It seems that every now and then, an established musician (or musicians) have to come out of the woodwork and proclaim themselves as the saviours of music; as the ones to drag a certain genre out of the gutter. Enter Kasabian, claiming that their upcoming album will ‘save guitar music from the abyss.’ Stupid for varying reasons: guitar music doesn’t need saving; is ‘guitar music’ even a thing?; and, if anyone is to ‘save’ it, it’s certainly not going to be Kasabian. In light of such comments, we’ve compiled a list of a few of our favourite newer guitar bands/musicians who, while we stand by the fact that guitar music doesn’t need saving, are doing far more for it than Kasabian.
If you want to talk about somebody in 2017 who is proving that guitar music remains vital and fertile ground for artistic curiosity, look no further than Ty Segall. His output, both solo and with his formidable arsenal of bands (Fuzz, White Fence and Goggs to name three), is as prolific as it is consistent. Every album presents a different flavour of Segall: his latest self-titled sees him exploring Kinks-like melodies; 2014’s ‘Manipulator’ is a subtly crafted personal document; 2012’s ‘Slaughterhouse’ is a serrated juggernaut. Moreover, he has cultivated an entire army of musicians in California around him, all branching off and creating their own great work. Now THAT is how you save guitar music. (Max Pilley)
I feel like Kasabian have finally fucked themselves, and thank Christ! This statement of saving guitar music has well and truly gone over most people’s heads, how cheeky of them to think there isn’t an underground breaking through. Have they been living under a rock? Or has keeping up with the job of providing the soundtrack to the Guy Ritchie film playing in every young cockney’s head (credit: Lias Saoudi, FWL) distracting from whats been really happening for the past 10 years? How dare they omit from knowledge recent bands like Cabbage, Fat White Family, Slaves – even fucking Blossoms – who have proven this LAD LAD lets have a can and stripe bollocks, truly ceased to be noble or important when Guigsy and Bonehead left Oasis. In hardly any time at all, Cabbage have already shat over anything Kasabian have done. “Gibraltar Ape”, which pisses and spews with supreme gumption and conviction, has ten times more guts, power and authority to save guitar music which really dont need saving. Or maybe its all just a big joke and cheeky bit of bants from the Leicester band, maybe they’re looking for a reaction coz they cant find excitement in their own music. And even if it is some mad PR stunt, i think alot of us will conclude that they’re a gang of absolute wankers. (Connor Ryan)
To ‘save guitar music from the abyss’, it has to be lost to the abyss in the first place. And, when it comes down to it, what is ‘guitar music’ anyway?
Enter: The Moonlandingz. Originating as both a side-project AND a concept album, they still manage to cut out the crap and just produce the kind of glam, psych, pop and rock and roll that’s been missing since about 2006 – which, funnily enough, is when Kasabian and their ilk were in the pomp. The Moonlandingz view is that it’s society that’s in the abyss, and their response is to be mysterious, warped and weird, whilst still putting out great music.
In fact, it’s exactly the kind of step forward that the likes of Kasabian promised – that is, before they fell under the spell of the ‘lads lads lads’ brigade and started making pompous self-aggrandising statements, just to keep their names in the paper. (John McGovern)
Every now and again you amble through a festival tent and stumble upon a band that lifts you out of your sleep-deprived, alcohol-numbed daze. Creeper are this kind of band, save that rather than lifting, they whip you up and drag you around screaming on a gothic-tinged power-punk rollercoaster.
Hailing from Southampton, Creeper have spent recent years traversing the UK building up a following of fanatic intensity. Their brand of high-energy rock is both subversive and inclusive, taking a pure punk foundation from the likes of Decendents, bringing in the pop sensibilities of Green Day and the bombastic balladry of late 80s superstars such as Heart and Journey. It’s ambitious stuff, and with a live show that unleashes waves of angst, heartache and catharsis, it’s easy to see why they are amassing such a passionate following. (Jamie McNicholas)
Catfish and the Bottlemen
In my opinion, being hard-working, living the dream, and not letting anything get in your way lives within the ideologies of guitar music, and Llandudno rockers, Catfish and the Bottlemen are a shining example of that. Although Catfish haven’t in any way redefined guitar music, they continue, tune after tune, gig after gig to show fellow musicians and fans that great guitar music makes you feel amazing, and that’s all you need. There’s no need for guitar music to be saved, people will continue to enjoy it and keep it alive if there are bands like Catfish out there, to inspire young musicians and music fans to believe in the magic and brutal power that guitar music has to connect with an audience. (Jimmy Ingham)
I struggled to choose a band for this. Not because they don’t exist, but because there are too many. I feel like we’re in a time where a new generation of bands are taking over, everyone far more excited about new music than their old favourites, and it feels good. With this has come an apparent resurgence of psych bands, from the astonishingly average to the brilliant: Déjà Vega are the latter. Taking psych to the next level with huge guitar-led tracks, this is guitar music to get excited about. (Melissa Svensen)