Belize - Tidal Tales From The Other Side
It's a common observation, whether you're looking upon a relatively small music scene or the industry as a whole, to see bands that aspired to be their influences or (worse) peers instead of striving to better them. It takes a rare, shared vision to create unique music and far too many bands believe that achieving an admired musician's sound then putting their own twist on it qualifies as "original" or special.
It does not.
There are an awful lot of "original" bands in the world ("original" again meaning that they write their own material, not that they create defining sounds of their own). Right now in the crowded, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free indie rock genre, you need not be more than adequate. The indie scene is fairly welcoming and pretty forgiving. Most bands you hear have enough respect for song writing that they can at least play their instruments well, so you have to give them that and most people do (instead of pointing a sophisticated finger and saying "No."). The pond though, when you accommodate all, shrinks with a rapidly growing koi population. There are an awful lot of singer/songwriter, folk-rock, prog-folk acts in the water now. The stand out acts (Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Iron and Wine, etc) are adored and every other band is sort of indiscriminately accepted. For every Nirvana right now, there are thirty-four Tads and Belize does their part to push that ratio wider.
There are four bands (that I know of) playing in Omaha tonight that sound similar to Belize or any of the dozens of bands they sound like. In the years' worth of shows that I've worked, I've heard a version of Belize almost every night. Tidal Tales from the Other Side is an opus for the openers. It's the indecipherable music between sets or, at best, the forgettable band that happened to be playing while you were hitting on that brunette in the teal sun dress. Casey Curry and crew are, like their many peers, capable musicians and their songs are perfectly acceptable, boring "indie rock" music. This is where Belize serves their best purpose: as an example of dilution.
Sure, maybe some bands aren't trying to recreate the wheel and they should be left alone to write whatever the hell they want. Plenty of bands have made a living off merely existing in a genre instead of defining it. "Indie" used to be a generalization for a band or style that hadn't been propagated yet. Now the genre embraces many, be they unique or not. What happens when there's a breakthrough now? What do you call that indescribable something when it finally comes around again?
I know it won't be called Belize.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.