Very much unlike last year's contest, this year Eurovision is almost entirely bereft of proper rock entries. Maybe the trend boiled over completely last year (when there were like ten, all of which bombed), or maybe it's all more integrated this year (as you'd expect) and pop-with-metal-guitars entries like Azerbaijan and Lithuania are the new black. Whatever. Essentially, there are only two rock entries proper this year.
Teräsbetoni - Missä Miehet Ratsastaa
This year the Finnish entry has dug even deeper into metal history - after 2006's GWAR-Kiss-Alice Cooper ripoffs Lordi (who won the whole thing) and last year's dour pop-metal exercise this year they're sending Manowar-style power metal. It's considerably less funny than the trend-driving Lordi entry (despite the probably unintentional analogue to Dschingis Khan) but there's something about it that's stuck with me. Maybe the neatly-produced Melodeathish drums, maybe the little close-harmony embellishments. Or maybe just the fact that the band is unironically named after a building material. I don't think they're going anywhere in any case, maybe low-end final.
Mor ve Ötesi - Deli
This radio-friendly alternative rock band is apparently huge in Turkey and has been going on for a decade and a half. I think it shows - although some of their other songs scream "hit!" a lot more this is the type of solid, professional product we've been able to expect from Turkey's highly-evolved music industry. I like the slight oriental touch to the melody, less thrilled by the evenly thick production treacle; it feels a bit like a half-baked album track. Pity, I usually enjoy it when Turkey sends band entries.
Anyway, if this was the fate of last year's big trend maybe all the crap novelty entries (see forthcoming, reluctant post) will go away for 2009. Here's hoping.
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