Mumford & Sons are huge right now, I have never seen them so I don’t have a real opinion, however I don’t think I really want to see them. On Sunday night, they were playing the 65,000-seat-capacity San Manuel Amphitheater here in Southern California, and that was probably their biggest show ever. According to the LA Weekly, Mumford said this between songs, ‘I don’t know what to say to all these people, God save the queen? There’s a lot of white people here? We don’t have a political message. We’re just going to sing songs and have a good time’.
And that is part of the problem, I have nothing against their pleasant, comforting, gentle – call them what you want – plucked-banjo sing-alongs, but the songs don’t say much and there’s nothing really new up there, except they may be delivered with more enthusiasm than usual, but there’s certainly nothing provocative. Talking to The Independent, Mark E Smith from The Fall declared this when talking to the awful state of today’s music:
‘Even pop, rock, it’s all very miserable right now. Everyone I meet says that to me. All that I hear is that it’s shit. Old people, young people, taxi drivers; there’s just nothing there. ‘When will the new Sex Pistols come, Mark?’ It’s not going to happen, is it? It’s not. The occasions I go to award shows, they’re just a bunch of shits. You sit next to The Killers, and it’s like, am I on the wrong fucking train here? No, really. Talking about shares and stuff. Mumford & Sons, it’s like sitting next to Ernst and Young.’
Ouch! Although, I don’t think Mumford & Sons really care to be compared to one of the world’s largest professional accounting firm since it’s working all right for them! But their folk-bluegrass-country mix played by guys in Oliver Twist costumes couldn’t passed for authenticity for someone like Smith, and, beside the music, how could a guy who writes ‘Doomsday Cultists Flock To Serbian Mountain’ relate to lyrics like ‘Tell me now where was my fault in loving you with my whole heart’?
It’s not the first time that Smith declares publicly his hatred for Mumford & Sons, in 2010 he said he threw bottles at them while both bands were playing a festival in Dublin, and when he learnt they were No. 5 in the charts, he just answered ‘I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers’.
However, Mark E. Smith should not worry that much about the shape of pop-rock music, there is a whole world beside today’s Mumford & Sons!
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – August 1986 (Volume 17, Number 12)
“I used to read CREEM like the stuff in it was really gospel. Lester Bangs and all that stuff. And it was so important.”
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Lana grew old and boring…
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cliches farming out the same two dozen hooks for decades…
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uplifting synthpop single
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Where are the songs?
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electronic variants to perfection
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good karma…. now gone bad
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At least you know what you are missing
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1986 (Volume 17, Number 10)
Nobody understood the world of music journalism better than David Lee Roth