Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

the Monarch, Camden

Bollocks to your sterile “no sex please, I’m in a boyband and in love with Britney Spears” posturing of mainstream pop, sexual tension and coupling rule the roost in rock these days. From the Mormon monogamy of Low, through the junkie love of Royal Trux to the ‘are they or aren’t they siblings/married/incestuously fucking’ bewilderment surrounding the White Stripes, it seems that everyone is at it. All of which just go to show far ahead of their time Quasi were, having already taken the next step forwards, the once happily married having become disconsolate divorcees, leaving the way open for loving bliss to become bitter loathing.

Given this state of affairs, and the ridiculous number of bands that can count Janet Weiss and Sam Coombes amongst their ranks, then you can forgive a jet-lagged Janet for looking more than slightly confused as she takes to the stage. There’s no sign of Carrie and Corrine, so this can’t be a Sleater-Kinney gig. While Sam is over there in the corner fiddling with his keyboard, there’s no sign of Elliott Smith or his smelly old hat, so if it’s Thursday, it must be Quasi.

And the good news is that Quasi means dissonant lo-fi pop like Ben Folds would make if he had a chip on his shoulder and a bitter lemon up his ass. As they shake the sleep out of their eyes, Sam and Janet prove to be the alt.rock Carpenters as their discordant tunes and discontented lyrics tell the tale of their estranged relationship. Sam’s bitterness and bile spills out on ‘It’s Hard To Turn Me On’ and ‘Nothing From Nothing’, but as they crash through the finale of ‘Our Happiness Is Guaranteed’, it’s hard to disagree. Let’s hear it for divorcees in rock, the true choice of the jilted generation.