Library of Articles

  • Library: Articles

Is Rock Burning Out? Print-ready version

by Lynden Barber
Sydney Morning Herald
April 25, 1988
Original article: PDF

A lot of American music reflects media over-stimulation. A constant bombardment of imagery, information and commercial imperatives is causing extreme neurosis.

MTV recently featured an American fashion designer burbling happily about "burnouts"---kids burnt out by a life of tele-culture, with no ideals and interests except themselves and rock 'n' roll. MTV---itself a major cause of "burnout"---thought this rather droll.

The light entertainment of the River's Edge generation is full of death imagery: witness American speed-metal, whose bands have names like Slayer and Megadeth, and hard-core punk outfits like Suicidal Tendencies. The latter's best-selling hard-core LP (Suicidal Tendencies, Virgin) is the sound of youths trying to out-scream the white noise of TV madness. It's not my bucket of tea, but I admire a sense of determination this extreme. . . . [next two paragraphs omitted]

In other parts of the industry, the latest hare-brained corporate marketing strategy is the superfluous guest list aimed at perking up the profile of an album.

Take Joni Mitchell's new LP, Chalk Mark In A Rain Storm (Geffen), which features Peter Gabriel, Don Henley, Tom Petty, Bill Idol (God forbid!) and Wayne Shorter. With the exception of the latter, none is needed; the lesser-known supporting cast is perfectly in tune with Mitchell's muse, playing with a languid warmth. Those who call this "West Coast yuppie music" aren't listening; Mitchell's open-chord songs are filled with an aching sense of loss, though her inspiration fades towards the end...

Copyright protected material on this website is used in accordance with 'Fair Use', for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s). Please read Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement.

Added to Library on July 27, 2021. (416)

Comments:

Comment using your Facebook profile, or by registering at this site.

You must be registered and log in to add a permanently indexed comment.