The Scene: A&R Head Office, Columbia Music, LA. At the head of a table encircled by suit-wearing scouts, a man with cocaine crumbling from his nose and an empty stare is smoking a cigar. He coughs and passes copies of the following memo around the silent desk.
WANTED! GARAGE ROCK!**
Stop looking for the new Linking Parka or Blonk184, nu-metal punk boy bands have had their day and the shareholders weren't too impressed by the "fart jokes".
Stop looking for Pearl Wham obsessed singer songwriters, it turns out jeep driving single moms didn't get Staind!
Don't even think about trying to find any bands who sound remotely like U2, that stuff is too much work, we can buy up some 'indie' when it's broken.
I want you to find me a dumb rock band, who sound like The Strobes, The Hives, The White Strikes or more specifically like all those Detroit bands the kids we beat up back in the day loved so much. The more MC5, the better. If they have the right look, sign them on the spot. If they look like they need a stylist, offer them a one single deal and we'll see if any of their friends' bands make it!
Why are we doing this? Well, it turns out those ugly guys with bike chain scars are running the music press and have the record buying scum listening to their every word. And we, my friends, can really exploit this.
Go out and read these things they call "fanzines", hang out in New York for a few months, drink in every smoke drenched bar possible, talk to the heroin dealers and find out who they're supplying. Sony will enlist a stylist so you fit in and we've got piles of leather jackets left in lost property, take your pick.
Get out there and do this!
P.S. Don't forget, the annual golf tournament takes place this friday.
A year or two on and Sony head office has seen better days. It's been QUOTEdownsizedUNQUOTE. The hallway is blessed with graffiti all over a line of Warhol reproductions and bronze Andrew WK discs. The red scrawl, done by some fired work experience head of marketing, reads: "Exploit'n'Retro!"
The MD now sits on Kazaa all day and sports blood-shot eyes hidden behind some huge black glasses, wears a slight ginger beard and is dressed from head to toe in denim. He's marching back and forwards, totally out of time to some tinny thuds spitting from his 100% replica Kiss goat's head speakers in the corner of his piss-reeking office.
The scuzz shaking his $7000 belt buckle is from the band one of his minions found, and they didn't even bother to re-record it, apparently! This unfortunate gang of tribute artists promise they don't want to be famous; they are The Mooney Suzuki, which is one of the worst band names in the history of the universe. They play dumb music for dumb people. They have big guitar solos sound-tracking a drink-driving Dukes of Hazard remake. The goat's hand-clapping. They really try every trick in the crumpled up book, psychedelic keys, tambourines, wah-wah pedals; and yet through all of it, even throwing in a 5-minute indulgent ballad ('THE BROKEN HEART') there isn't a song, a hook or a gen-u-whine scratch of emotion. Even **Spinal Tap had SONGS!
'Electric Sweat' is the last "Garage-Punk" record. Period.
The past is DEAD. Retro is OUT. Fat old blokes in leather and Ironic Maiden T-shirts are NOT cool! This record is a pin-badge covered bag of shit and wouldn't have registered in the '70s! This album is full of pub-rock Doors and talks throughout about doing something that it doesn't even have the twinkle in the eye for. This is a desperate attempt to re-enact any of those battles with this world we knew and loved. 'Electric Sweat' is a collection of other people's songs with the soul torn out of them and lots of "Yeahs!", "Heys!" and "Oh, oh yeah!" thrown in to make it sound FRESH and yuhknow, like they're enjoying it.
Feel free to get this to check out the wake, then for fucksake take it back and get something by any or all of the bands who defined the '70s. And really, it would've been much cheaper to put out a Ramones tribute album. Rest in peace Dee Dee. Rest in peace Jimi. Rest in peace Sonymusic, Universal, Emi...
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