In Crash Chords Podcast #9, we looked at the pros and cons of Rock n’ Roll in its infant state through the lens of our album review, Take a Vacation! by The Young Veins. Though their work was dated as recent as 2010, they hearkened back to a much earlier incarnation of Rock, delivering unto us the carefree beach sounds of the early 60s once again. Though the album sparked an intriguing debate on how it should be rated, it was unanimously agreed upon that there is much to be owed to this early era, as a basis for modern instrumentation and common structural forms. But, as with a great many other things in the 1960s, Rock was inevitably on an unstoppable evolutionary track.
While I have been a fan of Offspring in my youth, I feel like I’ve grown out of the youthful message and lyrics of their original work. So, I was pleasantly surprised by their new album, Days Go By. From the first tracks you hear a familiar tone, yet there is a new complexity in their composition; a new adult tone in the lyrics that is almost unheard of coming from the voice of Dexter Holland.
It’s February, 1936. Winter has left a frozen sheen on the Danube, and a fresh coat of snow blankets the house of Joseph Keller, shoemaker. Joseph Keller is dead, at his own hand. Budapest police are there, investigating, ruining the perfection of freshly fallen snow with heavy boots and cigarette butts. It appears that Mr. Keller has left a suicide note.
Throughout the years, humans have made a business out of finding new ways to carry music with us wherever we go. From cassettes to MP3s, we have been shrinking area and maximizing storage to a point where we have limitless amounts of music at our fingertips. Now there are ways to stream music to your desktop or phone and make new discoveries while you’re at it.
In determining our musical leanings, I put great stock into the constructs of our musical backgrounds. Almost irrefutably, the experiences we have with music in our pasts will determine the music we listen to in the future. “But wait, no!” you might say. “That can’t be true! Surely I’ve been lured by fresh artists into foreign genres before, some which I’d never have given a chance otherwise!” Well sure, we’ve all been there (and probably felt like quite the pioneer, haven’t we?), but in today’s modern society where genres are plentiful and tastes subjective, it can be interesting to ask ourselves from time to time a variety of questions. Under what pretenses do we make these choices? What defines our threshold for acceptance vs. rejection? More fundamentally, what is it that makes our back-hair stand on end, and where does it come from?