When you hear this track you will probably – if you can hear – instantly respond by saying that this is exactly like everything I have ever heard before. And I would agree, to an extent. Because when the gods of music created guitar music, they created young, white brown haired men to go with it. These men were destined to play music which was ‘bouncy’, meant to ‘make girls dance’ and which by now has become almost entirely safe and, frankly, dull. Catfish and the Bottlemen are, for example, about as exciting as talking to Ed Miliband for an hour. At first glance it sounds as if Glass Caves are simply continuing this tradition.
But – putting aside for now the fact that Glass Caves’ songs, particularly this one, are pretty catchy and heavy on melody – it’s impossible to say who Glass Caves actually sound like. The minor key is a cardinal sin for mid-noughties indie. The overdrive is at odds with Britpop. They’re too organised for the low-fi, bedroom punk of Cloud Nothings or Pavement. The best I can come up with is the bore-indie of Interpol. But where Interpol seek to solve the Meaning Of Life or whatever with their pretentious music, Glass Caves seek the total utilitarian approach employed Indie Pop since the beginning of time. If their music could be reduced to a sentence it would be ‘JUST FUCKING DANCE, PLEASE. PLEASE.’
The impression which you might be left with, then, is that Glass Caves have achieved that rare thing – a true merging of influences. When that happens, it forms progress in music. Music, after all, is just a series of these mashing of influences, like a large, incestuous family tree. But that’s not really what’s happening here. What Glass Caves achieved is actually rarer, but way less exciting; they’ve managed to sound like everyone but no one in paticular. It’s an interesting achievement in and of itself, but it won’t make you listen to this song twice.
What will is the steep contrast between loud and quiet between chorus and verse, and above all the wormhole melody. If you can remember a chorus 5 minutes later, chances are it’s decent. It’s odd to think of the effort which goes into creating music, and yet it can all be won or lost with one melody, a few notes. Here it’s won.