💿 How Good Is It Really 💿 Is This It

A couple of decent tunes surrounded by turgid, derivative, insincere shite. The musical equivalent of the posh arseholes who hang around East London for a few years pretending to be arty before fucking off back to the home counties. If they were from Manchester rather than New York no-one would have cared. 4, mostly for Hard To Explain.

Reptilia is the only great song they’ve ever written.

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This quote from Conor McNicholas, who was editing NME at the time, pretty much sums up the whole period. Utterly cynical, manufactured hype

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Next time there’s a Menless Monday I will start a HGIIR Pinkerton thread. And buy some popcorn.

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I am one of these people and I had no knowledge of the circus around any of their work at the time. Was on holiday in 2008 and I wanted to buy an album which was in a 2 for £10 offer, I liked everything of Weezer’s that I knew and Pinkerton was there so I bought that, I listened to it on my dad’s portable CD player and I was totally blown away by it. I love Blue as well but Pinkerton just hits harder for me and always has done. A rare 10/10. It was only later I found out there was a huge Blue v Pinkerton thing.

The huge benefit of this is that a month later I met a student who had joined my school for sixth form, we bonded over our love of Weezer and 12 years later I’m going to be bridesmaid at her wedding (which has been postponed again)

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It’s pretty much perfect in terms of what it sets out to do. Almost any track could be a single (and lots of them were). They certainly didn’t re-invent the wheel and there is something ever so slightly ridiculous about them but for a brief moment they were genuinely exciting. 9.

(Don’t know why this has come up as reply to @JohnM)

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AND THESE FRIENDS, THEY KEEP ASKING FOR MORRRRRREEE
OHHHH YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH
Oh, but that’s it.

Love that delivery

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Isn’t this just the way the record industry works though. Obviously I’m not saying it’s a good thing just nothing peculiar about what followed The Strokes.

I mean if you watch old TOTP you can see a sort of lag between a massively successful new act and then all the derivative acts that follow. Doesn’t seem any different in indie world.

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Feel really nostalgic about this album, being a teenager and everyone loving it. Summed up by that line on Someday - “When we were young, oh man did we have fun, always, always”

Probably can’t go any higher than 8, but what an 8.

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well that’s just absolutely lovely.

If anything it is even more prevalent in the ‘indie world’. When that rare act comes along that has some kind of alternative credibility and also makes inroads commercially everyone wants to get on that bandwagon. I don’t think you can blame a band for their rubbish imitators - if we did we wouldn’t listen to any of the decent bands in musical history.

The NME was particularly egregious at this - always desperately searching for a new ‘scene’.

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wonder what Americans think of this album? The main appeal I can think is that it’s cool to pretend you are American when listening to it.

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Never really ‘got’ it. Bit boring.

4

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this is true. similar trajectory to wolf parade imo. although Spencer K made up for it by releasing loads of other great stuff

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Getting that big cross over act can presumably completely transform the financial situation of an independent label as well.

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Well, yes and no. I mean, mainly yes but I was working for Kerrang! around this time, and through that found out that the NME had a reputation for ALLEGEDLY taking bungs for promoting bands. The Vines ALEGEDLY being the prime example (hence the significant gulf between their actual quality and how much praise they received).

Kerrang! was actually outselling NME for a good few years and as a result NME were absolutely desperate for something guitar-based that they could use to flog the mag (you might remember they briefly flirted with nu-metal, trying to brand it “sport metal”) without going Full Mosher, which is why The Strokes were hailed as if Jesus had returned, put on a leather jacket, and started a band with some rich kids in new york.

And that cynicism was so blatant to me at at the time it made me reject that entire scene outright which in retrospect I think was really childish and meant I missed out on some really great music.

It’s very telling, though, that every band and journalist interviewed for MMITB is very upfront about the fact that the accepted trajectory at the time was: build a following in New York, get signed, go to London and get massively hyped in NME, and then come back to the USA as ‘that band who are huge in the UK’.

Isn’t it not on the US release on account of them thinking it would go down badly after 11th Sept 2001? Ie maybe the US version is your preferred one?

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I’m not an audiophile in the classic, £5,000 speakers sense, but I am what my friend describes as “a production Tory” so the production on this album was never going to be my cup of tea :slight_smile:

Absolutely correct, which interestingly makes UK releases of the album worth more than the US ones.

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Press always seemed obsessed about creating a scene didn’t it. The NY to London and back sort of makes sense from Blondie, and no doubt others, onwards.

Great insights - thanks for sharing. I’ve always been naive about this stuff tbh, sure I’m not alone. I always think of payola being one of those 1950s things. The first time I caught onto that type of thing properly was spending 2 or 3 years being absolutely baffled by Pitchfork hyped bands before eventually connected the dots and realizing they were all just mates writing about each other’s bands.

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Most indie labels have enough nouse to sift the wheat from the chaff - the problem comes when major labels start throwing massive contracts at people because they sound or look a bit like the latest credible crossover act (probably a bit of a thing of the past, to be honest)

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I certainly always felt like I was too old to really get them or maybe just too aware of how the NME seemed to be trying to build a scene.

I saw them live at an On night before the album IIRC and they seemed so dull to me. Just very static. Didn’t help it was a night including Peaches, Rocket From the Crypt and Trail of Dead. In retrospect a hugely tough gig for them but it set me against them.

Definitely enjoy that first album a lot more now but I just don’t love it.

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