So, basic info first: Mache sent me the video to “Soulless”, from the album of the same name by Swedish death metal band Grave (formerly Corpse, formerly Putrefaction). It is possible that this music is so beyond my aesthetic horizon I am unable to appreciate it, and equally plausible that the video is a masterpiece of minimalist cinema. On the other hand… well, I won’t tell you what the other hand is: just watch it*.
The video is mildly confusing at first. Clearly, to all outward appearances these guys hope to give the impression that they are bad-arse satanic baby-eaters whose main aim in life is to harass the world’s daughters. But this is complicated by the fact that the only discernible lyric seemed to be “in my opinion,” and by the singer’s mannerism of nervously wringing his hands in front of him. Instead of cursing my soul to oblivion, perhaps Grave are trying to persuade me to reduce my carbon footprint, or similar.
Sadly, the real lyrics (easily found on the internet) to “Soulless” are predictable stuff about eating babies or being Satan or something. They convey (or pander to) the emotions of an unpopular and troubled 15 year-old, and could well have been written by a 15 year-old. The track’s title is clearly self-referential, and I couldn’t agree more (about this song, if not the band). Also clear is the fact that Marcela considers Aaron Kwok to be utterly soulless. Musically, I’m suspicious that I could have written the track’s three-chord progression myself, and I’m not even sure how many strings a guitar has (although apparently I could get away with only three, and a couple of effects pedals). Maybe they should have called it “Tedium”.
Mind you, Grave may well be the answer to all those bored by Swedish music acts in Shanghai being confined to solitary guys and their guitars, noodling away and sounding somewhat… “flat.” Someone from the Swedish Consulate book these dudes to play in Glamour Bar! The venue’s appalling acoustics will cease to be an issue: these guys are incomprehensible anyway!
I’m changing tack. I have no desire to be sent metal by Mache anymore, so instead of forcing her to listen to something repugnant; this week I seek her genuine and considered opinion. The track I am posting is by a new British band called White Lies. Their debut album To Lose My Life was released recently, and I read a piece (now lost) hyping of them as the best new band of 2009 and comparing them to Editors and The Killers. To me that’s somewhat tautological. Mache, what do you think of these guys?
* If you can’t be bothered, I’ll summarise: sinisterly-lit long-haired dudes sulking, wearing black and bellowing nonsense. There’s even a shot of someone’s lame tattoo. What the fuck?! Who doesn’t have a tattoo?!