A Rocknworld.com Special
by Keavin Wiggins
Return to Part
I of the Special
The White Stripes
- With three albums under their belt, this Detroit rock duo were
waiting for a major break which came earlier this year with the release
of an innovative video for their single, “Fell In Love With A Girl”. The
video’s use of animation mimicking lego’s helped catch the attention of
programmers at MTV and MTV2 who quickly added the clip to their playlist.
The White Stripes take a minimalist approach
to songwriting and performing. Taking the Blues as an foundation and drawing
heavily from early punk and pioneering band The Stooges, they have a much
rawer vibe than The Strokes and B.R.M.C. Listening to The White Stripes
you get the feeling that you have been transplanted back to the early 70’s
when The New York Dolls and Iggy Pop were all the rage.
– Perhaps the best musicians of the genre, The Vines actually offer the
most diversity of all the groups mentioned here. As this is being written
their US debut is a couple of weeks away from release but the group has
already won over fans in the UK.
Unlike the other bands of the “raw rock”
revival, The Vines, don’t limit themselves to one set sound and style instead
they draw from a wide range of influences
which gives us an album with many musical faces ranging from The Stooges
to Nirvana, The Beatles and Even Pink Floyd. If any band can break through
hype and make this musical movement a real dominant force on the American
music scene The Vines seem best suited to the task. While the albums of
some of the other artists mentioned here can get redundant after a few
listens, The Vines eclectic mix of styles offers fans a compelling and
diverse mix of songs that are anything but boring.
I am not much for prophesizing a band’s
success but if any group is going to take “raw rock” revival to the next
level it is The Vines.
– We now come full circle. At the moment the band my drunken friend proclaimed
would be the ”next big thing” are starting to see some success in America.
With the power and promotional muscle of Warner Brothers behind them The
Hives are currently making a slash in the US and turning heads with the
major label re-release of their 2000 album, “Veni Vidi Vicious”.
Like the White Stripes, The Hives borrow
liberally from “The Stooges” making their music more “punk” than any of
the other “raw rock” revival bands and easily the heaviest in the bunch.
So there you have it a look at the “raw
rock” revival that at the moment is teetering on the edge of major mainstream
success. Will it happen? Will these bands take over the music scene signally
a new age for rock music in popular culture? Or will all the hype end up
being a repeat of the punk movement in the 70’s, where the genre got plenty
of press and attention but in the end didn’t wind up selling that many
records. Anything can happen, we will just have to wait and see how it
all pans out but at the very least we have a really nice diversion from
the stale pop and rap-rock that have been such a dominant force in popular
music over the past few years.
Other Bands to Keep An Eye On
The Black Halos - Another favorite
of the underground. First considered part of the 90's "punk revival" The
Black Halos actually leaned more towards the Stooges and New York Dolls
than bands like the Clash and Sex Pistols who the other "punk revival"
bands drew their influence from. If anything The Black Halos were early
adopters of the "raw rock" revival sound who just might get some more mainstream
attention now that the genre has become more widely known.
The Doves - Some have grouped The Doves
in with the "raw rock" revival, which is strange because if anything their
music is much more polished than other emerging "retro" rockers. They seem
more content "reviving" the early sound of U2 rather than Iggy Pop. If
anything they could give the genre a more polished poppier side.
The Hellacopters - Hardly a new band,
The Hellacopters have been champions of the underground music scene for
years. A popular group in Europe and Australia, now with the success of
The Hives in the US it seems that it's only a matter of time before American
fans (and music press) take a closer look The Hellacopters.
The Dirtbombs - This band offers a
nice middle ground between the raw rock sound and gut level R&B and
soul. Having released two independent albums and several 7" singles, it's
only a matter of time before a major label comes calling to help propel
the group into the mainstream.
Clinic - More or less a rawer take
on the styling of Radiohead, they are being lumped in with this "raw rock"
revival but they actually walk a fine line that may or may not qualify
them for the title. Maybe if they changed their name to "The Clinic"
they would be a better fit? None the less, Universal Records seem to really
be behind this band so expect a major publicity push for them in the coming
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