>I have a theory about modern art, which has come from studying art myself. No, wait! Come back! There’s a New Band angle on this, I promise. My theory is cynical, and born of frustration, but I think I’m onto something.
Here it is: the complex, philosophical meanings attached to modern art are just tacked on at the end after coming up with the idea of image/object, to justify cutting a sheep in half and submerging it in formaldehyde.
When Rachel Whiteread filled a house with plaster and then removed the bricks and mortar, in effect making a giant, house-shaped plaster jelly, what was her thought process? Did her initial pondering on the unseen resonance of negative space lead to the final product, or, did she suddenly blurt out to her friends during a blurry night at the pub, “would it be ace to fill a whole fucking house with plaster or what?” and then worry about the meaning later?
Artists used to be ‘mere’ craftsmen, and now they’re our most highly-regarded thinkers. I don’t like thinking. This is probably why I’m now writing about skinny indie janglers instead of lying through my teeth to gallery curators.
So here’s Today’s New Band, The Gospel According To John. In fairness, their skinniness is only an assumption, but they are definitely jangly, and one of these usually leads to the other in the Indie world.
The Gospel According To John aren’t great thinkers either. This is a compliment. Unburdened by theory, philosophical coherency or dazzling insight into society’s ills, they are left with the desire to make great tunes. This, really, is how rock music should be – dumbly unaware of the real world and concerned only with Having A Good Time All The Time.
Their bouncy song Say Yes To Strangers is so dizzily carefree that even the use of words isn’t much of a concern. Instead, a smattering of sax and a good guitar line is thrust centre stage for us all to dance to. Maybe it’s because they’re revolutionary anti-thought pop stars, or maybe it’s that they’re all about 16. Who cares.
Art Brut say that modern art makes you ‘want to rock out’. The Gospel According To John would disagree. Disappointingly, none of the band is named John. This is only a minor failing. Their songs are full of life. Refill yourself here!