School Damage – School Damage

Ahh – this is what music should be. A singer who knows how to sound like he can’t sing at all, giving me hope that I could be in a band, too, if only I tried. As they sing on ‘No Ideas Left’, “Every pop song has been sung” – so why not add some noise to the pile? If originality doesn’t exist, that lowers the bar significantly.

This is what music should be. ‘The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down’: a song title that sounds like it’s the name of a slightly terrifying children’s book. Songs heavily inspired by others bands in the Australian indie pop revival (or whatever), The Twerps, THE TWERPS!, The Goon Sax, Terry, and whoever inspired them. God, that organ, those guitars. There’s all the infuriating boredom, the everyday madness, the bratant brutality in the face of a brutal world.

Yes, that’s what music should be. AnnoyingAnnoying. Annoying. It’s outright rude for School Damage to write songs like this. They’re short, silly, pointless, and damn catchy of course. It’s a polite rudeness, a middle finger flipped to you by a friend – because we don’t have enemies, not around here, no we don’t. Whatever. I don’t understand what’s going on anymore, what is serious and what isn’t, and the more I listen the more I suspect there is no way to know because there is no fact of the matter, every joke is an emotional breakdown in disguise (“Online shopping is such a grown-up thing to do / It cheers me up when I’m blue”), every stupid organ tune du da du da a pure and honest invention. It’s Young Marble Giants to the bone (and a bit of Broadcast), but it’s miles removed from Young Marble Giants too. So what the fuck is it?

It’s what music should be. That’s a line I can safely repeat, because it acquits me of doing all the work. Everyone has some idea of what music should be, or at the very least can recognise it when they hear it. I sure can. But should I be able to express it? Should I generalise, or am I allowed to keep going around pointing like a madman, THIS IS IT, something new every minute. And this minute it’s School Damage.

-- Caspar Jacobs, June 24, 2017