The 21st century is constantly battling and struggling with an identity crisis. With an unprecedented amount of information readily available at our fingertips we have become the decade of the ‘borrowing’ and rehashing. This culture is far more prevalent in the visual arts with areas such as graphic design, fashion and photography being hit to a stupendous degree. With incredible technological advances with the likes of the iPhone, we still have the desire to download one very popular app that allows us to slather our photographs in a cheap effect to make it seem like it was taken 30 to 40 years prior. Popular design is to create images that scarily mirror a very dodgy late 80’s low budget film poster campaign. And finally fashion. What decade of the past century hasn’t had a god damn comeback? More and more regularly I’m finding myself asking the question why do we have this painful, nostalgic obsession with the past? Should we be concerned with being branded as the copy-cat era by future generations?
Although this doom and gloom collage culture isn’t as widespread in the music industry there is no denial that we have been experiencing some pretty heavy revivals of the past. 1980’s synthpop with the likes of Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode has well and truly been covered but in hindsight, the revival has, and still is producing some pretty great and ironically unique music. Ratatat, Grimes and Twin Shadow are a few favourites that spring to mind.
Amidst the cloudiness of rehashes and the many forgettable bands that come with the collage territory you can actually dig up some real gems. A noticeable trend coming back into relevance is straight up 1960’s, The Stooges inspired garage rock with the likes of Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, White Fence, Black Lips, King Tuff and Nobunny all putting out quality new releases. This week we saw the release of Nobunny’s appropriately titled La La La La Love You single with the rather unconventional b-side Drei Blondinen. The single is everything it should be when it comes to dealing with reviving genres that some people may say is dead and buried. It’s raw, fearless and incredibly to the point. You wont find any sugar coatings here and that’s why I think it’s impossible not to fall for it. It doesn’t get that much more fearless than Nobunny, the man who regularly sports a dodgy rabbit mask and the lack of clothes at a live show. Just imagine him being like a character out of a Harmony Korine film…
So all this raises the question in my mind, is our collage culture really all that bad? Like it or not there is no denying that revivals are exciting and although they may come and go in a matter of months it’s probably better than sitting through a rather prolonged and painful spell like other decades have had the unfortunate pleasure of experiencing.