Monday, May 24, 2010
An Open Letter to Sub Verso and every little band in CT
We're here because of Within The Hour. I'll start where I will end.
Do it again.
There are some tonal issues with the vocals, mixing is spotty but more important than anything, the EP lacks passion. Passion by way of nuance, passion by the way of conviction, passion as evinced by an attitude that conveys "I need to tell you this."
Why the broad assessment? Why so little specifics? Because the point is this: You don't suck. You're just not doing what you set out. I've literally spent hours on your review because I want this to be crystal clear to you and every talented band in CT. CT needs you. More on that in a second.
Everything is in the right place. All the notes are played well all the changes are crisp, however not groundbreaking. But that is my point. 99% of music and art is nothing new. It's made worthy of attention by a uniqueness that is the artist's. No one is going to give you a second look if you aren't unabashedly yourself. And it is the sincerity that carries the music through triteness, through rehashing of old genres, through themes that have been explored a thousand times. The author is the message. Throughout Within The Hour I hear a concern for the presentation and not the intent.
Somehow, at some point, being "too cool for school" became, well, cool in music.
Anyone who actually listens can hear the "look at how good I am at this!" quality in a recorded performance.
The aim should be to convey to the listener not "Look at how good I am" but "Look at how much I love this" or (for the tortured) "If I don't show you this I'm going to explode". I don't get a too cool attitude and I do get a detached innocence that is charming. In addition the four songs fit together well, but that's where it ends.
You don't suck, and CT needs you. Why employ such a backhanded compliment? I mention it because on the face of it, one of the missions of CT Indie is to build the CT music scene. Something I believe in. (tips hat to Mr. Devin, and Mr. Hall)
Being born between two major markets and seeing first hand medium sized bands (very often the only bands worth a damn) go to Boston, New York or even Providence for more money and a scene that isn't blazed about their arrival is angering. So Connecticut needs good bands that hit the notes at the right time but also create with a presence of mind. We need good bands to tip the balance and create a culture where original music is valued and where cover bands don't earn 5 times more a gig (if a tiny original band is even paid). I've seen too many of my friends work to the bone for pennies, fighting the apathy that is rampant between Greenwich, Enfield and Stonington. Killing that apathy should be every one's aim. In addition, if I bullshit you about your art, I'm part of the problem.
So do it again, Sub Verso. You have it in you. Otherwise I wouldn't spend hours on listening, discussing at length with much more knowledgeable friends and writing this. If you have to walk around inside yourself for a while to find the back room where it resides, well, start walking. If you play with sincerity, you won't fail.
Don't fucking fail.
With more concern than you know,