Tapestry of Webs
Out in the wilds of Seattle, the grunge movement has melted with the winter snows leaving behind the more firmly rooted rock and soil of punk. But in an era groping for an exciting new musical direction, even the 40-year tropes of punk rock look weak and wounded, leaving the generic tag “indie rocker” as the default handle for hundreds of bands. They pace and practice and refine their chops, even as they wait for someone to start a new trend. With gangsta rap on NPR, disco a viable hipster option, and Lady GaGa our best and brightest hope, we are sadly in need of fresh directions.
Past Lives is emblematic of this ennui — they possess sufficient technical skills to hold together a pseudo-melodic rhythm and enough gumption to get a few albums on Amazon, but they lack any identifying marks to separate them from the indie alt-rock crowd and make you think, “THAT’S a band I want to see live!” Opening cut “Paralyser” doesn’t paralyze so much as makes you look for the channel flipper, and “Falling Spikes” mashes up some punk vocals and a noisy guitar line as if they’re trying to sneak an unreleased Siouxsie Sioux demo past the kids today. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, but always with a calculated energy, this indie band finds itself in the middle of a crowded field, seeking a way to make gas money on tour. I hope they make it, but competition is stiff.
Suicide Squeeze: www.suicidesqueeze.net