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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

School of Language - Sea From Shore [2007]

Hello all
A bit slow today I realise but life is a bitch and then you die. You must know that by now.
So who the hell are School of Language?
Don't ask me.
No, seriously. Someone told me I need to get listening to them if I want to even consider myself 'on the pulse' of what is going on in the music scene these days.
Well if this is the pulse I'd rather it was dead.
OK, they aren't the worst or even close to the worst I've heard but that doesn't save them from being pretty damn boring in my book.
this whole 'Indie' thing is a bit overrated it seems.
Didn't it used to just mean an Independent artist or label release?
Now it brings with it the assumption of some genre that smacks of 'street/grit-rock, bohemian, different/original style, pretentiousness, old fashioned or conversely so modern no one dare understand it, not forgetting pretentiousness...oh and Pseudo Avant-Garde/Art-pop/art-crap and erm..pretentious waffle - did I mention that?'
That's what it has become: Crap.

Let me say a few words on this actual album though instead of this general diatribe on the Indie scene...
The album opens with a very distinctive and refreshing concoction. Vocal percussion you might call it. I love it. voices arranged in a way that really draws you in...just a layered effect of the words 'ooh and aah' hehe no really!) and it works bloody well!
The song lifts off from that promising start and it really rocks.
Track two is erm...well...much the same with a lower tempo but it does have the same track title albeit 'part 2'.
The next track is poetic justice in motion with it being titled 'disappointment '99'
The disappointment, for me, is the rest of it from there...a few irritating tracks with irritating drums and loud parts that don't deserve to be, quiet parts that are just plain boring and a general dragging sensation throughout.
There is an overall suggestion of some kind of avant-garde/arty farty-ness.
I might be wrong but you decide for yourself. Maybe you like Arty Farty Indie?
Maybe I should have been kinder as this is their first album.
Fuck that.
They should try harder eh?

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Tomorrow will bring new delights.



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Anonymous rzy said...

Yeah, yeah, this whole "indie" thing is not overrated, it's a humbug and marketing piece of shit. Seriously, someone who invented this fake music... style?... was an idiot. And "Indie" means "India" in polish language, and that's the proper way you should understand the word, probably.

1/22/2008 10:42:00 pm  
Blogger Justin said...

I'm with you on the 'indie' thing. A lot of the bands in that anti-scene-that-inevitably-became-a-scene-when -anti-scenesters-decided-that-solitude-was-no-fun really fucking suck and I'm sick of hearing about their 'indie'-ness in all of it's shitty lo-fi anti-glory. Pretention is equally inevitable, especially in a scene composed of jaded rich kids who can afford to pretend they're not rich (even though that pretending doesn't impel them towards getting a job or actually working hard on anything). The excesses of the inner-city or otherwise on-campus indie scene always make me clamor for the surprising riches of less cocky scenes. Far better music is consistently being slaved over in garages and basements all across the countryside by individuals who don't feel the need to wear their frayed aesthetical attitude right on their sleeve.

1/23/2008 10:54:00 am  
Blogger hitmewithit said...

Hehe hey rzy nice to see you still dropping in, I agree with you - maybe the most meaningful definition of the term 'Indie' is the Polish one after all :)

Justin - very well put mate! Couldn't agree more with what you say. I forgot to rant about the inner city or fake poverty wanker-ness of these 'indie kids'...(Kaiser chiefs anyone...?!)
fucking morons I say. Even the friggin Libertines ex junkie frontman whos' name even irritates me so I won't say it - he is another one as far as I'm concerned, a fake junkie. I know he is a real junkie but he's trying to be a modern day poetic artist type with a tortuered soul etc etc...fuck off.
Whatever happened to real characters? real music?
Hmm. A bit of a generalisation there I realise - there is loads of both around. It just takes a bit more digging to find them!

1/25/2008 06:14:00 pm  
Blogger Slidewell said...

I very much enjoyed your rant. The indie emperor has no clothes, of course. :) "Indie" as a catch-all term is meaningless. for me, if you've got the patience to wade through a lot of shit, it comes down to checking out bands that are in the minor leagues. Most are never going to rise to any level of public awareness, as they are derivative or just pretentious crapola. I think the make-or-break feature for so many of these bands is, more than good songs or unique style, is an interesting and compelling singer. That alone can push an otherwise mediocre band to a new level.

indie-schmindie! Duke Ellington said there's only two kinds of music: good & bad!

