Not exactly a music review
There are two points I’d like to make in this article. I’ll get to the first one right away: going to see your friend’s band is generally a bad idea. Friend’s bands are bad, especially in Nashville where everyone claims to be “with” or “in” the band. After slogging through their concert you’ll be forced to give everyone a big hug, buy them a beer, and proceed to tell the entire band how much they remind you of The Killers.
I’ve lived in Nashville off and on for ten years now and the above description has pretty much quickly become a weekly event for me. It hurts the soul after a while. In fact the list of friend’s bands I hadn’t seen was more or less down to one–I should be honest, it was down to one.
I’d been putting it off for nearly the entire time I’d been friends with these guys and I’m fairly sure my excuses were getting exponentially more extravagant and ridiculous. Eventually, I was trapped. I was sitting at a bar, with the guitarist and he asked me the right question after just the right amount of beer.
“Want to come to our show tomorrow night? Should be some pretty cute girls.”
Sure. They’re all good looking guys, so it makes sense they’d bring in some pretty good looking girls. How painful could it possibly be? I won a junior student company theater award in college, I can convince anyone I love anything.
The reason I’ve waited this long to mention the name of the band, or identify any of its members, is because I didn’t want this to look like a puff piece. It’s really not, and I certainly never really intended to write an article about these guys, but sometimes you get lucky and hit on a fantastic band at just the right time.
The band is Kissing Robots, and yes, they actually do sound like The Killers. They love playing together, their live shows are surprisingly tight, and the music is actually well written with creative melodies and some incredibly catchy hooks (including one that may, or may not, be the Inspector Gadget theme). They’ve actually got a future. And when I say that, considering the hundreds of friends and friends of friends bands I’ve been forced to endure the past ten years, I really, really mean it.
I won’t turn this into a review of the band or their album. One, that wouldn’t be fair to them because they’re still finding their sound and direction, and two, I’m god awful at writing music critiques. I have three basic opinions: It’s ok, like it, and love it. I marvel at the decision making power of Roger Ebert because I’m too indecisive to even go with thumbs up or thumbs down. It’s just important to note that I really loved these guys and, if you refer back to my rating chart above, that’s the highest rating I give.
I’ve never really actually discovered cool music before. Sure, I can surprise some of my friends with something new and hip, but I have several friends who are light years ahead of me, most notable is my best friend Megan. I swear there are drum circles in the fucking Congo who’s LP she already owns, and I have never, ever, been able to introduce her to someone worthwhile. But the other night I handed her a burned copy of the Kissing Robots album and told her to give it a listen. It was one of the more satisfying experiences of my life.
Friends bands are really, almost always, 99.9% of the time, an experience to never force on yourself. But sometimes it pays off and you might get to look really cool.
The second point I wanted to make, by the way, is this: never, ever, under any circumstances say “We should start a band.” Your friends will thank you.