It’s not as easy as you might think, telling the world how fucked off you are. Not if you want to avoid sounding like a mewling, self-fixated little virus, it’s not.
Still, doing just that - and turning into Coby Dick - might shift you a few records, so maybe you too want to degrade yourself for the old green. But, before you do, remember how tired the clichés of self-hate really are. Imagine your take on them blaring out in darkened bedrooms up an down the land. And think of the ever-so-precious, unimaginative, tortured little souls still getting their kicks gouging into themselves with Swiss Army knives. They'll be the ones coming to your shows, they will. They'll be the only ones who will love you. Because to the rest of us, you'll be nothing more than a joke.
Not only is it worn out, in more than one sense it’s bloody stupid. Life’s not fair. Well, fuck no. And don’t you feel let down by it? Being different was meant to mean being special. You were probably top of your class in Primary School or something. Good work, now move on. Now’s the time to start making what you have work for you.
It’s one reason why we need bands like Nirvana, like Weezer, like Rival Schools. It's clearly not just that they’re great to jump around to. The torment Kurt Cobain felt, the debilitating self-doubt of Rivers Cuomo, so on, it's all there on record. But to listen to it is helpful, it's uplifting. Vital, even. If you’ve seen through the sickening surface of your misery, you’ve probably seen a better world. Face it, it couldn’t be much worse.
And to a lesser extent, it's for this reason that we really need bands like Peloton to carry on appearing. This lot aren’t the new Lonnie Doneghan, or anything so startling, but they are sincere, a bit pissed off, and fleetingly exciting at times. Most crucially, they don’t sound anything like Papa Roach. Although they’ve got a long way to go just yet, Peloton can still extract warmth from from my ice cold soul.
'Dissolve' battles gamely through the fog of depression and existential crisis. Never mind the fact that it sounds a bit like The Hindu Times being played by Eugenius, that doesn’t really matter. Here, everything is lost. It turns around on itself a great many times, sinks and rises hypnotically. ‘You’re not yourself’, Emma intones. It’s a grand swipe at all the safety nets we surround ourselves with, a battle for escape a bit like JJ72’s 'October Swimmer'. Hard to say which of the two is the better song, which is a comment you can take however you want to.
'Loner-Chic', the other song included here, is ill-adivised sub-Pinkerton fare. Whilst the guitar crunches and snags on itself, co-vocalist Nick Portus tells us ‘And now I feel as alone as I want to be’. Misanthropy never sounded this average. Portus mithers something about alpha males, but it isn’t all that consequential. And 'Loner-Chic' is a truly horrible title.
Peloton show the kind of modest promise that could go either way. Even Loner-Chic, for it’s faults, musters a tantalizing solo that swerves away from the song as a whole at a wild tangent, and doing so, overshadows it. Don’t put your soul into this band just yet. They’re striking out in the right direction, but Lord knows if they can make it or not.
5Mark Taylor's Score