NINE BLACK ALPS - CANDY FOR THE CLOWNS (HATCH)
Bill! Are you gonna get on the Hammer boat with us?
No, I’d rather stay here and eat my own flesh.
There’s a New New New New New New New British Rock Revolution, apparently. Superfood, Royal Blood, Darlia, Drenge: glorious combinations of power chords and youth, primed to take over the world! Rejoice and worship at the feet of facsimile! Rock is BACK! Even discarding the notion that rock music could ever somehow depart the industry, this whole reactionary superlativism is abhorrent to the point of embarrassment.
A year ago it was all divorces. Now it's all weddings. Cyclical, I guess.
We want the new bands only. Forget that old shit, it can’t possibly speak to who we are now. Regardless of quality, lineage and respect paid, let’s discard it and instead build up those with a 7” and that same manufactured anger that escaped from behind the grinding teeth of a million Octave Parengos.
…we're at the end of an age. We live in a land of weather forecasts and breakfasts that set in. Shat on by Tories, shovelled up by Labour.
None of the hyped bands above will write a debut capable of measuring up to Nine Black Alps’ Everything Is. If any of them make a second record, it will be derided as anachronistic and unnecessary. That’s terrifying. Returning to a landscape to find it indelibly altered will end those who have never been forced to struggle for compliments.
You have to be prepared to be outcasts and to have every statement you make derided. Fighting as hard as you can, being deemed a failure but retaining belief to the extent that you continue brings knowledge of what you’re worth. Spill everything you have onto the page and the stage, and then look up at the end to see one person checking their phone and the other doing the sound. See if you can raise a smile.
It’s hard as hell, and most people don’t make it. Those that do should be clutched close to our chests and celebrated unequivocally.
Nine Black Alps have never made a bad record. We’re fickle and we were told that Love / Hate wasn't worthy of our time, when in fact it represented growth, progression and focus. By turning inward thereon, the acid in their bile grew at a proportion inverse to the page space they accumulated. The quality of the output never diminished. Go and check—I've got nothing but time.
A dismissive hand-wave reference to Nirvana and assumed subservience is to discredit the wonderful guitar interplay that Nine Black Alps weave through every composition, along with defiantly English accents and Sixties pop influences, most obvious here on ‘Supermarket Clothes’ and ‘Morning After.’ The band has always been capable of beauty, and even their least successful album contains one of their most affecting songs, Sirens’ ‘Phosphorescence.’
There’s a joyful freedom to the way this new collection of songs take flight. Unburdened of expectation, Nine Black Alps have simply moved forward and produced their best work without you. So ignore me and keep ignoring them. I’m probably just bitter I got too fat to fit in my Everything Is skinny tee.