Friday, July 31, 2009

Lost Bands of Britpop (Part Nine)

First an editorial note; This is really part eight in the series looking at bands that were popular during the musical heyday knows as Britpop but do to an oversight I missed Part Seven. Rather than go back a renumber I will simply carry on as if I can do something that my three year old boys do on a regular basis; namely count.

Sometimes a band gains popularity by being a curiosity. Such was the case with CAST. Cast was the primary vehicle for THE LA'S bass player John Power to distance himself from Lee Travers and his former band. Unlike the polished shimmering pop of his previous band, Cast had the sound of a contemporary Britpop band (with a heavy reliance on Beatles timing and phrasings). But the fact that The La's had been so popular made this band bigger than maybe they should have been. Which brings up an interesting thought. As was the case with THE STONE ROSES, do we view these bands that made only one significant album and then were never heard from again as better than they really were. What if The La's had made more records and Cast was never formed. I'm not saying the record, entitled "All Change", is crap, far from it. It is a very nice record with some very catchy songs (among them the sing songy single "Sandstorm", the anthemic opener "Alright" and the Oasis homage "Finetime") but we would all have rather had another La's record I think.

But what if The La's record had been bad (as was apparently the case based on reports of what people had heard of the sessions). Would that have ruined our perception of them as musicians. This is different than when an artist dies. They output is finite at that point and we can then begin the work of judging their body because it is complete. But with tortured soul types all it does is continue the "what if" that we play. What if Travers wasn't such a head case? What if Kevin Shields had gotten his shit together to make a proper My Bloody Valentine record? But the their is the flip side. Wouldn't we all have been better off without "Second Coming" by The Stone Roses in our lives? Should the Roses simply have said, "that's it, that's the best we got so enjoy", rather than producing another record years later that had no hope of reaching our collective lofty expectations?

So instead of the potential beauty or the utter disaster of The La's we get the serviceable rock of Cast. Now the band when on to release several records and had a nice little career, and maybe that's the way it was supposed to be. Sometimes we as listeners are better off not hearing what could have been...

(m4a) Cast -- Alright

(m4a) Cast -- Finetime

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