Scottish Invasion-With Guitars!
If someone starts talking about Scottish music, your mind probably conjures up an image of a man in a skirt *cough * kilt holding a bagpipe and blaring “Amazing Grace” across the moors of his simple, rustic village.
Think about it longer though….
-Belle & Sebastian’s gorgeous indie masterworks.
-Franz Ferdinand’s wild ’80s dance party.
-Snow Patrol’s smooth, radio-friendly ballads.
-KT Tunstall’s breezy, bouncy folk-pop.
It doesn’t readily come to mind, but a buttload of the best music these days comes from Scotland. The good news, is another invasion is on its way! These are some of the bands fighting on the frontlines.
The 1990s aren’t about changing your life or exploring the boundaries of rock music. They’re about dumb, fun rock n’ roll, and with summer vacation on the horizon, that’s exactly what we need. Crispy guitar riffs and punchy power pop songs from a group of guys who refuse to grow up. During one song they ask, “Why don't you try taking drugs again? You were never funnier than you were back then!” Great advice? No…. Hilarious? Yes.
Heck, the new guy in the group is named Dino, so you know they tear it up. “Kickstrasse,” the lead single from their new album, shows the lead singer hasn’t lost his “you wanna be me, don’t you?” swagger. Stupid and fun.
The Twilight Sad
(Sadly, they have nothing to do with vampires.)
This is a good band that suddenly got great. They started a few years back with solid songs but didn’t venture beyond a fairly conventional alt rock sound. Well, let’s say they were as conventional as a rock band can be with an accordion.
Recently these guys got the “less is more” memo—they dropped the heavy drumming and by-the-books guitar noodling and created some weird and wonderful folk-rock noise. It’s odd to find music that is subdued and chaotic, but that’s pretty much what Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did sounds like.
Oh, and it should be mentioned you can really hear this guy’s Scottish brogue. It’s kind of like if Groundskeeper Willy from the Simpsons started fronting an indie band.
This band doesn’t release music. Their music ARRIVES, as if descended from the sky and pulled by flaming chariots. You get lots of “woah-ohhh!”s and anthemic choruses, kind of like U2 without the saving-the-world part. The atmospheric, shimmering guitars are straight out of The Joshua Tree but the vocals are more human and less perfect than Bono’s, which helps bring this sky-high music back to earth, at least long enough to share its greatness with us mere mortals.
If you want some of that authentic Scottish folk music, the kind they play at Scottish heritage fests where old people cavort around in goofy outfits no real Scot has worn in centuries, this is your band. You can practically hear the rustling of the kilts as they rattle away on their fiddles, accordions and steel guitars.
Any other love for Scottish music? Or is Irish music way better?!