Contrasts in young UK rock
With the pundits predicting the demise of dance and many
fed up with the E 'n glee scene, the pendulum
seems to be in mid-swing back towards pop and rock. In Britain,
a number of bandsmost obviously Coldplayare being
groomed to take over the joystick from '90s Britpop acts
like Blur and Oasis.
Meanwhile, two of the latest of the crop, both of them formed
in the late '90s and barely out of their high school
uniforms, swing through town to follow up appearances at last
summer's Summer Sonic and Fuji Rock music festivals.
One of the ambitious new hopes of England's resurgent
metal scene, Raging Speedhorn (named after a slang term for
a male erection induced by amphetamines) made their first
appearance in Japan at last summer's Summer Sonic.
The band *formed in 1998 in the depressed Midlands town of
Corby. Positive write-ups in the rock press led to a gig supporting
Ministry in London in 1999, and their first headlining tour
Raging Speedhorn issued their self-titled debut in 2000 on
ZTT, going on to support veteran US thrashers Biohazard across
Europe. The pairing was to prove fruitful, with Biohazard
contributing on the sextet's sophomore effort, this year's
We Will Be Dead Tomorrow (ZTT). While perhaps not groundbreaking,
the album offered a skillful amalgam of the brute force of
orthodox thrashers like Slayer with the more psychedelic colors
of grunge bands like Soundgarden.
While sharing with Raging Speedhorn a background far away
from the glamour of London, The Music couldn't be more
different from a musical point of view. The four-piece from
Leeds look even further back in time, with influences ranging
from the '70s hard rock of Led Zeppelin to the late '80s
The Music were created in 1999 by four school chums, led by
powerful young singer Robert Harvey. Based on the strength
of their 2001 demo Take the Long Road and Walk It,
the group were soon being salivated over by the UK music industry,
including Radio 1 celebrity DJ Steve Lamacq who called them
the best unsigned act in Britain.
A bidding war followed with key imprint Hut Recordings signing
The Music and releasing their next release, the You Might
as Well Try to Fuck Me EP (expanded and released as an album
this year). The record made its way to Japan, and listeners
here were first exposed to the quartet's unabashed chutzpah
and monumental guitar solos at Club Quattro in April last
year, followed by an appearance at last summer's Fuji
With grizzled UK rock royalty Oasis sounding decidedly lackluster
in their recent extended Japan tour, look for Raging Speedhorn
and The Music to remind us where rock really belongs: with
Raging Speedhorn play Liquid Room
on December 5. The Music play Akasaka Blitz on December 10.
See listings for details.
The Music credit: Smash