Before I go any further, I better point out that this is a guest posting. It’s from SWC, and if you want to read what I was intending to put up here today, then you’ll have to navigate your way to No Badger Required.
It was SWC’s idea. His brilliant pitch was “Can we do a blogging exchange like two parents dropping off our sprog in a rundown motorway service station?”
How could I say no? Over to SWC:-
Why I stopped buying the NME Vol. 1
Fabricated Lunacy – Terris (2001, Blanco Y Negro Records, Taken from ‘Learning to Let Go’)
At the turn of the century, the NME was hanging on by its fingernails at the cutting edge of cool. Despite having several talented writers, who knew one side of a banger from the other, the once brilliant paper had become shallow and very much in the pockets of companies who promoted style over substance. Their once legendary awards shows became nothing more than a big advert for hair gel and styling mousse.
Desperate for an edge, the NME came up with a new concept, a series of front page covers featuring bands and acts that they considered to be ‘Stars of the New Millennium’. The first band to feature on the cover of the NME in the new millennium, were Terris.
The band that the biggest selling rock weekly decided would be the perfect band to herald in a new era and the next thousand years of music, were an indie pop band from South Wales, who had a singer called Gavin. Terris had played a few shows where singer Gavin Goodwin would spout bollocks from the stage, and the rest of the gig saw reviews featuring the words “Incendiary” and “irascible” aplenty. In that very issue the NME described Terris as, and I am typing this exactly as they put it just to really hammer home the point: –
“a 21st Century Joy Division, fronted by a young, totally wired, Welsh Tom Waits, strapped to the front of a speeding train with no brakes.”
In that one sentence, the NME broke music, almost beyond repair.
Its fair to say that Terris divided opinion. The NME thought they were great, everyone else thought they were dogshite. Goodwin’s voice was an acquired taste, it was raw, gravelly, hence the Tom Waits comparison, but it was nowhere near as good as Tom Waits, and they sounded more like Bon Jovi than they did Joy Division. They made ridiculously over the top statements about other Welsh bands, the Manics were
“Shite plastic nobodies”, (Pot. Kettle.)
“as embarrassing as Shirley Bassey after a bottle of wine” (ok, that is quite funny)
and as hard as Terris tried to be cool and appeal to the masses, they looked more like they were going to fix your washing machine than they did the future of rock music. Not one note of Terris’ music was going to set the establishment on fire, as the NME predicted it would. Terris were not even as good the 60ft Dolls, let alone the future of rock.
Happy Shopper – 60 Foot Dolls (1996, Indolent Records, Taken from ‘The Big 3’)
In 2001 the NME were still championing Terris, in a way that only a mother, whose child had just stabbed Santa Claus to death in front of an entire school, could. In a simpering review of their debut album ‘Learning to Let Go’ (of which ‘Fabricated Lunacy’ is the only real highlight), the NME wrote and I’m quoting exactly here again.
“Only one band want to make records that blow holes through the limits of what we currently meekly accept as sonically reasonable in the field of rock. Only one band can. And that’s Terris”.
‘Fabricated Lunacy’ reached the giddy heights of Number 42 in the UK, and then, after the release of ‘Learning to Let Go’, Terris vanished. Sonically reasonable acceptance remained hole free for another year.
Cannibal Kids – Terris (2000, Blanco Y Negro Records, Single)