Modern populist dance and pop music makes me very, very angry. It tends to follow set trends, where one artist or producer (*coughTimbalandcough*) will innovate just a little bit, then the whole damn world will copy them and make their innovation incredibly boring and derivative. Couple that with heartless, emotionless lyrics written by music industry slave songwriters and musicians chosen for their style over substance, and we have a whole section of the music industry that just sucks up all the wealth, despite it displaying all the worst facets of music.
But out of this mire of awful, awful shite come WHITELODGE/blacklodge, a pair of brothers from South Dakota who, as a side project of their more traditional band The Kickback are subverting almost every tired old convention in modern pop music and making something, well, good out of it. They’ve only released three songs so far, but each one has something a little special about it. “Little Teach”, for a start, actually makes me like an autotuned voice for the first time, the vocals having enough passion to render the autotune just a vocal effect, not a soul-sucking musical contraption designed by Beelzebub to let Lady Gaga profit from her sonic effluence. The refrain of ‘You don’t belong!’ and the simple synths backing the whole song up are really very catchy. “Trainwreck”‘s synth laments are more emotional than most electronic music can ever muster, and the quiet break into just echoing vocals and an organ is a nice touch. My favourite however is “Kid Dynamite”. An ode, or ballad (or whatever) to Mike Tyson, its growling bass noise, hip-hop ‘Hey!”s and the sections where it sound like an electronic African folk song make this not only brilliant, but different to anything else out there right now.
As far as I know, the brothers will be releasing one track a week for the foreseeable future, so keep an eye on their Myspace page to find out what else they have in store for us, and for now just revel in the fact that someone, somewhere, cares what their pop music sounds like.