5th Dimension: Style Over Substance

On the 5th of every month, we run through a silly list of five things which we love or hate about music. This month features five bands who we feel pride the quality of their “look” over the quality of their musical output. Of course, we understand that the image of a band can make or break the band’s commercial potential, nobody would like Radiohead if they daubed swastikas over their foreheads and donned t-shirts displaying their dislike for Jews (disclaimer: Radiohead are not Nazis), however someone needs to tell these bands that it’s mainly about songs instead of style.

1. Despite all the fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, the 24 gold albums and the fact that  their worldwide sales exceeds 100 million albums, it’s hard to take a band like Kiss seriously when they look like such a bunch of twats. Slipknot are another band who went the whole route of facial anonymity through their grotesque masks, but at least they had some skills as musicians (although, I gotta say Slipknot are pretty wank too). Kiss are cheesy as fuck and look like a bunch of retarded clowns playing over-glamorised dad-rock to a birthday party which can only be enjoyed exclusively if the party was for deaf people.

2. It seemed that after The Strokes rose to prominence in the early noughties, all it took for a band to get signed was skinny ripped jeans, battered converse and Ramones style leather jackets. The Bravery had the lot. The only thing they didn’t have was any good songs (apart from ‘Honest Mistake’, which is average at best). Thankfully, the band burst onto the scene as the next big thing since Albert Hammond Jr.’s hair-do  and quickly faded away again. Maybe I’m just bitter because I missed Liverpool’s epic 2005 European Cup final against AC Milan to go and see them play the Wolverhampton Civic Hall. They were rubbish and I’ve never quite forgiven them.

3. I find it genuinely hard to believe that anyone likes Cradle Of Filth. Kind of like a more adult version of Kiss, the band produce music so awfully difficult to penetrate (or enjoy) that I assume they have only managed to stick around for so long because they bought into that whole industrial goth look which would look out of place in a Final Fantasy game let alone on planet Earth. They probably have lots of fans who would protest to the band being called bad, but they’re all probably too busy wrapping themselves in black latex, white make-up and foetal blood to argue.

4. Test Icicles inclusion of this list isn’t so much because of the fact that they are a bad band. They weren’t the most awful thing to crawl out of the British indie dance-punk stage of the late noughties. However, where I mainly take umbridge with this band is the fact the obviously tried far too hard to look edgy. The ridiculous asymmetric hair looking perfectly messy, the flashes of neon, the tight slashed jeans and lens-less grandad specs was all a bit to much for me. It has now become the ridiculous uniform of the hipster, so, even though they were ahead of the game, they still looked like dickheads.

5. Do you remember when King Of Leon were alright? When they had big ol’ beards, specs and played music which was fairly honest? Then they decided to dress like Topman mannequins and make shit stadium rock. Awful.