A few nights ago, I got a chance to listen to music. Just sit and listen and to music, not doing anything else. If that doesn’t sound remarkable to you, I assume you don’t have the disease I have which forces me to do twelve things at once. You also must not have a 2-year-old stomping around your house. Kids prevent you from doing the darnedest things!
It was a weirdly liberating experience, because I was able to reacquaint myself with music I’d almost forgotten I loved. One track really popped out for me, and made the hair on my neck stand up (which is, sadly, the only hair near my head): “Wolf Boys” by Life Detecting Coffins. That song completely destroys me every time I hear it.
Their album Catatonic Begat Napoleonic is so unbelievable…I won’t even attempt to describe it. I can’t think of any meaningful comparisons that won’t dilute what I mean. I have this very short list of albums that create this atmosphere, this self-contained universe that, when I’m listening to them, I don’t want to leave. Catatonic Begat Napoleonic is one of those albums.*
* Also on that list (though not limited to the following):
Miles Ahead, Miles Davis
Get Happy and Trust, Elvis Costello (I love all of the early albums, but these two kill me; I think because Elvis was so worn out and pained when he wrote them)
Double Nickels on the Dime, The Minutemen
Black Star, Mos Def and Talib Kweli
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I know the guys in the band. I guess you could say I grew up with some of them (depending on your definition of “grew up”, and if I have, in fact, grown up). But I think I’d feel the same way even if I didn’t know them from Adam. Believe me, if had friends who were in a band that sucked, I’d have no problem politely ignoring their artistic endeavors.*
*Although, if I think about it, I’ve known tons of people who played in bands, and very very extremely very few of those bands were bad. I don’t think it’s because I cut those bands slack–I think I just lucked out. Or I have high standards in friends.
I’m genuinely baffled as to why LDC didn’t become The New Hotness at some point. Not that they should be selling out stadiums and playing on The Tonight Show. But they used to play a lot of shows with spiritually similar bands who were much more popular–Off Minor most often, since Kevin played bass in both bands.
I thought for sure that this exposure would earn them a much deserved wider audience. And yet, they never blew up the way I thought they would. It was especially annoying to watch a crowd politely applaud them, then go nuts for some other band with a fraction of the creativity.*
*Not referring to Off Minor, who I genuinely like. But I saw LDC play with a ton of blah, ordinary hardcore bands that people went nuts for. It was intensely frustrating for me just to watch; I can’t imagine what it was like for them to live.
I don’t think LDC is broken up per se, but its members are not in close geographic proximity to one another anymore. So I fear they may be defunct, for all intents and purposes. But do yourself a favor: point yourself to their MySpace page and give “The Island Song” a spin. If you like what you hear, get Catatonic Begat Napoleonic. I promise good things.