Unsung Rock: Let The Comeback Commence
Will rock and roll come to the fore again? That’s the question many have been asking as soft-core rappers, pop idols and Disney pin-ups continue to dominate the charts. But recently, the nesting grounds of these artists have started to welcome some of the world’s biggest bands with open arms.
For a while now, the BRITs have been a haven for pop music in general, and on the surface at least this year was no exception, with Adele and One Direction the big winners.
And yet, just as the ceremony drew to a close, millions of people across the nation were able to unmute their television to hear Britpop legends Blur rip through a 5 piece set that included both Song 2 and Parklife. All of a sudden, everyone was talking about Damon Albarn and co.
More recently, V Festival announced its line-up – and whereas last year Eminem shared the headlining honours with Arctic Monkeys, in 2012 an all rock double act of The Killers and The Stone Roses will top the bill, backed up by performances from Snow Patrol and Noel Gallagher. There were a few that moaned about this year’s line-up, but the demand was still at record levels with the ticketing website crashing from mass traffic as soon as sales opened.
What’s my point here? If anything, it’s that rock music, in all its varieties, is making a comeback. The demand has been rising for a while now, and all of a sudden that demand has been realised by the high-profile names in music. We’re expecting albums from both headliners this year, as well as the likes of The Strokes, Muse, Biffy Clyro, Razorlight and more. These are all pretty much nailed-to-the-wall No.1’s, and no doubt the year will crop up with some surprises as well.
Of course, it won’t all happen in a year. This trend will have to continue for quite a while before rock music regains its place as the dominant force in music. But recent signs are very encouraging, and you can be sure that Unsung Rock will be reporting, analysing and generally getting excited about everything that comes next.
For now, we’ll all have to be patient. You can, however, indulge yourselves in my recurring closing piece, the Picks of the Week…
The Maccabees – Feel To Follow
Feel to Follow is as soothing as it is catchy. It acts as the stand-out track of their recent album Given To The Wild, and provides proof that alt-rock needn’t be heavy or blaring. It is, in fact, one of the best chillout songs you’ll likely to get for a very long while, and while it won’t make any waves as the band play it on tour, it will bring delight to all those that have the pleasure of listening to it.
The Enemy – Gimme The Sign
The folks behind the acclaimed track that now acts as the theme tune to ITV’s FA Cup coverage are set to have a big 2012, with festival slots and a new album all inbound. The band’s first single on their new record, Streets in the Sky, is an absolute corker. Everything, from the drums to the bass to the electric guitar is on full blast, and by the time frontman Tom Clarke sings the defining lyric “And he’s only moving slowly, cos it’s moving so much faster in your mind”, you’ll be hooked. Best of all, the track is totally free at the band’s website.
You, the reader, are invited to join in. Heard any great Unsung Rock? You can e-mail Dan with your suggestions for ‘Picks of the Week’ at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to tune in for the next Unsung Rock too, featuring an interview with Sound Of Guns guitarist Lee Glynn.