One flipside of the wave of optimism that swept Obama to power is the view expressed in grandiose terms byTiny Mix Tapes to the effect that we live in an age conscious of “the impending sense of annihilation that pervades this particularly nebulous point in history”.
This dystopic (‘no we can’t’?) perspective seems more in tune with the so called ‘Shitgaze’ generation, children of no revolution but who are nevertheless fired up with a Punk spirit of DIY ethics and petulant disdain for all that is shiny, bright and clean.
‘Shitgaze’ is a charming label ( a corruption of ‘shoegaze’) that came about by accident, being a throwaway line by Matt Whitehurst , the front man of Columbus three piece Psychedelic Horseshit.
Whitehurst is also reported as expressing the view that nowadays people spend too much time writing bullshit on their computers instead of getting out and saying things so is unlikely to be reading this post. Personally I think he’s either too young or too dumb to recognise that sometimes words can speak just as loudly as actions. Let’s face it there wouldn’t be a great deal of point of him writing a snide song like ‘New Age Hippies’ otherwise. This aims to set down a marker to where there are coming from and what they are against. Songs like this and downer anthems like ‘Bad Vibrations’ set the tone of what counts as real ‘shitgaze’.
Shitgaze songs are short, shouted more than sung and have a defiantly cheap Lo-Fi production. The distorted sound and absence of finesse is in keeping with their ‘we’re from garage land’ ethos. I’ve being casting my seasoned subcultured eyes and applying my de-constructional skills(!) on this mutant genre.
It is music that on first impression might be dismissed by some as a passing fad but my conclusion is that it is not a fad and therefore not passing – but neither is it anything new.
Each generation wants to establish a distinct identity and this often means dissing all that has gone before. In general I see this as a healthy thing but it cannot be denied that for 50-somethings like myself the ‘bold new sound’ of Psychedelic Horsehit and other bands of their ilk such as Times New Viking, Blank Dogs, Eat Skull and No Age, sound remarkably like the ‘bold new sound’ of yesteryear.
It’s hard not to hear elements of The Clash, The Fall, Pavement or Joy Division as you hum along.
I’m not for a minute saying there’s anything wrong in this per se, just don’t try to sell me a pig in a poke..