Oh man I’m so very tired, all of the time. My days of energy and bluster are well behind me, it is best to embrace this slowly enveloping fatigue and soak in the morass. Art sometimes inspires me but mostly now I seek comfort from it. A reassurance, not guidance. I think of art sometimes as sustenance, and sometimes as light. Not so much a burning incandescent white light but more so a soft glow that may or may not be giving off warmth. The most important thing these days is that it’s easy on the eyes.
This word “slacker” popped up in the mid 90s huh? It’s sorta morphed into a term to describe shitty “lo-fi” pop, coloured with dirty guitars and lyrics about not much at all. That’s not Batrider. Batrider are a band with depth. Unpretentious yes, slack never. Sometimes they get loud and even a bit angry, but they never all out lose their shit. I reckon they are good cats.
The cover art of this record is a good representation of the music. It’s Saturday afternoon and we’re still hungover. Pale sunlight pours in through a big window but there’s still a chill in this fucking flat. You’re over there pissing about on yer guitar. Put that rug across my toes. Keep playing those drums. And put the fucking kettle on, you dick.
Less is always more, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The simplicity within this music from Sad Souls is a beautiful thing. It isn’t music to move emotional mountains, it does not stir great oceans or resonate wildly within you. It is what it is. There’s a warmth to this music, but it’s a small warmth. A cosiness, a gorgeous charm, an endearing honesty.
How hard it is to create something truly lovely these days? Something that is not designed to be understated, but that is pure in its understatement? It’s extremely difficult I’d suggest. That’s because you can’t purposely create understatement. It has to be done honestly, with innocence and naïvety, things that are being exterminated with great haste in a time of hyper-awareness and information overload. Art that is pure and plainly beautiful should be cherished, and this is how I feel about the music of Sad Souls.
Surely one of the most horrible questions to be asked is-“what sort of music do you like?” I never know what to say-I usually say rock and roll-but in my head I am saying "honest music". I don’t say it though because it only leads to tedious conversation. There’s no point talking about it. Just listen.
I think the most appealing aspect of attending gigs for me these days is the opportunity to hear music loud. Like most people, I listen to the majority of my music on headphones. It didn’t use to be this way.
What do you suppose the percentage of people wearing headphones is on the average rush hour train trip today? 80%? 90%? 20 years ago it would have been lucky to be 50%. It’s great that people listen to more music today (though perhaps appreciate it less) and listening to music on headphones has it’s place (I would suggest when you really want to devote yourself to a listening experience a good set of headphones is essential, as opposed to listening to something on your iPhone while playing Words With Friends while walking down a teeming city street) however a lot of music-especially rock and roll-is best experienced loud. Not paint-strippingly loud, but at a decent enough volume to fill the space you are listening to it within. Enough to rattle yer ribs a little.
These few songs from Hundred Visions need to played loud, and not on headphones. Play it loud in your bedroom, blast it into your backyard, just give it the volume that it has been produced to be played at. This is rock and roll with groove, kick and swagger. It reminds me of one of my All Time Favourite Bands, Supergrass, and I do not say such things casually. Handclaps, harmonies, riffs..what’s not to love? Hundred Visions seem to have hit on a bubbling fusion of Petty-esque rock and 90’s Brit pop, and a damn fine concoction it is. Turn it up.