I have to admit it’s interesting and a bit unsettling to hear music I revered as a youngster now old enough to have passed through lameness, into irrelevance, stopping briefly as ironic, and now into full-fledged and legitimate influential sound. The late-80s and early-90s were when the rise of “Alternative” was still exciting and subversive of the dominate music scene and industry—this was before Hot Topic and Sony Music subverted the whole deal into one big marketing ploy. But now we’ve come full circle and those jangly guitars and quirky vocal stylings don’t sound so put on. They almost sound…fresh.
Los Angeles band Local Natives get it. They hear the ring of Johnny Marr‘s guitar on post-Smiths session work as more than effects-laden chiming. They hear the poly-rhythmic stick clicks coming from Adam & the Ants as more than a white boy nod to tribal drums and more as a few more beats to which we can all nod our heads.
With so many new bands taking more of their fashion cues than their music inspiration from the 80s, it’s good to hear a band who understands that the Morning in America was generally met with a Sun Country Coolers hangover.