My MelodicRock and Melodic Rock thoughts.

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My MelodicRock and Melodic Rock thoughts.

Postby Memorex » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:44 am

So, what is Melodic Rock? For me, it’s anything from pop rock to harder stuff, but of course short of metal. MY issue with MelodicRock.com, and I capitalize MY because I know it’s MY issue, is that I don’t know 90% of the bands Andrew talks about or promotes. Sometimes I listen to see if I like, but so much of it is not produced all that well in my opinion and it sounds a little cheap and then it all starts to sound the same, yadda yadda.

Rock may be dead. I don’t know. But I know I, as a 48 year old, still want to hear new music from talented folks. My cup of tea certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think this site could use some slightly younger pop-rock blood. I’ll give two quite-biased examples.

Train has a new album out in a week or so. I’ve heard most of it and it’s great. Thoughtful writing, mature, etc. And more popular right now than most of the things covered here. I’ll explain why that’s important in a moment.

The Script – another very thoughtful solid effort due for release in a few weeks. Here’s a band that is working their asses off to make it in the US and do lots of promotion, etc.

There are many other bands out there like this (Magic!, American Authors, etc.). What they come with is generally larger promotional budgets (from all appearances), a willingness to engage many times a day via FB or twitter or whatever. I’ve never actually seen a harder working band than Train, to be honest. They are non-stop and couldn’t MelodicRock.com benefit from that kind of energy and more importantly, promotion? Imagine this site if it became relevant to a much larger audience while still covering the “melodic rock” category. Put anyone of those bands at the top of MelodicRockFest and look what that becomes?

We talk all the time about Journey’s lack of new album sales. I see a Frontiers (record company) promo or whatever and then it’s like nothing. A big part of their lack of success is that there is not the same promotion behind it. And certainly not the same energy. It may seem like a lot compared to bands covered here, but it’s pretty much zilch compared to other current bands.

I don’t mean this in any way as a knock on Andrew. It’s just a suggestion from someone that wants to enjoy new, younger, music that I can take seriously. I look at half the album covers of some of these rock bands and as a 48 year old, I can’t take their music seriously at all. I won’t even listen. Again, that’s probably on me. I just feel the site should open the net a little and benefit from the associated dollars and energy.

Don't beat me up - I'm just a guy with some thoughts.
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Re: My MelodicRock and Melodic Rock thoughts.

Postby Ehwmatt » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:28 am

Good post. The biggest problem MR (the genre) faces is the fact that there are very few talented writers out there still willing to write and create. So from the weaker writers out there, you get tons of derivative crap that has no soul and no staying power who are aping the better writers and the "sound" of the genre.

As for the talented writers in the genre who are still willing to roll their sleeves up and write and record (of which there are few): You have a few prominent writing teams that are collaborating with some of the best voices in the genre, and the result is often a homogenous sounding genre. For example, take a listen to WET (the first), Toby Hitchcock's solo album (Mercury's Down), and Jimi Jamison's (RIP) Never Too Late. All really good albums with some fun, classic-sounding MR, but the songs often sound identical to one another because of the common writing team (Martensson and whatever the other guys' names are). Don't believe me? Listen to WET's If I Fall next to Toby Hitchcock's How to Stop. Dman near identical sound. Another example: listen to Jimi Jamison's Crossroads Moment next to any of the Pride of Lions records. Peterik and his team of crack musicians (Mike Aquino etc.) wrote and play on all the records, and they sound so close in style it's scary. Again, all stuff I enjoy on their own merits, but it can get a bit crazy hearing damn near the same song with a different voice.

In either scenario--derivative less talented writers aping the style of stronger bands/writers or cross-pollination of good writers across different vocalists--the genre becomes overwhelmingly homogenous, and the result is I tend to lose interest when I'm not in the mood to hear, say, the Eclipse or the Peterik style. You need a variety of sounds within a genre. Free, Queen, and Led Zeppelin are roughly the same genre, but nobody is confusing their styles.
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Re: My MelodicRock and Melodic Rock thoughts.

Postby kgdjpubs » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:02 am

Ehwmatt, I think you have pretty much hit the nail on the head there. While expecting Pride of Lions and the JJ Crossroads Moment album to sound distinctly different when they are both written by the same person is akin to asking a leopard to change it's spots, the lack of individuality is hurting the genre.

In the 80s, you had artists taking all of the influences before them (R&B, Blues, Motown, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc.) and mixing it up to create "melodic rock", now you have bands trying to sound like Journey/Foreigner/Survivor and it's all been done before....and usually, done better.

That's not to say there aren't some talents in the scene, but the individuality has mostly gone, and the continual cross-pollination isn't helping things much. Even in the 80s and beyond, no one was confusing Journey or Foreigner or Survivor, and even those bands would change sound from album to album. Sometimes, it was a drastic change, sometimes less so....but there was always change.

Now, with the big money in other genres, the scene is continually shrinking, and without the acceptance of fans to move forward and incorporate something new, I fear the whole thing will eventually implode on itself. There is still some good and unique stuff being released, but without some band breaking through, the long-term health isn't very promising. Frontiers Records may be doing ok in Europe (although the demise of Firefest, small as it is, might suggest otherwise), but has never managed anything resembling a foothold in the US, and I doubt that is going to change any time soon.

I hope I'm wrong...
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Re: My MelodicRock and Melodic Rock thoughts.

Postby G.I.Jim » Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Great discussion guys, and great topic! I completely agree. A lot of it really does sound the same. Part of that too though is the fact the not only are a handful of artists writing for several artists, but also getting the same guys from "Frontiers Records" doing the mixing and producing. This is REALLY hurting the chance for artists (even under the same label) from sounding unique.

I must say... I'm REALLY excited by the new W.O.A. album. The first song sounds amazing! The chord structures and changes during the solo blew me away. Great production, musicianship and song writing. I can't wait to hear more. :D
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Re: My MelodicRock and Melodic Rock thoughts.

Postby No Surprize » Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:36 pm

Ehw-MATT, I completely agree with your post. In fact I've said the same thing when I listen to snippets of songs from various artist. I'm hearing the same type of generic song with just a different singer. The Alice Cooper song "Clones" comes into my mind when listening to these wannabe Rock n Rollers. As a band, you need to come up with your very own UNIQUE style and sound. Every big time group has it's what separates them from the club acts.
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Re: My MelodicRock and Melodic Rock thoughts.

Postby marco17 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:18 am

What seems to be the main point here is what made the genre more stale at the end of its hey-day when everyone started to sound the same, or at least the supposed new bands coming out hadn't don't much but sound like everyone else. At least that's what I remember at the time.
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Re: My MelodicRock and Melodic Rock thoughts.

Postby jrnyman28 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:49 am

To address a point from the original post, a band like Train is not what would be considered Melodic Zook even though they have rock songs and are melodic. A truly talented band with great songwriting. But, you couldn't put them on MRF because A) Andrew can't afford them and B) they don't need him. And I just don't think they fit.
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Re: My MelodicRock and Melodic Rock thoughts.

Postby Memorex » Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:11 pm

jrnyman28 wrote:To address a point from the original post, a band like Train is not what would be considered Melodic Zook even though they have rock songs and are melodic. A truly talented band with great songwriting. But, you couldn't put them on MRF because A) Andrew can't afford them and B) they don't need him. And I just don't think they fit.


I understand they are too big for MRF now. Of course. My point was if the site shifted to highlight bands like this, and cover them and interview them, etc., then these bands would fit in the site over time and bands like Train or The Script or the like could end up there. But the site in general is what may benefit from the shift. I just feel like there are a lot of great bands killing it and maybe MR should get in on it.
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