"The guitar is strummed; Blurrrrrrrr blurrr blurrrrr. And then the guitar riff finishes, and is soon joined by the rest of the band. My hands stopped fidgeting, my posture remained still, my eyes improved to stay focused, while my thoughts just exclaimed, “what an excellent ‘classic’ pop/rock and roll beginning. But audibly, my mouth only muttered the words “ohhhh, yeahhh.” This was to the song “Gwenz” by Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Boring People.
Hearing things like “ ‘classic’ pop/rock and roll” is very similar to that tip of the tongue kind of feeling. It’s like meeting a stranger you may have met before, but you just can’t remember who. Right when the drums kick in (or perhaps, when the guitar strums and holds that first chord, before gurgling several notes into a solo, is when that connection is made. You can remember who the stranger is. It’s the feeling that discovery is imminent – that an undefined knowledge will finally be explained. And let me tell you, the classic rock song for kicking off this year is “Gwenz.”
On the other hand rock and roll can be less of a journey towards discovery, but more of an achieved lifestyle. The drums play to it’s own beat, the guitars can make it’s own chords. And when this is done, the sounds vibrate with confidence, pride even. And even though things like high sense of egotisms can be described as a turn-off for many people, if played out correctly; the pride, the confidence, the rock and roll lifestyle – generates a James Dean-ism. There is sex appeal when a lead singer leans each lyric onto the next. There is an understandable nihilism while the drummer slouches over a snare drum. There is a sloppy, erotic sound in the guitar solo that plays notes without a care for which notes will be played. A good representation for this is on the other side of the album; Chicago’s Regular Fucked Up People perform their new song “Brindle Bunny Killa.” (What that title means, I have no idea – but definitely give this one a listen.)”
-Ray Jackson, Already Dead Tapes, 2015