By Hans Ebert
It’s a little reminiscent of Hansen and when “MMMbop” first hit the public consciousness. Young was being sold to especially pre pubescent girls. Not by a solo act. By a pop group- three brothers in fact- who could really play. They still can. But time and age often change everything.
A few years after Hansen came all those young Disney acts riding on the success of High School Musical. Yeah.
The most successful to come out of this youth movement and massive publicity were the Jonas Brothers. For a nanu second, they were the new Beatles. Nanu nanu.
This time around, there’s the feeling that there’s something happening outside of America. Something with the potential to travel. Not only for American consumption.
Forget the usual young talent, mainly young girls, who always seem to surface on those now tired looking television singing competition programmes. Most are talked about and raved about during the various seasons when they compete. This is only “click bait” for a specific television audience. For ratings. Very few make it to anywhere past these shows. The shows maketh and the shows taketh away.
That early cuteness is seldom if ever translated into anything bigger. Grace Vanderwaal, who came from America’s Got Talent, is probably the one exception to the rule. Let’s see where it all leads.
Forget all those very young female singers who sprung up almost overnight and all at once around a decade ago performing note for note covers of the hits of Whitney Houston and Celine Dion on the highest rated American talk shows. Those catering to a more mature audience. Again, it was part of the ratings game.
Despite all the exposure and raving from Ellen and Oprah, and the then-omnipresent guiding hand of record producer and music executive David Foster, which always looked a tad creepy, where are they today?
Remember Charise. Charise is now Jake. The others?
Fast forward to right here and right now. The talk about Greta Van Fleet is deafening. They’re hailed as the second coming of Led Zeppelin.
The young band is exceptionally good and has brought Seventies and Eighties hard rock to a totally new and younger market. They have those Led Zep chops down pat. They might have even received the blessing of Robert Plant. Even oldsters are talking about them.
Greta Van Fleet has resuscitated the inner Rock spirit inside many. Freak factor or genuine original talent? It’s hard to tell right now. It’s hard to bet on what they will grow up to be. And then there’s IV Of Spades.
IV Of Spades is a trio that started off as a quartet. Until the singer quit. It’s not known why. It hasn’t stopped Zild Benitez, Blaster Silango and Badjao de Costs from being one of the most creative music acts to ever come out of the Philippines.
Let’s face it, creativity and Filipino musicians is something quite alien to those outside of the Philippines. Righty or wrongly, Filipino musicians are perceived by many as being brilliant copyists. Copycat covers bands often relegated to playing the girlie bar club circuit in Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore.
IV Of Spades has broken with “tradition”. Broken away from trying to sound like anything and anyone else. Some say there’s more than a smidgen of Prince influencing them. Maybe. There are worse things. Personally, their sound is a wild mix of Prince, Depeche Mode, Killers and, well, like The Struts, who should have broken bigger at least two years ago, Queen.
This is not another manufactured pop group. It’s not about trying to make what was then, new and now again. IV Of Spades are refreshingly different. And creative. They’re the whole enchilada. The new adobo.
They might be from the Philippines. But what’s happening in the Philippines shouldn’t only stay in the Philippines. This happened around a decade ago to the excellent Bam from the band Bamboo. He really should have recorded an album in English. Toured outside of the Philippines.
IV Of Spades really needs to be heard by the world. Their time is now. They don’t have to say that they’re Now. They just are. Their music. Their music videos. Their ‘looks’.
Sure, some might say that they’re just another teenybopper band. Style over substance. This would be selling them short. Very short. It would be very unfair.
Here’s hoping that IV Of Spades can break that glass ceiling. Their success just might be what’s needed to wake up and change what is currently a pretty bland -and old- Pop/Rock “scene” in Asia.
Enthusiasm is one thing. Being able to deliver when it matters most is something else. IV Of Spades can.
The band has to happen now. Before adulthood catches up with them. And they lose that current fan base. Everyone grows up. Everything changes. Just ask Hansen.
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