Band: The Tailors
Album: Come Dig Me Up
Critic: Kev Eddy
Publication: Drowned in Sound, 2009
Writing Disorders: Idea Fever, Infectious Punctuation
Longest Sentence: 70 words
Most Emo Phrase: “I’d rather listen to something that makes me spit feathers about how appallingly bad it is”
Hi, Kev Eddy. I like your name, because unlike your writing, it flows. I have plenty to cover here, so find a comfortable chair and be sure to use the bathroom before we start.
I’m going to skip over your first paragraph so I can play along with the drama you’ve constructed in the second. Ahem…
“‘Who fucking cares?!?’, you may ask. Bear with me, it’s relevant. You see, Come Dig Me Up from London group The Tailors (I say group, but it’s essentially comprised of one Adam Killip plus a supporting cast of thousands) walks the tightrope between being a heartfelt paean to the travails of relationships and a mind-numbing ode to mediocrity.”
Like a man who declares “I’m not prejudiced” to argue he’s not the least bit racist, I think it’s fair to say that a writer who writes “bear with me” isn’t exactly confident in his own BS. And that’s fine because I don’t think you should be confident in your writing at all, Kev. It stinks.
Let’s begin with what went wrong in that second paragraph of yours. For starters, parenthetical asides only work well when they don’t disrupt the sentence they’re lodged inside. By writing an 18-word sentence INSIDE a sentence, you’ve created an unnecessary roadblock to understanding. When your audience has to scan three lines back up the sentence just to recall what the subject was, then you’re not exactly making a pristine case for us to “bear with you.”
“The rest of the record, however, falls firmly between two stools: the respectably tuneful – such as the midpoint of the album, ‘Mush Love’, which also seems to be the high point, and ‘Forever Fade’, notable for the remarkably effective refrain of ‘cherry-coloured hair’ – and the instantly forgettable (I don’t think I could tell you what closer ‘Flying Blues’ sounds like, and I only listened to it about ten minutes ago).”
What a coincidence, Kev. Your writing falls firmly between two stools: unreadable nonsense and bloated prose. Is this your natural writing style, or did somebody force you to crank out a sentence that’s about as readable as butt brail? I don’t want to burn my verbiage picking apart the entire 70-word carcass, so I’ll just focus on the tail end:
“…and the instantly forgettable (I don’t think I could tell you what closer ‘Flying Blues’ sounds like, and I only listened to it about ten minutes ago).”
I don’t get your logic, Kev. A song is instantly forgettable because it doesn’t sound like anything you’ve listened to before? If faced with this situation, logical diehard Mr. John Jack Rousseau would probably come to one of two conclusions: either it’s a UNIQUE song or Kev Eddy doesn’t listen to nearly enough music to bash a band for making a song he can’t easily criticize.
By the way, remember the whole parenthetical aside issue we discussed? Do you think maybe you could have just written that last bit as its own sentence? If you have parenthetical Tourettes, there’s probably help you can get for it. You guys have decent health care over there.
Finally we get to why you felt it necessary to rate someone’s art like a piece of meat failing inspection:
“The real problem with Come Dig Me Up is that there doesn’t seem to be any kind of emotional depth to it. I just didn’t connect with it at all – emotionally, it means about as much to me as a supermarket quiche does.”
So the “real” problem is that someone else’s round music didn’t fit in your square hole? Well maybe the real problem is that your hole is too square, Kev. Maybe round music made by musicians who play instruments has a bit more “passion” than text typed by a man who can use a computer.
Finally, we get to your conclusion. And boy, was I blown out of the water by your insight:
“However, the vast majority of it is neither memorably good enough nor memorably bad enough to lodge in the mind. Essentially, it’s musical Teflon – competent and perfect for homewares, but completely non-stick and in no way anything to get excited about.”
So if the vast majority was neither memorably good nor memorably bad…wouldn’t that be a 5/10? And ba-ZING — that metaphor about the Teflon had me fixing to ring the Pulitzer Prize Board. You should be a writer, Kev, but in the meantime feel free to keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll certainly get something out of it.