Monday, 10 December 2012

Rock Narcotics

The American rock critic Joe Carducci attributes the shift in sound in the Seventies to increased cocaine use (as opposed to weed) producing a bright and brittle, cleaner, more separated-out sound, the album and the band that best symbolise that shift might be Van Halen whose first album recasts rock, previously oriented around Sabbath’s portentous and depressive heaviness, the drizzle booze and industry of glum Brum for a neon bright, effervescent, aluminium light, good time music, in essence re-fusing the glam sensibility of the New York Dolls or Cheap Trick with a rigidly codified jockish heterosexuality and an avowed intent to party all night. Kiss, their most obvious forerunners, return in the Eighties to make it big (again) with a slew of truly horrible paeans to women, wealth and crazy,crazy, nights.
“I’d tell you to enjoy life/ I wish I could but it’s too late”.
Versus the numb, tractionless hymn to purposeless physical exertion “Jump.”
“I get up/and nothing gets me down.”

Exit night, enter Hair Metal.

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