Here’ s the latest so-called "indie" band to not like: 120 Days from Norway.
They’re pretty much the nazz with bloggers, NYC clubbers, after-party goers, and underfed hangers-on.
A certain pleasant-but-aggressive US publicity company recently took the band on as clients. Another artist on their roster is the unyieldingly hyped Lady Sovereign, which should tell you something. Also, they’re on Vice, which might tell you something else.
I’ve been innundated with requests to review 120 Days for my other "outlets," to use a lame music biz phrase. Surely, I’m expected to just fall in line.
120 Days are touted as a "modern-day krautrock band," or some such nonsense. Fuck that. The sound like The Strokes with analog keyboards.
First of all, krautrock was a genre marked by idiosyncracies: most of the groups were wildly different from one another in process and result. Bands like 120 Days, on the other hand, seem to adopt whatever aesthetic happens to be in fashion.
For the original krautrockers — a post WWII generation of defiant art-school dropouts — it was important to work outside the realms of "polite" European classicism and borrowed American blues. Obsessed with rhythm and repetition, they drew inspiration from African music as well as emerging audio technologies. This sound later found its pop mark with New Wavers like the Talking Heads and "reformed" proggers such as Peter Gabriel and Robert Fripp. Bowie and Eno (who pretty much founded the New Wave) were both early champions.
Krautrockers sought to challenge preconceived notions of Germanic music, which had taken on some unfavorable associations. They traveled several sonic avenues, from the cold, motorik pulse of Neu! to the limber, pan-global grooves of Can. But some people assert that, with such a variety in sound, there is no real kratrock. This is a valid argument.
Anyway the little boys in 120 Days are about as far from Faust as a group can get. And that’s what I told their publicist.
No matter — they’ll no doubt get more exposure than I could give ’em by rocking those sponsored parties for Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player.