ed Harcourt: Makes me want to shout “Ed!!! Ed!!!!! Aaaaaaash! Smits!” live
Starsailor: 70% rubbish until the techno remixes magically transform them into 60% listenable.
Black Rebel Moto-Cross Club: Were sort of boring in a jesus and mary chain way.
Scissor Sisters: Excellent. 10% listenability subtracted for unnecessary pink floyd cover.
Snow Patrol: Left me extraordinarily bored.
Zutons: Left me sort of bored.
Franz Ferdinand: Saw them at wiltern. What in the hell is the big deal about. Stood next to beck. Beck looked happy. I just looked smug and pissed off. 10% listenability awarded for two short parts of two different songs. The rest is pure chaff.
Libertines: Almost 1/2 as good as the clash were 25 years ago. What’s this about a second album and the one guy now being in babyshambles? Ah not worth the bother. Piss off.
The Darkness: Are you freaking joking me. Yes, you are.
Keane: 5% listenability. Points only for the “everybody’s changing, and soon I’ll be 21” song. A few bonus points for the “we might as well be strangers” song sounding eerily like a bad eric carmen moment from the late 70s. I could get into that, yeah. And that’s what scares me the most.
Madlib: Can do no wrong. Will never do wrong. Even when the latest quas album sounds so smoked out I can’t stomach it – I know that deep down something is being enriched and definitely doing no wrong. 100% listenability even when I hate it.
M. Ward: I keep referencing Waits when describing. Must not be all bad. 40% listenability.
Bright Eyes: Nowhere approaching Dylan. STOP SAYING THAT. Not every generation gets a Dylan and if we do get one it is not this guy. Acoustic: 7-10% listenability; upgraded to 65% when with full band.
Joseph Arthur: Props for the massive power outage at the troubadour. 30% listenability. Can veer higher if Jon Brion plays but doesn’t sing.
Jack Johnson: Alongside Tony Bennett, has the honor of being on the short list of people who have literally put me to sleep at a concert. Is that so bad?
Black Jack Johnson: Is really a secret name for mos def. Name does not mean he is an african american surfer folksinger. Saw at coachella once. Unrelated to the one that put me to sleep. Props.
DJ Shadow: Falls under electronic / DJ list and that means we are getting off-topic and it is time to stop.

Ok – that’s the list, folks. I expect hate mail so don’t disappoint. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go fix a cup of smug tea and listen to my eno LPs in the nude.