Sunday, 7 July 2013

Death to Wall-of Noise Shoe-Gaze!

The shoegazing sound is typified by significant use of guitar effects, and indistinguishable vocal melodies that blend into the creative noise of the guitars. 

Common musical elements of shoegazing consist of distortion, droning riffs and a "wall of sound" from noisy guitars. Typically, two distorted rhythm guitars are played together to give an amorphous quality to the sound. Although lead guitar riffs were often present, they were not the central focus of most shoegazing songs. [Wikipedia]  

The other night I was at a gig, the two bands were a blur as was their music and shall remain nameless, least I up-set the guilty.  

I wasn’t even that pissed, which is rather unusual.    

Both guitarists, I caught the end of band A and start of band B, possessed enough effects boxes of varying descriptions to make The Edge jealous.  

One had his rigs ‘nailed’ to a board, side by side for ease of use and to move from A to B.  

At $500 a throw there was a small fortune of technology on display, playing through amps high on reverb.    

And what does a small fortune of effects boxes get you over same a single ‘fuzz box’ unit? 

Say a better sound for the audience? 

What say a discernible difference between the varying devices?   

Perhaps a significant marketable differential for the band in question?  

Well no. 

It was a wall of reverby, wahy guitar sound punctuated by a wailing bass-line.   

Not to be outdone the bass players having plugged in their respective instruments into an effects box of some persuasion.  

The overall sound was filtered into homeopathic percentages. 

Don’t ask me to tell actually what any of the songs were about. 

It was too loud to tell, people looked like stunned mullets, a super 8 movie of 1950’s LSD experiments.     

After less than an hour it actually got annoying as each song drifted seamlessly into the next like a grunge version of a Yes album.  

So I departed.  

My cranium stopped reverberating two days later.  

To be fair the bar sold ear-plugs and there’s a message in that.


Footnote: I wrote this sometime last year, it got buried and dug-up.  

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