Wednesday 15 May 2013


I watched a documentary about The Smiths the other day. It was on the BBC and it was kind of informative but really it was just nice to be reminded of a band that I really do like. They're one of those bands that are always in the background - for instance, I've amassed quite a few of their CDs and whilst I don't play them much nowadays, it's just nice to know that they're there. Do you understand what I mean by that? Well, whether you do or you don't, the fact of the matter is that they are a very nice band that kind of live in the past, unaffected and unaltered by anything that happens now. Cause they don't exist anymore. Yep.

But then I remembered that I had seen something really interesting before that documentary - or should I say, heard something really interesting. And very nice. And quite cool. It's a song called 'Once And For All' by a Japanese band called Sloppy Joe. I went back and listened to the song and thought yes I just have to write about this. They're a band from Tokyo who really like guitar music of the 80s, so you can understand perhaps why I led in with the stuff about The Smiths - this song captures the Smiths-sound aesthetic pretty much perfectly. From the jangling light-as-air guitar to the warbling voice, this is a great song and even more great if you're a fan of The Smiths.

Have a listen yo.

Lovely. The drums are particularly stand-out, with rolls and fills that are as much a delight to the ear as, I dunno, sherbet is to the tongue. Fizzy and unexpected. Although much of the lyricism is lost due to the vocal style, it's that very vocal style that I love - it just sounds nice, filled with all the longing expected of a song that sounds like this. In addition, there is a surprise bit of trumpet that really and beautifully works with the song, like a fanfare for the musical style that these guys clearly love.

You could say that it's completely aping The Smiths (in fact I think it does sound quite a bit like 'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side'), but then you'd be an idiot. Why? Because The Smiths were The Smiths and that was 'back then'. This band has come around a few decades afterwards and therefore has an ocean of different music to be inspired by (which, just by one look at their Facebook page, is very extensive indeed); if anything, Sloppy Joe are showing their love and appreciation for music of a certain era by creating songs that evoke that era. Everything sounds new - how can it be a copy?

And if you truly liked that jangly 80s vibe, then you'd love more bands to sound like Sloppy Joe.

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Like Sloppy Joe on Facebook
Hear more Sloppy Joe on Myspace
Follow Sloppy Joe on Twitter
Visit Sloppy Joe's blog
Watch Sloppy Joe on YouTube
Check Sloppy Joe on bandcamp

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