Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hey, they sound like...

I had a short conversation with a friend who asked my opinion of Coldplay (I don't have one). He said they sorta annoyed him since they seemed like a U2/Radiohead ripoff. I had never heard anyone described as being derivative of U2, which is interesting. This got me thinking about bands that seem to be able to define themselves musically in a way that limits the bandwagon effect.

Pearl Jam and (to a lesser extent) Nirvana seem to be the poster children for that problem. Vocal immitators of Eddie Vedder are all too common.

So, who would be on that list? Dave Matthews Band jumps to mind. Unique musical style, unique vocal style. The Who is another. You never hear anyone saying "Hey, they sound like the Who". I would add U2 to that list (Coldplay comparison not withstanding). And Phish. If you think they were just a Grateful Dead ripoff jam band, you weren't listening very closely.

Radiohead seems to have forged their own way.

Ok, surely there are others. I'm talking about bands with staying power here, too. Someone who was able to build a distinctive career.

Anyone? Bueller?

5 comments:

Kevin said...

I'd put Van Halen in the category of "tough to imitate" if only because Eddie's style of guitar playing is so unique. And I'm not just talking about the finger tapping technique or his solos. If you really listen to the chord progressions in the main part of his songs they are just wacked out, but they work. Very non-traditional. Throw in Alex's drum work and you have a recipe for UNIQUE.

chief said...

Yeah, they are unique, but the difference is that so many people TRIED to imitate them. Lots of bands tried to imitate Pearl Jam too, but few were any good.

Kevin said...

You dissing fellow Tribe alums 7Mary3??

Your wife will be crushed.

chief said...

lol. She knows a couple of those guys. But agrees with my assessment, I think.

applehead said...

Yes, I do agree with your assessment. Jason Ross does a good Eddie Vedder imitation without the interesting lyrics.