Ourselves, Politicians, Principles and Priests
By Steffen Armstrong
When you first talk to Night Beats you naturally centre your questions around their bold latest release title, Who Sold My Generation. Out now via Heavenly Recordings, the Rock and Roll title isn't posed as a question. It's a statement on mentality, one heard occasionally each generation, tossed in the air by the disillusioned. But whether it's the politicians, principles, priests or indeed the Night Beats themselves "selling out", Who Sold My Generation is a title which gives hope...Endeavour to better the world of music despite the commercial powers at large, but do it without giving them a moments thought.
"Bringing attention to these types of things is what I aim today. I wouldn't consider us a political band, but part of our job is to send a message and sometimes opinions fit in"
It's the little Rhythm and Blues, the Rock and Roll, the little Punk, and the cool; that's what makes this release something special. From the first track, Celebration #1, all the way till the conclusion, Egypt Berry, it's a band playing their own version of Rock and Roll. There's less time spent considering power, politics, and the state of the music industry than you might think. After all, these opinions naturally attach themselves to a band who get the sound right. Instead, Night Beats carry on exuding a confidence which has seen them develop their natural Rhythm and Blues sensibilities from the 2011 self titled release, to the Psych 2013 Sonic Bloom, to this, their best release to date.
"I don't want to emulate anybody. As far as contemporaries go, I don't know. There's a lot of good bands we play with. Black Lips, Black Angels, Growlers...there's too many to name"
The mention of Black Lips is a telling one, for Who Sold My Generation is potentially the first record to capture the same pure Rock and Roll feeling since the Black Lips 2009 release 200 Million Thousand. This is, ultimately, the greatest way to fight those who "sell out". With stand out songs such as the forever driving No Cops, the irresistibly sweet chord progressions of Right/Wrong, and the helplessly cool bass line of Porque Man~ana. That's how you make a Rock and Roll statement; that's Night Beats.
"It's right that people can do their art more independently but it's wrong in that there are so many hyped bands that rely on popularity to fuel their passion".
Let Who Sold My Generation teach us several lessons in the art of Rock and Roll, then. A band doesn't have to sell out to make something happen with their music. The best bands don't even try to fight the machine. That's for the politicians, principles and priests to figure out. For if their music really is that good, it naturally stirs something inside the listeners, giving them the means to fight their own battles and make their own choices. That's what the best music achieves, and that's what Who Sold My Generation means.