The Crotchety Man blog gained another follower last week. There’s nothing remarkable in that – it happens from time to time and the current total of 71 is hardly something to get excited about. I usually check out the Gravatar and the Home page of new recruits to my personal campaign to promote good music. In most cases that leads to a blogger who writes badly or doesn’t share any of my interests or just wants to sell dubious products. Those are quietly ignored. This week’s contact, however, couldn’t be dismissed so easily.
Trackdose is a music blog by Sam White who, as far as I can tell, is a young man from the creative crucible city of Liverpool, here in the UK. He writes well and his site is nicely organised but he blogs mostly about bands I’ve never heard of. Something about the band names, though, suggested Sam’s taste and mine might overlap so the C-Man dipped a toe in the Trackdose water and listened to one or two tracks.
Gratifyingly, the ears were not assaulted with the rap and grime that might be expected of today’s more youthful music enthusiasts. Sam’s About page describes his focus as ‘alternative’ and ‘underground’, which struck me as both a bit vague and quite promising. And so it proved to be. This old codger found himself introduced to some of the fresh, honest-to-goodness indie rock he always hoped to find when he started this site. Needless to say, Crotchety Man reciprocated with a Trackdose follow.
The most recent post on the Trackdose site is a review of a gig headlined by The Blinders with support from The K’s and White Room. None of those names was familiar to Crotchety Man. On investigation it turns out that they are all relatively new bands – the earliest tracks on Spotify date from 2016 – and the crumbs of information that have fallen from the master’s online table suggest that they are only now beginning to make names for themselves outside their respective English stamping grounds.
Of the three audio samples in Sam’s review The K’s bouncy Got a Feeling got the foot tapping, White Room‘s pulsing Shoot stimulated the synapses and The Blinders‘ rasping L’Etat C’est Moi left the skin uncomfortably raw. Somehow the running order seemed to be inverted. But what do I know? I’m just a crotchety old man, after all. Besides, two short samples and one full track is far too short to judge the merits of even one band, never mind three.
Further research, however, bolstered those first impressions. The K’s repertoire is skimpy but all three tracks I’ve heard hit the Crotchety sweet spot. The band reminds me of The Kooks or The Zutons and there’s a hint of Kirsty MacColl’s A New England. This is chirpy, get-up-and-go indie rock with intelligent lyrics and it fills a hole in my sonic soul.
I’ve got a feeling The K’s will go far. Here’s Glass Towns, the latest single from them, so you can judge for yourself:
And the other bands? White Room are definitely worth exploring. Their EP, Eight, has all but one of the nine songs they have published on Spotify. Crotchety Man has listened to those and they sit very well with him. (Stole the I.V. is a good introduction.) Lack of time and motivation has prevented a proper assessment of The Blinders so you’ll have to do your own research on that one.
Thanks to Trackdose I think I can safely say that my kind of rock music is alive and well and gigging in Liverpool.