Bands like Peace, Swim Deep, Jaws and the rest have had their day in the sun. Let the B-town sound die. You’d have thought that by this point no one would care for the jingle, dreamy reverb-y ,‘influenced by Ride’ sound that was birthed by Birmingham half a decade ago but alas bands are still trying to fit themselves in this mould. And I am really fucking done with it.
Stuck in traffic on the m20 late one night I decide the only way to retain my sanity and will to live is to switch on Radio X. Typically the late-night show with John Kennedy is the best thing Radio X does, X-posure gives small bands air time on a big station and it’s often filled with some really good stuff. Listen to ‘Another sky’ as an example of some good new stuff that I discovered through this very show. But the first thing that came on this particular evening was met, not with anger, nor great distain but just a massive, exasperated sigh. I truly thought we were out of the woods with this shit that seems to be exclusively played on a Fender Jaguar.
The band and track in question was ‘Flowvers’ with ‘Long way home’. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad sounding track. But my gripe is that it’s been done and done to death at that. If you were playing btown bingo with this song you’d get a full house very quickly. It has faux-profound lyrics “why do you look at me with empty eyes” (and even mentions the beach!!! Wow!! Original!!!) the whole thing slows right down only to – that’s right you guessed it! – speed right back up again!! Gotcha there didn’t we? But there is one lyric which really makes me laugh. “Lets pretend like we’re 16 forever” It’s almost like they’re self-aware with what they’re doing and have no shame in it whatsoever.
It’s all just so generic indie that if a computer programme was told to write a song that sounded like 2014 Birmingham – this is probably what it would have come up with.
The most frustrating thing for me is that they will probably end up with a fair bit of success, and fair play to them for that, its inoffensive, radio friendly, sonically pleasing and very easily marketable. But there is some great stuff out there at the moment. The new idles album is fantastic. The Shame album was a triumph and the HMLTD EP was gloriously fresh in every way. So please stop doing this, Btown is dead – it has been for years. It’s time to put it to rest.
Words: Joey Daniel