So, stadium rock. It’s shit right? The thing is, when you intentionally try to make your sound more emotional, more powerful and generally overwhelming, it often just muffles the actual emotional voice at the centre of it all. I love desperately sad folk songs because you can hear someone’s voice crack, you can hear the sound of their fingers moving along strings – stadium rock offers none of that intimacy. Sure, the sound of someone singing loudly over a lilting piano line can be emotional too, but so can chopping off a finger, and I don’t do that unless I upset my Yakuza bosses (fingers cross- oh).
Which is why I’m impressed with Exitmusic’s ‘Passage’. This Brooklyn two-piece are making stadium rock that sounds genuinely emotional, but without making any huge changes to the formula. The huge crescendo is there, the lingering reverb, ringing guitars, all of that, but with the addition of some esoteric electronic work and some wonderfully quavering vocals yelping away for most of the song, they’ve somehow wrung every drop of cynical, swaying crowd bollocks out of this cloying genre and made it seem distinctly fresh. This isn’t music to sing along to, it’s to be sung at you, and loudly at that. I don’t know whether this’ll make me a stadium rock convert any time soon, but it’s seriously interesting stuff.
Exitmusic – Passage