Bullshit Detector – Future's Burning
the red squares stamp their feet
Bullshit Detector – Future’s Burning: The Definitive Guide To The New Generation

Staring down the barrel of the future can be a dangerous pastime - depending on yr motivation, obviously. If yr intention is to establish a new generational order – the last thing you want to do is let everyone know where you stole yr ideas from. So – appropriating the cover of a Generation X 45 for yr artwork isn’t the best of starts. As a generational signifier it tends to suggest: we have no new ideas of our own. This is a recurrent motif throughout “Future’s Burning”.

As a zine that started out in total support of the punk rock n roll revival that began to stir as the 90s shuffled off this mortal coil, it is somewhat disconcerting to be holding a copy of “Future’s Burning” between my arthritic fingers & thinking: is this it? (note the addition of the fucking question mark) Surely - all the hope, all the excitement, all the promise - it can’t have evaporated in such a short space of time – can it? The answer is a resounding: YES!!!!

Standing here now – 3 odd years down the rock n roll line – it all seems so transparent – it’s hard to see why I fell for it all (again). Another revolution without any rebels - another sick marketing ploy executed with slick aplomb by another shadowy corporation. As the predictions (predilections?) for 05 flood in like tsunami aid – a similar shortfall in the eventual totals is wholeheartedly expected. Never mind predicting a riot – there are supposedly respected people out there predicting rockabilly, ska & powerpop revivals. What about an integrity revival?

So (what?) - “Future’s Burning” purports to represent a new generation – an arty-fact designed to mirror the “New Wave” or the “Streets” compilations of the late 70s. A “Nuggets” for the noughties, if you will. So far – so construct.

Reasons to be less than cheerful:

1/ Nude Records (dodgy Major-Indie label best known for foisting not only Suede but PJ Harvey on an unsuspecting record buying public back in the early 90s) are re-launching the label on the back of this compilation. Highly. Dubious. A celebration of the ‘art’ of a new generation – “oh, yeah” (“Do you remember promises, promises? I do”).

2/ Nude Records are distributed/owned by V2 (so you can book yr holiday & sort out a mortgage at the same time).

3/ The track selection says far more about licensing options than generational representation - or eclecticism.

Group by group – “Future’s Burning” pans out thus:

01 - Franz Ferdinand: as dull as the turd tint of their eponymous chart busters’ artwork, these loathsome Scottish fops have been instrumental in moving the goalposts - & making selling ‘lots’ of records & playing ‘the game’ artistic again. Not bad for a bunch of ideas stolen from Hot Hot Heat during one fateful support tour. Now where did I put that birth certificate?

02 – The Libertines: tried very hard to be a generationally significant British rock n roll group – admirably & convincingly, for a while - but eventually fell at the third hurdle. Carl’s ‘Suedist’ tendencies beat Pete’s ‘Vicious’ circles hands down. The rest is his story (whoever he may be), tabloid hand-outs (cash for questions) & Kate Moss (swingers parties). The only good rock star is a dead one. Hurry down doomsday.

03 – Razorlight: already the subjects of a whole Bullshit Detector of their own – they will effortlessly become ‘The Police’ of their generation - & Johnny Borrell will revive interest in tantric sex in 2008. No wonder wankers like U2 continue to appear vaguely relevant when all the kids can come up with is this shit.

04 – The Zutons: not even worthy of a witty aside.

05 – The Futureheads: disappointing to see these inventive tykes being roped in with such a dodgy conceptual ethic. Compromised - but essentially sound. Forgive them.

06 – The Dead 60s: apart from the admittedly amusing tale behind the naming of these skanking Scousers – their attempts to weld The Clash to The Specials are as about as culturally valid as attempting to paint Pollock in the style of Rothko.

07 – The Music: what this bunch of amateur Led Zep shaped tossers are doing on anyone’s compilation is way beyond me.

08 – Kaiser Chiefs: the new Blur. The singer’s a dead ringer for a waxwork Damion Allbran I used to hate.

09 – The Departure: I have absolutely no qualms with being yr enemy – whatsoever. Aren’t karaoke nights at the Roadmenders enough for you bastards?

10 – Bloc Party: using a name left over from the last electro revival is not a good start. Well past their sell by date already. Expect a ton of hype in the next few months because if they don’t make it by the summer they’re dropped.

11 – The Coral: having already missed the boat a couple of times – The Coral have been camped out on the dock of the bay to ensure their birth on this cruise into the ‘future’ is assured.

12 – The Ordinary Boys: the facts that The Jam were shit & that Paul Weller is still a cunt have obviously sailed right over these boy’s heads. Morrissey likes them.

13 – The Open: about as generationally & culturally significant as a golf tournament can be.

14 – Dogs Die In Hot Cars: winners of the Sony Music Appalling Name Award 2004.

15 – Sons & Daughters: however good it may be to hear untreated Scottish accents in the mix once again – this sub-pop-derivative of a sound entombed way back in the 80s has no right to be exhumed at this stage of the game. Out. Of. Context.

16 – The Duke Spirit: what we need right now is a blonde PJ Harvey.

17 – The 22-20s: the word ‘boring’ cannot begin to describe the tedium. The perfect example of cheque book A&R in action.

18 – Hope Of The States: a poor man’s Radiohead – no wonder the geezer hung himself.

19 – The Others: working class heroes – or so they’d have you believe. This is for the Portobello Rd flat Dom’s gonna invest in when they’ve sold enough records (100,000? – 40,000 by the end of the year if they wanna see another one).

20 – Goldie Lookin’ Chain: whose mystifying inclusion perfectly illustrates the desperation behind this compilation.


Marquee Smith – tMx 18 – 01/05

contact wastebin@trakMARX.com trakMARX.com - Punk Rock and Roll