originally published at Adventures of a University Finalist
Indie rock is such a vague term isn’t it? It alludes to angst, distorted guitars, plonking bass and a general aura of the ordinary and unexceptional. It would the modern day pub rock if bands such as the Libertines didn’t continue to lift that long forgotten institutions flag aloft against all expectations. However, sometimes from this deep peat bog of laudable workmanship and its intrinsic bedfellow of blandness some fantastic bands can emerge. One of those bands are the Canadian outfit Showroom – the darlings of the fantastic institution that is Download.com.
Why is this? Well, I lay the credit mainly at the feet of their vocalist Ben Hutchinson whose unabated call to arms, even in the relatively lightweight “Residence of Ben,” turns all of the band’s admittedly solid playing into stadium ready anthems. The blogosphere at the moment is rife with discussion of Coldplay and their latest effort (which I have stayed well clear of) and in doing so have forgotten that the band’s music is carried by the charisma of Chris Martin. Bands such as Showroom can more than equal Coldplay’s with “Lonely Crowd” sounding like “Clocks” but with a crunchier mix. Where bands end up on the ladder of success is all ultimately dependent on luck as much as skill and is that not why we as mp3 blogs exist? To inform people of bands worthy of their attention rather than endlessly recycling illegal streams and mp3s of bands that they already know of. Not that I don’t believe in some discussion of major label acts – I especially enjoyed Scenestars’ examination of X & Y – but sometimes I find some blogs increasingly grating in their refusal to dig slightly deeper. I hope that Adventures… will never be accused of becoming staid and predictable because when it is I’ll probably quit.
Wow – didn’t expect that diatribe to tumble out. Back to the music, “Fighting Words” is my favourite of the bunch with its tumbling guitar intro leading the listener toward its cracking and simple drumbeat and ultimately Hutchinson’s pro-Bono tribal yell. “Heel bitch” indeed. “Residence of Ben” is on regular play as well albeit due to its relative quirkiness with its lyrics taking the form of an answer phone message and a guitar part reminiscent of vintage Marr.