If you could remake classic songs with a contemporary twist, would you? Or does the phrase ‘contemporary twist’ make you retch with the bilious force you’d usually only attain after watching a dozen car TV commercials back-to-back?
If you’re like me (and if you are – 1: heaven help you, and 2: perhaps you’ll have an idea where that limited edition Primal Scream 7″ I misplaced a few years ago is), then you’ll flinch at the notion. But it’s a tempting thought all the same: just think what the Beatles might have done with a copy of ProTools.
So, Today’s New Band offer us a glimpse of yesterday today. Hot Lava make songs that sound old, but new.
YSFW (Deadbeat Daughter) is a bolt from the past, a song that has shot through a wormhole in time – and anyone who has dragged their eyes across A Brief History of Time will know that this means it also partly comes from the future. Or something. Stay with me here.
Shimmering guitars ring and bounce; the soundtrack to an imaginary 60s TV pop show – the kind that has dancing girls with bouffant hair and purple minidresses.
JPG In The Sun and Brainex both blur the line between the past and present even more furiously, rattling drumbeats weaving neatly with eddying pop-psyche noise.
Hot Lava contort sound, and perception of it. The treatment they afford their songs isn’t glib or novelty, but a strange distortion of what you assumed to be the norm. And most importantly of all, their songs needle into your mind and stay there, vibrating just so.
Photography by Ellie Bolton
>Look, it’s the elephant in the room. Let’s get it out of the way right now: Today’s New Band has the most incredibly pun-tastic name of all time. The name Ice, Sea, Dead People is truly brilliant. Pun-laden names can go horribly wrong – remember Test Icicles, anyone? – but this band have taken the concept, mixed their metaphors and hit it for six. If I’m being honest, they would have been picked as today’s new band on the strength of their name alone, even if they were as limp and insipid as Pete Docherty after a week long camping trip with Amy Winehouse in somewhere as irresponsibly named as, oooh, here.
Whilst Ice, Sea, Dead People may conjure up images of weatherbeaten, salty old sailors singing mournful shanties, the music they play is almost the exact opposite. If you asked them to sing a sea shanty, it would probably be played at a bazillion miles an hour and feature the word ‘shanty’ yelped all over it. That’s pretty much how their great, mentalist, song Hence Elvis pans out, the sound of three fabulously crazy punk songs in one. My Twin Brother’s a Brother sounds like they’ve just realised that being in Ice, Sea, Dead People is the most fun in the world – and let’s face it, it probably is.
Listen for yourself on their MySpace page, and marvel at the joyful way the songs rush off in front of you like a firework. You’ll be making the stereotypical “Oooooh” noises as the songs explode, spraying multicoloured sherbet everywhere, and, like a firework display, you’ll wish that they just went on forever. Ace. Great artwork on the background of the MySpace page too…