Sunday, 28 November 2010

Tiger Trap - Tiger Trap

Why is it that there are so many sub-genres of indie rock that are the subject of ridicule and derision at the hands of other indie fans? Surely the fans of music made by outsiders for outsiders should realise that its pretty much against all indie ethos to mock people for their musical leanings. Perhaps they're doing it ironically? The term “Emo” for example was, and to an extent remains, a put-down and an insult. Bands have tried to avoid being labelled as emo for as long as the word has existed and fans have likewise struggled to avoid the taunting jeers of their fellow music fans.

However some genres openly accept their labels. Embrace them even. I can think of no better example of this than Twee Indie-pop. No sub-genre has gone more out of its way to play up to the idea of what it should be. Sweet harmonies, jangly guitars, girls with short hair and innocent voices and lyrics that are totally nonthreatening. The overriding element of sweetness in twee indie makes it seem rather inconsequential and unsubstantial, a fluff piece to the rather more serious articles of Indie-rock. But the sweetness often betrays a rather acute intelligence on behalf of the artists creating it. Twee developed what punk always aimed for. A network of tiny tiny labels made up of groups of friends who make music together. A real sense of musical community. Places like Olympia, Washington in the early 1990's were hives of musical activity with many of the bands playing sweet, slightly punky, indie pop. Beat happening, one of the more successful of these bands, were right at the heart of it with their front man, Calvin Johnson's record label K. They pumped out many of the great indie-pop records of the 90's including this post's main focus. The first, last and only album from Tiger Trap.