Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Dresden Dolls

Genres stink.

In my younger, more rebellious days, I was fond of pigeonholing the music I hear into genres.

'Cradle of Filth? That's death metal. EWWWWW noisy and boring.'
'Mandy Moore? That's tween pop and I refuse to listen to any of that radio fodder.'
'Elastica? Electronic rock. Weird noises they call music. My parents hate electronic music. My friends hate electronic music. Why should I even give it a listen?'

Genres were so comfortable because we could easily pass judgement on most of the music we come across, without even taking the time and effort to ascertain the accuracy of our judgement.

But pretty soon, I found myself wondering - what the hell does that genre mean anyway? You could call Nirvana post-punk and you'd be right. You could Bloc Party post-punk and you'd be right. But how can it be fair to pigeonhole Nirvana and Bloc Party in the same stuffy genre?

And when anyone says Bowie-esque, I often wonder if they're referring to the glam-rock Ziggy Stardust Bowie, or the stadium-rock Heroes Bowie, or even the electronica-infused Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) Bowie. They're all distinctively Bowie, but which Bowie are they really talking about?

And just as a wake-up call, we are starting to see bands that can't possibly be pigeonholed, no matter how hard you try.

One of them is The Dresden Dolls, and they call themselves a Brechtian punk cabaret band, but they might as well call themselves a wedge bar locking mechanism band or a finite element analysis band and it really doesn't matter.

There's a good smattering of goth in it. And some RnB. And indie pop. There's some quirky Eels-like lyrics in it. And polished vocals that sounds like a cross between No Doubt's Gwen Stefani and Amy Lee from Evanascence. And... oh fuck it they're just a bunch of meaningless words pretentious pricks use to describe their false familiarity with music.

This is The Dresden Dolls. And it's good stuff. And that's all I have to say.

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