From the archives. Pitchfork.
Reprinted from the Music That I Like blog, 23/09/09.
Bangs wept, but this band have just been lifted from the realms of the merely great (which anyone can be) to being the coolest in the UK!
They’ve just been afforded a bad review in Pitchfork! Fuck, but I’m jealous. Hang on, I have it about me somewhere. Let me just look for it … (I’m not in the habit of frequenting such joyless, grey-creating websites.) Ah, here it is. let me quote the first paragraph at you.
Not to be a complete curmudgeon or anything, but how many of these bands do we seriously need? I should first clarify that in my heart, there will always be a place for crummy, DIY lo-fi– it might not be the most original shit in the world, but when applied with vigor and creativity, you’ve got some potentially exciting stuff on your hands. When paired with rote punk variations, laziness that’s been confused for brattiness and a profound propensity for short, shambling pop-punk tunes that are as aimless as they are irritating, well, you’ve got the London-based female trio Pens– they can’t play, shout directionlessly at each other most of the time, and make sure that each song on their debut Hey Friend, What You Doing? sounds exactly like the one before it, a pastiche of uninformed garage footnotes, slug-and-chug hardcore rhythms and boneheaded tee-hee in-jokes.
What fucking year is this? 1975, and we’re all studiously examing Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here for hidden messages? 1997, and we all can’t believe how clever and collegiate-smart and important Radiohead are? 2008, and we all fucking love Animal Collective because they’ve got beards and they’re serious and they’ve managed to rip off Beach Boys completely while stripping them of their most precious asset (the tunes)?
Let me run that line past you again They can’t play, shout directionlessly at each other most of the time, and make sure that each song on their debut Hey Friend, What You Doing? sounds exactly like the one before it
Let me run that line past you again. They can’t play
Let me capitalise that line, put it in another font colour, bold it up and start engraving it on Pitchfork’s long-deserved tombstone.THEY CAN’T PLAY. Pathetic, fucking pathetic. Music critics who go around spouting the same tired cliches of five decades should NOT BE ALLOWED to fucking type their words, but write them out painfully in longhand using the blood from countless generations of musicians held back by similar critics’ use of same. Dickhead. Fucking dickhead. Bet he despises Riot Grrrl (and punk, and gospel, and 60s pop, and late 80s grunge, and garage rock) (etc).
(I expand more upon this point in my Vivian Girls review over here on The Vine.)
Still. As I say. Being slagged by a place with little, or no, credibility can do wonders for your own.
Hey ho. Here’s the link to their MySpace again. Go listen. They’re great.