Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Turn To Bitch About Pitchfork

(Cold War Kids live at the Fillmore 8/7/06 -- Photo by LZ)

Cold War Kids
“Hospital Beds”


Pitchfork (somehow?) missed the boat on Cold War Kids, denying them (Pitchfork) the chance to play tastemaker as the band unleashed itself on an unsuspecting--yet grateful--nation. In a play for revenge/to get the backlash underway, the site assigned its one contributing writer whose entire CD collection consists of selections from the BMG Music Club to review a CWK single for its "Track Reviews" section. As I'm sure the band is far too classy to sink to the level of rebutting this tripe, I'll do it for them:

Pitchfork reviewer Adam Moerder's words are in italics.
Mine are in, um, untalics.

Like so many Facebook profiles, this Californian four-piece probably likes just about anything but country.

Your next sentence contradicts this [the Dylan influence e.g.].

Recently signed to Downtown Records,

Jealous much?

they cite an exhausting list of influences-- everything from Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and U2, to, several paragraphs later, Belle and Sebastian and Nirvana.

So liking all of these artists--let alone simply citing them as influences--implies some inherent problem with the band? Any artist who submits a list of influences that is anything less than exhaustive is being less than truthful.

In particular, frontman Nathan Willett needs to realize he can't be every singer he idolizes at once, because no matter how good the rest of the band sounds, his pompous delivery makes every song sound like a Jeff Buckley cover band playing a wedding while drunk.

Now I'm lost. He's trying to sound like every singer he idolizes at once? You didn't say he's mimicing anyone in particular (and clearly he's not, since your ultimate assessment is that he sounds like a "drunk" Jeff Buckley). Given the "exhaustive" list of influences, shouldn't this result in something awesome, much as a spun color wheel miraculously renders whiteness? And, man, I know you're not going to be happy with me after this, but is there *any* way I can get an invitation to that wedding?

Here, what could've been a nice mixtape number snuggled in between humble Voxtrot and Antony and the Johnsons ballads blows a gasket, at times stretching for soulful Black Crowes heights à la "She Talks to Angels".

Ok, admittedly I own a total of zero records by the three bands you namecheck in this sentence. But I've heard Antony songs and, sorry, no, that would just be poor sequencing. So I'm guessing you had to buy the Voxtrot disc and I Am A Bird Now to get Shake Your Money Maker for a penny? Dude, I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here. But you might want to check the PF styleguide for the definition of 'ballad.'

I suppose hidden somewhere in between Dylan and Cobain there was a Crowes shout-out, but they could at least have paid homage to their heroes by writing a damn chorus.

"Put out the fire, boys."

Pitchfork seems so be everyone's whipping boy lately, and I've done my share of defending them. This, however, is just silly. I'm done.

MP3: Cold War Kids ~ Hospital Beds
Site: Cold War Kids

Update: Here's a site handicapping future Pitchfork reviews. Brilliant!
[via Tim O'Thompson]


Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

great post. i had no idea pfork missed the boat on those guys. kicking themselves i imagine.

4:24 AM  

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