I used to complain about faux-nostalgia, but in the wake of Brother’s bone-headed elevation to the status of National Importance, I’ll now take good songs wherever I can find them, while I still can, regardless of how much they borrow from the past.
Realistically, I was being criminally unfair – it’s excruciatingly rare that a band genuinely makes a song without derivation. Complaining about that is like whining that Damien Hirst’s Away From The Flock had already been ‘done’, all over Welsh hillsides, since time immemorial.
Sheep are still apt as a comparison though: rock bands are the guiltiest musicians when it comes to lazily lifting sounds from the past, applying a modicum of spit and polish, and then passing it off as new.
Dirty Hands don’t do this. Sure, they have Iggy Pop‘s Raw Power-era grunt and grime, a Jagger-esque drawl, and the same scratchy guitars that have peppered pop songs since 1959, but they’ve used the past as a clear starting point from which to spring forth. There’s no subterfuge.
And how could there be in a song like Baby, Life’s Too Short, the point of which is surely to grind up the past in the most blatant manner? It’s a song of base pleasures – love, carelessness, primal growling and clobbering drumbeats.
Dirty Hands hit their targets, and take neither flak nor prisoners. Simple pleasures performed simply.
ANBAD is away for a few days – with a ‘loveably’ sporadic service until the start of next week…