I have to admit to being amused. I spent 2 of the past 3 months in the US and so I picked up on a few things on my travels. First one is that the British music industry doesn't know how to capitalise on stateside trends or success stories. Shaggy is one point in question... if it was released when people WANTED it i.e mid January, then it would have done even better then it did... same with Nelly Furtardo. Also that the American invasion isn't just one way. While in the US I saw Badly Drawn Boy, Blur, Coldplay, Oasis, Travis, The Corrs, Muse, U2 and even Belle & Sebastian, to name but a few, on the newly launched US MTV2... we are hitting America hard and fast... it just isn't being publicised or noticed as much as the US-UK state of affairs
Also bands like the veteran Stone Temple Pilots and Outkast (Bombs Over Baghdad and Mrs Jackson are 2 examples of the class the latter band possess.) right through to new blood like Lifehouse, Mudvayne, They Might Be Giants (currently being used for a BBC2's 'Malcolm In The Middle' promotion advert) and 3 Doors Down (one of THE best bands of the moment) are HUGE stateside yet are mostly unknown here. One point in question is Lifehouse.
'Hanging By A Moment' is one of THE biggest songs in America, has been for a few months and in one of the mails I received I saw them mentioned, the company shall remain nameless, and so I mailed them asking if it was to be released as a single in the UK due to it's HUGE selling in the States. I got a reply from the company saying not only was that not expected to happen but the company has no plans for the band in the UK at ALL.
However, it seems that one band I picked up in America ARE set for some UK coverage and they are Crazy Town. Crazy Town fit the Limp Bizkit mould perfectly in look and in some cases sound. I have got a 4 track promo from Columbia including the one song getting constant US airplay and 3 other songs.
First track 'Toxic' is carrying on the trend of scratching used by Linkin Park and Slipknot with some Fred Durst style vocals over the top. That isn't a criticism, but in the current climate it is nothing that isn't being done already.
'B-Boy 2000' however, is a touch of class. Imagine the Beastie Boys or Cypress Hill or, even in some cases, Busta Rhymes, over the top of Rob Zombie's remixed stuff and that nails this. It crosses the gangsta rap and nu-wave metal sound perfectly.
Now, for the main track. 'Butterfly' is a song I dedicated to a friend of mine when I was over in the US, so coming back to find out it is going to be released here bought a huge smile to my face. It is a song that has a calming feel and lyrics to die for. I know how absurd it sounds, but to me, it is what would happen if Chris De Burgh and Sisqo were one person... 'Lady In Red'/'Thong Song' cross-over. Yet again the scratching is used, but as a break, and sounds like it is actually GOOD for the song rather then prosthetic.
Last song 'Only When I'm Drunk' goes into the new Cypress Hill/Kid Rock territory of rapping over guitars but, for once, it doesn't sound like they are trying to cash in on the current success of this genre.
All in all, I HONESTLY think this band have got a hell of a future stateside and over here with the 'alternative' subculture, but in the UK main stream, they will be one hit wonders with 'Butterfly'... but what a one hit it is!!!
8Colin Weston's Score