Moments In Song #3 – The Bastards Of Fate ‘Sweet’
By Scott Creney
Traveling around the country you get to see a lot of music, most of it mediocre — derivative and uninspired. It gets a little depressing sometimes, trudging past all the gas stations, past the Waffle Huts, the Pizza Kings and the Burrito Stands only to find one more band that sounds like all the others. You start to get cynical. You feel like you’ve heard it all before. You start to think that nothing can surprise you.
During this most recent jaunt, I saw four bands do Nirvana covers. One of these bands also covered Jane’s Addiction. Nobody laughed. Nobody cheered. The songs just went out there into the ether, where they hung in the air like a blank. They could have played them. Or not played them. And it wouldn’t have made a goddamn bit of difference.
Which, when you think about the time and energy that goes into being a band, the hours upon hours of practice and thought — well like I said, it can start to get bleakly depressing, watching this night after night. Like we don’t already have enough moments in our day-to-day existence that make us feel like life is pointless and ultimately futile.
You start praying for a band to shake you out of your funk, to show you something — anything — that will allow you to feel, even for a minute or two, even if you’re just fooling yourself, that music can be special.
I don’t think I was fooling myself when I stumbled across The Bastards Of Fate.
No, it wasn’t in Brooklyn, or Chicago. Not even in Cleveland or Boston. And certainly not in Philadelphia. No, I saw them at The Horseshoe, a smoke-filled bar (I didn’t even know they still allowed smoking in bars) in Roanoke, Virginia. That video up there was the first song. By the last song, the entire room was dancing.
Like Talking Heads at their most sinister and diabolical, The Bastards Of Fate have created a kind of New Wave Noir. They trade in Kafka-esque showtunes, the sound of icy overnight evenings in a nearly empty motel. Even in the daylight, even when armed with a harmonica, they have a genuine weirdness about them that cannot be faked.
They don’t have a record. There are no downloads available. They have a website: www.thebastardsoffate.com with some interesting pictures. Send them an e-mail. Let them know that they are not just hollering into the void.
The Bastards Of Fate are lost in the funhouse, in love with its danger. You can’t reach them, not yet. You’re going to have to find your own band, someone a little closer to home. It might take some searching, but they’re out there, just around the corner, in the unlikeliest of places.
Just don’t ever — ever — think you’ve heard it all. None of us have.