Thursday, December 10, 2009

Singers are divas anyway

As a vocalist first, I find myself naturally drawn to the human voice. 9 times out of 10, if I'm going to dislike a band, it's because I don't respect what their singer is doing. There are always exceptions to this where the musicianship is so great on other instruments that I'm willing to forgive a bit of bad technique on the vocal folds, however I have a limit.

The question always rises in my mind; what the hell do I do when there are no vocals? I suppose I should be slightly offended by bands like Do Make Say Think or Godspeed you Black Emperor!, however that kind of logic would also find me opposing the likes of Coltane, Ludvig van Beethoven, and nearly any piece of electronic music ever made. Come to think of it, with the number of times I am let down by weak, out of tune, dissonant vocals, I should really stop putting so much emphasis on the voice. The reality is, while I love the human voice, I also love melodies, harmonies, and music in general.

As such, it is with a renewed sense of logic that I present to you Pelican. Hailing from Chicago, this quartet is about as standard as you will find in the rock world; lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums... it's just that no one ever bothered to sing. The result comes out as something quite similar to Baroness, just without the vocals (which sometimes aren't there anyway).

It's all quite well written, almost orchestrated, hard rock music which I think would be fantastic for you to throw on in the background of a party, study session, or even while hopping on the good foot and doing the bad thing. However, therein lies my issue with Pelican; they are too easy to neglect. While all very talented musicians, and adept songwriters, these four gents don't make me want to get up and move... they don't inspire me. Again, I can appreciate it as something to fill the silence, but that's not what music is supposed to be about. Music should refuse to be ignored; it should grab you by the ear drums, drag you kicking and screaming into it's twisted little world and pin you down, forcing you to name 10 chocolate bars while tapping on your head, whether you like it or not.

Me... I find I often enjoy myself. Perhaps this is because I have an innate ability to remember the names of sweet treats.

-Count on my indiscretions if you think you can count them all