There comes a point – some call it, the tipping point – at which the next musical revolution has to happen. A moment akin to ten seconds before the Sex Pistols jolted into life, when the past is just, well, not good enough anymore. And I felt it roughly the same duration into “The Ghost of Her” by Hurricane Bells: The inner-rage as my aging rock id sat bolt upright and howled at the injustice of our world right here, right now, synched as it clearly has become to the aesthetic parameters of the average cell-phone advert.
Two minutes and 27 seconds later, “The Ghost of Her” had me feeling like I should go out and busy something corporate: A soft-drink or some ecologically-sound chinos, maybe the first 3G thingummyjig I see at the local store. And clearly it wasn’t just my will to think that was sapped, seeing as the video editor didn’t even bother to synch the gold-fishing vocal footage or the drummer to the track.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some first album Crosby Stills & Nash harmonizing, and I’d trade most of my belongings to go live in Laurel Canyon circa Joni Mitchell living next door; equally, I’d like nothing more than to lounge under some peachy LA sun smoking doobies. But somehow this track seems to have sucked the wrong influences from that joint (sorry, point) in time. Inertia and indifference are clearly in, chez Hurricane Bells; innovation and, well, a pulse to prove life, are evidently out.
In short: if this lukewarm effort at music as celebration of existence were any more dead, there’d be a traffic cop stationed in front of it waving us past, proclaiming, “Nothing to see or hear, here. Move along now.”
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