Sometimes when I hear the garbage that is on popular radio these days I feel bad, terrible even, for the kids who will grow up thinking that this garbage is music. It seems that with each passing year the mainstream music scene becomes more and more to resemble a factory that shits out unfeeling garbage songs and probably makes a bit of profit all around.
I don’t know why they’d do it otherwise. I mean they can’t really like any of that garbage that they put on the airwaves can they? Anyways I growing up in the ‘80s and coming of age in the ‘90s, it was a pretty decent time for music, even somewhat popular styles, in retrospect, and today the ‘80s and ‘90s music has become the classic rock that the ‘60s and ‘70s once was. True some albums and songs from that epoch have not aged well, nor for that matter have some of these bands now withered looking members.
However the songs and records that have endured and in some cases sound even better today than they did back then continue to inspire many bands working today. One of those bands is the London rockers Black Olives, whose debut album How About recorded in Kent came out in 2003. After some hefty touring through Europe and including playing for the Queens Golden Jubilee and an opening gig for Fratellis, Black Olives continued to put out the occasional single until finally releasing their second record SAIL MY WAVE in 2013 and now have, with the release of their latest record Double Standards released some of their loudest and hardest hitting tracks to date.
Double Standards opens with the upbeat alt-rocker “Electric Face,” coated in tinny guitars with just a hint of blues and backed up by a powerhouse vocals and backup harmonies. If there was ever a song to start off a rock record this is it. And if one would have to follow up such a song “Sacred Karma” provides the perfect transition with its myriad of gritty guitars matched with more psychedelic sounding ones; it reminded me of the latter oeuvre of Supergrass. Later on they take on the soul of the old northern souls The Verve on the mystic rocker “Running Machine” and then downshift to a little bit of a lackadaisical aspect that sounded like some delicious blend of country-era Stones and Dinosaur Jr.
Double Standards isn’t all just balls out rock songs to thrash and bang to though. Take the mellowed out cool of “Sooner or Later,” the mellow, psychedelic rocker “Corner of My Dream” or the two-minute “just for fun” Zeppelin sounding jam session “Cannon Fodder.”
With Double Standards Black Olives prove that the rock music of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s is still viable, that it is still rife with influence and when a talented band is influenced by such eras they too can make amazing, original music that will hopefully go on to inspire future generations.
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