Compression: That is what a musician will tell you has killed Indie Rock, or at least has tried to kill mainstream music. It is a devise used in studios that levels out the sound to such an extent that the sonority created becomes so uniformly loud as to be irritating. I like loud music, I remember cranking Kiss Alive up to “11” as “Strutter” blasted out of the speakers. But this bizarre un-dynamic pop music world that we live in now is loud in the wrong way, which brings us to the question, who killed Indie Rock
Back in the mid ’70’s the Rock and Roll world got tired of the overproduced sort of “corporation” bands such as Foreigner (a very good band), and a opted for a new direction or should we say anti-direction. The more ferocious of these bands were the Sex Pistols, Weirdos, Black Flag and many others. Another strain also came in that was a little milder called “New Wave.” These were bands that would soon be mainstream chart toppers like The Romantics, Plimsouls, and the B-52’s. Punk music as it was called in general hearkened back to the simpler days of garages and Hendrix, loud driving guitar music that made the sound of the Ramones for instance. The key to that sound was a throwing off of the production straitjacket and just getting wild and crazy – what Rock and Roll started out to be; Rebel with a cause, the cause being energized fun.
Today the Rock world is dominated by un-dynamic music created by producers that for some reason got so enamored with their over compressed sound that when one turns on the radio or iPod – wow! it is just a nightmarish decibels game.
So we need a revolution. But the “Indie Rock” bands that should be leading the charge back to the purity of sound have themselves become seduced by the compressor – the loud machines of the recording studio. In fact these “Alternative Rock” bands, maybe the Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, or Fun would also be considered here, are becoming the worst offenders in the so-called volume wars.
What the Rock world needs are some real alternative rock champions that really will present an alternative to this un-creative, un-dynamic sound that is truly killing music, and if someone does not offer a corrective will kill of Indie Rock with it. Nirvana brought sound back to the future in the 90’s, perhaps another Alternative – Indie Rock band will do the same soon.