UK's The Courteeners Should Have Your Attention

The Courteeners have a love for Morrissey and The Smiths that you can hear.

By , Columnist

It used to be, on a large scale, that UK bands commanded an incredible amount of attention in the US. That doesn't really seem much the case anymore, which is surprising considering the amount of interesting rock music that is coming from England. It seems that US indie rock is quite different from UK indie rock. In fact, the difference can be somewhat astounding.

In America, the propensity is toward a punk/pop rock sound. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that. But in the UK, there is a sound that leans toward music from bands that delivered in the '80s — bands like Joy Division, The Smiths, and The Jam get a lot of loving attention these days. Earlier in the new millennium, there were bands like The Libertines, from which sprang Dirty Pretty Things (Barat), and Babyshambles (Doherty). There are also bands like The Enemy UK and The Rifles, to name a few. Some (many) have entertained doubts about their sound, constantly changing and tweaking to achieve a more hybrid sound that merges today's US-styled loud and aggressive attacks to their melodic nods to the past.

Recently, The Enemy (UK) released their third album, Streets In the Sky. That album, while familiar, strays from their first album style to employ a harsher, more electric energy. The same thing happened with cult favorite, Bloc Party. For them, four albums later, they finally seem to be embracing their early style with the right blend of evolutionary music. In between their first brilliant album, and this lastest Bloc Party release, they were clearly in a state of experimentation. Sophomore albums are not a good time to build a solidly grounded fanbase with drastic changes.

Which brings me to UK band The Courteeners. Formed in 2006, these lads from Manchester, England, have two albums out. The more recent issue is Falcon, from 2010.

Falcon is filled with interesting songs. The album has produced three singles, one of which charted as high as #28 on the British charts (“You Overdid It Doll”). The previous album, St Jude (2008), is also an album of noted influence, the largest being derived from The Smiths. Morrissey himself is quite fond of the band, not only lavishing them with praise for their song-writing and performance strengths, but also inviting them to tour with him. St Jude has also delivered several high-charting singles in the UK.

CourteenersFalcon.jpgThe Courteeners have no forthcoming album hinted at although, as 2012 comes to close, they are past their current two-year release time frame. However, the band have an upcoming live DVD, Live at The Men Arena, currently available for pre-order at their website.

The Courteeners are one of many rising UK bands, who have yet to tweak their style to fix a seemingly 'out of touch' anxiety that plague many bands in England. This four-member band, who have known each other for quite a long time, have their futures ahead of them. Acceptance in the US is a tough sell largely because US youth prefer something more visceral. But cult acceptance in the US isn't out of the question. There are plenty of young potential listeners anxious to hear of excellent bands. The Courteeners is one of those excellent bands. I've just brought them to your attention.

Up to you now!

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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