Jon Wahl and the Amadans
We’re back on it again. Meditating on music history. Each new compact disc is a nail in the coffin of our musical heritage. Not that these punk-ass musicians won’t acknowledge it. They think it’s still clever to pilfer from cultural traditions with a cynical veneer. Shitheads.
So, album after album is released. Whatever trend it is. Take the cult of Pavement and the subsequent, malignant offshooting of band after band of sloppy guitar rock. Before that, look at the Sub Pop label for your all-encompassing definition of the contemporary musical climate.
I know, I know, I know. That’s just how it works. Every genre-pandering piece of plastic contributes to a miserable, heavy-set history. It’s part of music. I’m starting to wonder if I even like music.
The math: 400 records a month are sent into this magazine you’re reading. I get hot under the collar to hear some new music, for whatever reason. In this case, Jon Wahl’s Sour Suite is on Birdman Records, a label that has released several Boredoms albums in the past couple of years, and for that alone should be given some kind of grant.
Let me define this album for you. So you know what you might get yourself into. Guitars, trendy Merle Haggard fetishism, occasional blasts of mundane noise, to exemplify Sour Suite’s everlasting modernity. A bunch of songs that sound remarkably similar. Overwrought self-awareness, epitomized in the Bryan Ferry-like histrionic vocal inflection and soulless “diary entry” liner notes. A couple of reasonably interesting songs like the cover of “Blue Moon,” titled “Bloooo Moooon” (which should give you an idea of the sensibilities at work on this album). “Maybe,” one of the few tracks that shirk the thrift-store country irony, in favor of an ’80s rock with feel, the new chic appeal, if Andrew W.K. + a leper colony of rapping cock rockers.
It’s just another album to avoid at your local record store. Pick up a Boredoms album instead. Or maybe Wahl’s earlier band, Clawhammer, if you’re really pressed for something clever to say to your well-dressed friends.
Jon Wahl: http://www.jonwahl.com