Commercial radio. It is one of the most soulless facets of our modern music culture (some would say the hundreds of crappy webzines out there are too…heh). It’s obvious; a medium that favours strictures and instant gratification is the furthest thing from what a culturally relevant medium should be. There are hundreds of examples why commercial radio is closed minded. Everything from Payola to fashionable music selection. All I hear on Toronto’s commercial rock radio is what’s in style at the moment: Angry, diluted, power mall-punk rock. There are thousands of these bands, you know the type. They’re all yelling and pumping those gloriously empty guitar chords all over the place. I am sick and tired of it. The majority of society is in such a rush that they need their music fast and to the point. It’s not just music mind you; all of the other mediums have been effected as well (gotta love those summer blockbusters). Painting? Sculpture? Forget about it. The worst part: this type of music has been seeping into the ‘indie’ underground.
Don’t get me wrong; I love a good single. Three minute’s of power pop is what I wake up for most mornings. New Pornographers are one of my favorite Canadian bands. The problem with the bands that are typically played on commercial radio lies with the fact that they think they are being artful and sincere, when really it is all just vapid distraction. I mean, you’ve got great indie talent like Silver Jews and Smog for poetry, Jesu and Isis for heavy sounds, Fennesz and Hrvatsky for real experimental electronics. So many of the kids in these radio ready bands are putting a ton of energy into something that equals absolutely nothing compared to what’s available in our massive musical landscape. The only reason people listen is because they either don’t have much free time or there is nothing else that they are being exposed to.
Cordova are not on a major label and they don’t take themselves too seriously with this EP; with song titles like “Atomic Lipstick” and Some Killers Are Fashionable.” They could have fooled me with the way they play the music. It’s so loud and repetitive that I found myself wondering just what the fuck it is the band is yelling about over top of those big drums and power chords. I didn’t really have to think about it though; their aesthetic was enough to give it away—Cordova want to be on commercial radio. I’ll be the first to congratulate them in advance. It is only too ironic that the final song on this EP is titled “The Radio Has Got No Soul.”
- Andrew Iliadis