2/04/2008 01:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The weird thing is I kind-of agree with you about indie music. But I don't think of what I do as being indie at all other than that I'm not associated with major record labels (and wouldn't want to be because I don't think it's a system that works very well) - I certainly don't try and fake being gritty or tortured - I'm a working-class white boy from the far north of england who cares a lot about music (and lots of other things), I'm not an idiot and I'm trying to make music that I would want to listen to. If you don't like it then fine, that just means we don't think about music in the same way. But for you to imply that I'm not trying hard enough makes me want to stab you in the f'ing eyes. You have no idea how much work I put in to put together these records or the annoying poverty I'm stuck in because I continue to do what I really believe in (which, unfortunately for me, not enough other people like it for me to make a decent living) - just because you don't like it or don't 'get' it has no bearing whatsoever on what my intentions were in making it. A review can only ever say something about the intentions of the reviewer, never the artist. Apologies for the slightly ranting nature and the likelihood of some rage-induced bad grammar.
David Brewis aka School of Language

6/02/2008 06:33:00 pm  
Blogger hitmewithit said...

Hey look mate, whilst I have utmost respect for you after reading what you said here let me just clarify something: This isn't somethng personal. Maybe I am just too guilty of being flippant when I write stuff like I wrote when I had just listened to the album. But that is how I felt at the time and that is what, that is all this is about. I wouldn't even call it a review. You can call it some lazy twat typing a load of crap if you want but don't, whatever you do, think that I seriously meant you or any specific members of your band need to go out and try harder in the work you do. It's more of an analogy for me to say 'Try Harder Next Time'. It's referring more to how, to impress me or get MY interest then yes, you would have to try harder. That can mean give me an album full of Pink Floyd sounding tracks or it can mean give me an album that sounds like shit, it isn't defined but it doesn't mean go and work harder for your pay. It just means I wasn't into it. nothing more. When you write this stuff you don't ever expect the person you are writing about to reply or even read it know, I wasn't telling you personally ANYTHING.
Now that you are here though I am going to look out the music and have another listen with a slightly enlightened attitude eh?
I just feel the need to now after this.
I wish you well mate, seriously. I know how hard it is to make anything with music and it seems to be worse today than when I knew much about it a few years ago.
I think you will do pretty well despite the odd indie hating blogger (!)
Oh and thanks for the comment.

6/05/2008 09:26:00 am  
Anonymous SoL said...

Fair dos. No hard feelings. The Pink Floyd-a-like album will be up shortly.

And, there is no band - just me - it's easy to take things personally. Though, saying that, with the Field Music albums we did, I probably took most of the criticism of those records personally too (and probably forgot the good reviews within three seconds of reading them)

6/05/2008 12:18:00 pm  
Blogger hitmewithit said...

Hey're a decent guy mate. I'm a cunt obviously.
Seriously, this gets even worse: I am listening to the album now and have just finished listening to it already and well..I fucking like it.
What has changed?
Nothing really. I think with you coming here and making the whole thing more personal, it's made me listen to it in a different way. I mean, did you do all of it? You laid down every track from bass to percussion or what?
It's a fucking great piece of work in that case.
Damn. I hope this isn't coming across as me trying to suck up to you just because you commented. not at all. I mean obviously I could have just deleted your comments or said nothing more myself, or whatever but I think it's better to be honest and I feel a twat to be saying this now after my first 'review' of the album but I fucking like it.
now lets not get carried away..hehe I don't love every track or anything daft like that but some of it is brilliant. I said originally I love the vocal part at the beginning and still do but the second to last track and the last track are quickly becoming tops of my playlist today.

So what should I do..Hmm. change the 'review' Post a new one?
Well this really is a first for me.
Oh and I look forward to the Pink Floydy album.. hehe
HitMeWithIt, signing off in the most humblest manner.

6/05/2008 08:02:00 pm  
Anonymous SoL said...

Totally chuffed that you've got something else from the record and I totally don't think you're a cunt - I think it's pretty fair to say that the records I've done can be hard work, can pass people by if they're not in the frame of mind to take it in, and that lots of the things that are good about them don't often show up in the first one or two (or three) listens.

Other than one guitar part and a couple of bits of backing vocals, yeah, it's just me. Tend to do the drums first, which can be a bit tricky as it means imagining what else is going to happen in the song while I'm sitting playing on my own. A handful of the recordings on there have sequenced drums/percussion - some of it made up of odd found sounds (like the drums on the first and second track - mostly made from sounds of things being thrown around a bathroom)

Really glad we had this conversation. I believe this is the point where we say, "and this is what the internet is all about". And then feel like daft hippies.

6/11/2008 09:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Fraz said...

Interesting discussion, guys..
I love all the Field Music stuff. I got all their 2/3 CDs from as they aren't in the shops here in Ireland. I love this album. Not as much maybe as Tones of Town [Closer At Hand and In Context are 2 of the most original and exciting songs that I've heard in years - great video for IC too]. This is an off-centre album that challenges the listener to put it all together over a series of listens.. a music style that reminds me of Eric Matthews, another a great songwriter. These songs all the more rewarding when they make sense on the 2nd or 3rd listen..

3/04/2009 01:41:00 am  

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