Friday, 11 February 2011

More Joy Division Than Joy Division


If there's one thing that I love, it's an intense booming Ian Curtis style voice
... hence my love of  THIS and THIS ... even better is when a band that I've
seen live (who've made me think of Joy Division) then actually go on and
cover Joy Division (and THE SMITHS ) for an e.p.

... and then there's White Lies - after I'd seen the UNFINISHED BUSINESS 
video I knew I'd found another band ... a really important band

'Interpol-black shirts, Curtis-bleak cheekbones and Damned-bombastic
church organ synths'
- NME ('To Lose My Life' Review)

Iconic album imagery - CHECK 
Song intro that sounds like it's from UNKNOWN PLEASURES - CHECK

Epic Snow-laden video - CHECK
Avant-garde teaser video for single - CHECK
OUT OF THE ORDINARY GIG (Hollywood Forever Cemetry) - CHECK
... which brings us to Joy Division - the one band they are constantly compared
to - click on any video on youtube and you can be sure they'll be a Joy Division
reference (... that first comment really makes me laugh!!)

'People are stupid. This is a Joy Division cover band'

'actually they apparently aren't big fans of joy division'

'as big a Joy Division fan as I am ... this guys voice shits all over Ian Curtis'
Blasphemy you say? Not really'

"pathetic joy division imitators" my arse! I love Joy Division
and White Lies, but they're both really good'

Of course there are similiarities, but then that is the case with many bands
around today who have a 'darker sound ... but the thing that sets White Lies
apart is that they have taken the template and expanded it ...  sonically it's
on a whole new level now and more specifically there is an element of hope
within the songs ... they offer a more realised version of the Joy Division

sound. It was there on the debut album, but is even more evident on the
lastest songs (case in point: the sweeping, anthemic Bigger Than Us) - just
close your eyes, it *COULD* be Ian ... and in that split second you realise
they really could have been the greatest band in the world (not that they
wern't - but you know what I mean) and remembered for a WHOLE LOT
MORE ... it was all there within their grasp. I think their sound could have
been expanded on hugely ... there was a potential for so much more ... and
that is what is meant by the title of this piece - this sound by White Lies is
huge and right up there IN YOUR FACE ... and this it what makes White
Lies so special - and more than just a 'Joy Division copyist band.

The band have just returned with BIGGER THAN US - the first single off 
of their second album - I always prefer to HEAR a song first as opposed to
seeing the video first - I don't want to be distracted by anything that first
time, I want it to be just about the music. NME.COM had an exclusive look
at the video - I watched for a few seconds and switched it off ... it reminded
me of interpol's EVIL video (not a good thing) and I didn't want the first
listen of their new single to be watching a video I didn't like ... I bought the
single off Itunes and listened to it without any distractions.
Imagine if Joy Division covered U2's 'New Years Day' but then went and made
it all widescreen ... epic and glorious ... that's the sound of BIGGER THAN US.
It's huge and expansive ... with shuddering guitars and soaring vocals that
manage to sound foreboding yet hopeful at the same time. It's a huge leap
forward for the band ... a whole new sound while retaining everything that
made the band so special in the first place.

the 'BIGGER THAN US' video ...


when I first saw the video I was a bit taken aback ...  there's a lot going
on in it!! ... videos do tend to be a bit generic these days - but that's
what I like about this, it really stands out compared to everything else
on MTV ... basically if it looks like it could have came from David Lynchs'
mind then I'm going to REALLY like it - my favourite thing about it is
that it's open to interpretation as to what it's all about - as can be seen

by some youtube comments ... but some people take a whole other view
on it though (... and I really like the last comment!)

'It sounds like to me, the boy has noticed a change in the girls attitude
and vision on their relationship for reasons unexplainable in his own
eyes. He feels that their love for one another is more then just a simple
emotion and wants her to realize this hence the "I don't want you to
hold me, I don't want you to pray This is bigger than us'

'it strikes me that this is just musicians pretending to be artists, it's not
so much meaningful, more an excuse to spend money on all the extras
and have weird shit in a video'

'I respectfully disagree. It tells a story, and I believe that that was the
artists' intentions. The era of creating shit and calling it art is over; people
are realizing that beauty is not a fluke, and I believe that's demonstrated
with this video'

' modern music that doesn't suck? an artistic music video that doesn't
include scantily clad women? fantastic'


I really love all the small details in it (one example, the basketballs) ... from
my initial first thoughts that I wouldn't like it - it's now one of my favourite
videos of all time. Another thing is it puts a whole new spin on the song - it
makes you see the song as a whole new entity - it's definitely not the video
I would have expected (or I'd have made if I'd been given that song) ... and
that is really something to be applauded.

so what do you think to 'BIGGER THAN US' ... what's your interpretation of
the video and what do you make to White Lies in general??

1 comment:

  1. awesome post, thank you for introducing me to this band! I get a Joy Division/The Smiths vibe from them which I love. I've just spent the last hour on youtube checking them out...epic