# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Nightjars - Nightjars

  by Jeff Thiessen

published: 6 / 7 / 2009

Nightjars - Nightjars
Label: Nightjars
Format: CD


Unimaginative and almost totally derivative debut album from Mancurian indie rock five-piece, the Nightjars

I hate the Strokes’ guts. While I’m at it, I also don’t think the Hives, Vines, Von Bondies, or any of those cooler then thou bands emerging from the early millennium are worth a damn on their best day. I didn’t understand their appeal upon their arrival. Now I’m starting to see what they actually contributed to music: nothing whatsoever, nothing, unless you consider crude, vague magnetism a valid form of currency. The resounding success of all these boneheaded acts probably didn’t provide anything tangible other then the shares of certain ‘messy look’ hair gel may have seen some increase in value, as well giving us a viable attaché case to slap on to previously abstract terms, like dense and moronic. I truly hated everything they represented, and despite me having a photographic memory and hearing nothing but Strokes for roughly two years following their debut and pathetic follow-up, I still can’t name three Strokes songs. I can name five Limp Bizkit ones. Don’t bother trying to connect those dots, you’ll be stuck between a bottle of Rohypnol and a frat boy’s Ipod. Remember the punk-movement of the late seventies that carried well over into the meat of the eighties? Well imagine the exact opposite of that, and you will start to understand the scene that houses such ‘pioneers’ such as the Strokes, and newer protégés of tThe Captains of the Banality Tavern Hipsters. At least we can be certain if Limp Bizkit never gained any level of fame, Fred Durst and co. would most likely be the most popular tattoo artists in Ventura, California, or at least in the top ten. I heard he was pretty good. On the other hand, I always thought when the Strokes stopped making music, they’d simply transition over to any number of white-collar gigs waiting patiently for them, and I’m sure their tour stories would spin a great yarn at the yacht club. I’m not cutting them down because they appear to be a part of the upper-class, but I am disgusted by their music because it addresses nothing beneath the bourgeois’, and is clearly designed for such a demographic, people who want to be cool and edgy, but don’t actually want a view of whatever edge they are romanticizing. Fucking repulsive. I don’t know what the Strokes or the slew of copycats that emerged in their wake are up to these days, but I do know we still have versions of them, just more cleverly disguised. Take the Nightjars for example, a group of five from Manchester. They just released a self-titled album, and for my money, it’s one of the most worthless, and utterly vacant collections of music I have ever heard in my life, and worst of all, it is derivative of the aforementioned Kings of Cool. I feel grateful I still have my money, as writers for this site do have the luxury of free albums arriving in the mail, but when I considered the thought certain people would willingly pay for this, I dropped tears as big as tomatoes. First I cried for them, then I realized they probably actually dig this sort of garbage that offers nothing and challenges no one, and then I cried for myself, for initially shedding tears for the sorts of cretins that feel the need to fill their head with such a hollow thud and pay good money for it. Finally, I cried because I realized I wished I could be one of those people, and find real fulfillment by looking down an empty well, and not only believing something life-affirming is in the black hole, but not having to convince myself of that fact either, it’s just instinctual. Okay, I didn’t cry at all, but I sure had a good, miserable chuckle when I read the Nightjars’ bio on their webpage, and they tried to quote Andy Warhol. Don’t worry guys, you’ll create your own soup can sooner then fifteen minutes. There are twelve tracks on their album, and of the forty-four minutes or so I had to sludge through, there is exactly four minutes and thirty seconds of tolerable music, which is found on the second track 'Valentine', a song that is actually very evocative in its simplistic nature. It has an uncharacteristically straight-forward alt-country feel to it, and it’s an absolute mystery to me why they would abandon such a successful early diversion that seems to be created with stony-eyed clarity. The other forty minutes is irredeemable slabs of twaddle, alternating between completely counterfeit and dismal sonic experiments that fall flat on their hair-brained skull, and by-the-numbers wimpy bullshit that doesn’t really strive for anything except maybe attempting to prove their worth as suitable background music at a sorority’s wine and cheese party. It starts out with 'You in a Fine Light', and it sounds like a make-believe song some twelve-year old created from scratch on Rock Band, a kid who likes to push a lot of random buttons, mind you. To say it’s a confusing mess would be an insult to confusing messes; this is true tedium in the name of vogue stylishness, and my head might have been spinning if it wasn’t for the fact it’s impossible to actually care about music like this. See, you have to understand, this is created to dismiss, even (perhaps especially) for the fans, so I see no reason why I can’t move forward with icy detachment as well? Forgive me if I wasn’t enthralled with your lecture on ‘corporate puppets’ guys, although I did appreciate how you stopped short of actually containing a Michael Moore sample. Even worse is 'Machines Have Gone Down', which repeats the song title approximately thirty times in some absurd effort to I don’t know, convince us some machines have went down? What machines guys? Is this an overtly ironic reference to The Industrial Revolution? Did your cell phone battery die? Or maybe it provided just enough vague approximation to something imposing we should try and ponder all the while fitting gloriously within the confines of the insipidly repetitive song structure. Have I mentioned how none of the lyrics are worth studying for more than four minutes and thirty seconds? Consider a quote from frontman Ollie Wright, directly from the band’s lame bio: “Lyrics reveal you, no matter how hard you might try to manage them”. Manage lyrics? He’s talking like Charles Schwab, but you see, that’s exactly the kind of vile rubbish these kinds of bands throw into the woodwork with no conception just how contemptible it truly is. I can’t wait to read their next interview when they discuss ‘necessary appropriation of sound’, or ‘the triumph of trial and error over lateral thinking’. Plus, you’re wrong Ollie, unmitigated lyric output doesn’t tear out morsels of any ‘strength of self’ you’re pretty sure you have stored somewhere inside your flirtatious carcass, it just beats down the point you’re essentially modern-day Bernie’s. Remember that weekend where everyone thought he was such a cool, enjoyable guy they all wanted to party with? A lot of people found it sad when they discovered he was just a dead guy, but that didn’t stop the party from ending. Nor should it. It’s not what Bernie would have wanted.

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