What ever happened to good, old-fashioned, straight-ahead rock & roll? No really, what happened? It seems like the vast majority of new bands out there today feel like they have to do something weird, innovative and different in order to set themselves apart from the cajillions of others like them. Otherwise, how are the "bloggers" going to pick who to write about and transform into the next musical internet sensation? So I suppose it's necessary, to a certain degree, for upstart musicians to take an unconventional route in their songwriting and production.
In many instances, the weirdness works wonderfully. One of my newest favourites, Alberta-based Chad VanGaalen (thanks to the R.O.B. for turning me on to this Canadian treasure) is uber-weird. And I absolutely love it!!! Perhaps the most popular band in the world, Radiohead, oozes weirdness into the ears of its listeners to their praise and unquestioning adulation. The list goes on and on. But today, in this blog post, I'm choosing to write about a band, and a song in particular, that demonstrates the qualities of good old-fashioned rock and roll.
"Hey, hey, my, my. Rock and roll will never die." Maybe it was bands like Alberta Cross that Neil Young was singing about in 1979, banking on future generations of musicians to continue the rock and roll tradition that he and many others carried on from the '50s and cemented in the '60s. If that was indeed Neil's call, then Alberta Cross has answered. This 5-piece band out of Brooklyn, New York produces soulful, musically delicious rock songs that, interestingly enough, are often compared to those of the aforementioned Mr. Young. This installment of Song of the Week features the rollicking first track off of, and shares its name with, the band's debut album, "The Thief & The Heartbreaker." As the electronic revolution continues to change today's musical landscape, and as more and more bands try to create a unique identity through strange sounds and over-artsiness, it's almost as if rock bands like Alberta Cross are the ones experimenting in weirdness.
"Let there be rock."