Electricity. It permeates every facet of our lives. And rock music as well. Sure, it seems there’s always been the electric guitar, and most of us have at least heard of legends like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page. Bands like Pink Floyd, ELP, The Moody Blues and ELO used synthesizers extensively. The 80’s and 90’s championed synthpop and industrial rock, and so it goes.
It’s nothing new, but with the current resurgence of electronic sounds in rock, some of my friends are currently lamenting what they perceive to be the loss of “real” rock music. You know, the head-banging, straight ahead accent of bands with a guitar/bass/drum setup. The Black Keys, Cage The Elephant, The Strokes – acts like that.
They may have a point. Take a quick listen or glance at what’s “hot’ in alternative or even adult alternative rock these days and you’ll hear or see a whole lot of what constitutes electronic rock. The charts are full of acts like Bob Moses and Phantogram. Also prominent are artists like Empire Of The Sun, an electronic music duo from Australia who have been riding high with the hit “High and Low.”
These same friends point to Saint Motel and the song “Move” as a perfect example of what SHOULDN’T be on an alternative rock chart.
“It’s a frickin’ dance song,” they say. Yeah…OK. Not a lot of electric guitar in that one, I’ll give you that. (But damn if it doesn’t have a hook.) And yet there it is on the chart, living right in between Beck and Cage The Elephant.
And isn’t that the point…that there has been and always will be different types and genres of rock coexisting and vying for our attention. Why discriminate? To paraphrase the great rock/soft rock/piano rock/pop/singer-songwriter Billy Joel, it’s all still rock and roll to me.
– Submitted by Brian Chamberlain, Music Design