Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wrecking Force

I can't help but feel anger over the announcement of Voxtrot breaking up. Not because a band is breaking up, since that happens every day and can happen to any band. No, I'm just quite peeved at how this band had a lot of praise and momentum and then seemingly zilch once their self-titled debut album arrived.

Why I'm peeved is that I never believed the ultra-negative response to Voxtrot was justified. As I've listened to tracks from the album over the years, I will say I lean more towards songs from the EPs prior to it, but the songs on Voxtrot are not bad at all. I could never understand why writers who almost universally praised everything these guys did so quickly dismissed the band and any semblance of fandom post-Voxtrot.

I'm one to talk about loving one album by a band but not being as enthusiastic about their next (hello, Modest Mouse), but there's a big difference between that and completely disowning any fandom of a band. Seeing that makes me wonder: did these people actually like this band and want to see them grow, or were they living too much in the moment and just liking this because it was new?

The response to Voxtrot was not completely negative. There were enthusiastic reviews, but none as enthusiastic for their first two EPs (at least the ones I read). And judging by the blogs and a certain message board I frequented in 2007, the response was ice cold. My only comment about the album at the time was, "Sounds like Ramesh can now hear himself sing, but otherwise this sounds like Voxtrot and it's pretty good."

This reminds me of how I have a lot of hesitation towards getting too involved with new acts. I'll give stuff a listen if I think it's worth my time, but I'm hesitant to believe what a PR rep spams me in my e-mail inbox folder. Lately I've been enjoying the sounds of Tindersticks, a band that has a half-dozen releases under their belts and have been around since the early 1990s. The same goes with Richard Hawley. The same goes for Scott Walker's out-of-print albums from the early 70s. It's just a matter of responding to what's really affecting me, and that's not a guarantee it will be a band that's five months old who just put out an EP that's streaming on MySpace.

Unfortunately, I look at the rapid ascent and post orgasmic chill of Voxtrot as a reminder that hipsters can't always be trusted.

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