Friday, 29 June 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #244 - Blind Atlas, "Kodiak Bear"

Wow! These guys sound like they've listened to a lot of adult-oriented rock over the years. They've absorbed it into through the skin in their inner ears. Somebody suggested I give them a listen; someone who's a big Ryan Adams fan. This might not bode well. I've just remembered as well that they're a Manchester band that we played on a bill with in Chorlton a few years ago. It's a small world, innit?

Not many Kodiak bears to be found on Barlow Moor Road. I'm struggling to work out why I found young Manc lads trying to be Seventies Laurel Canyon hipsters a bit irritating, while I'm happy to accept a band from north Wales that play surf music. A hierarchy of genres, maybe; a list of acceptable intentions that runs from worthy to execrable.

What is it about the rhythm of those West Coast MoR godheads, that kind of not-rock, not-jazz shuffle? I can understand the harmonising; it's the kind of equivalent of everyone wanting to be in the limelight as once. Not to say that what is going on now. A lot of people just thought it sounded good and picked up the idea. But that's how it was transmitted, that marker of egotistical fuckery.

"Time Plays Its Part" has a nice stoned wander to it, more than a touch of Neil Young on the tiller. "Iron Wall" has a folky feel, all slowed down toms and gravelly cello. Sombre hombres. Some steel guitar and ole time fiddle turns up on "The Ballad of Uncertainty in the Key of F", which is a tale of thwarted love. Quite nice.

Maybe it's a lack of imagination on my part that I don't take to this music, see it as alien or wrong-headed. "Brother Moon" smacks of The Eagles or somesuch, even though we all know about brothers and the Moon. There's some low-key psychedelia going on there and a bit of guitar freakery. But I keep tuning out from the lyrics again. My bad, I know. "Any Old Song" is quite a suitable title.

Rating: Backwoods Plaid out of South Manchester

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