We’re normally a pretty friendly bunch at at FFS HQ. We think there’s more than enough nastiness in the world and don’t really want to add to it. But this article on DiS has annoyed us so much that we’re sending our tuppence worth into the internets.
The article in question is a review of Cardiff act Sweet Baboo. Writer Ally Brown doesn’t like Sweet Baboo’s new album, which is fair enough. He is, however, happy to use it as material for displaying his own rather flimsy brand of intelligence.
There are some reasonable comments made about the album, but they are wrapped up in pseudo-Charlie-Brooker miserabilism and not-so-wise cracks. Brown runs and runs with his rabid dislike of the album, goes far too far and fails even to be entertaining in doing so.
He even notes “it makes no-one feel big or clever to lay into a well-meaning musician who operates entirely for love not money,” in the midst of gleefully doing just that.
It’s our policy at FFS not to write bad reviews of the music we’re not that keen on. What is the point? Better just to say nothing. No-one au fait with the internet would buy a record or go and see a band without listening to them first. Our role, then, is to be news gatherers, interviewers and to recommend releases and live acts.
But, to a thoughtless reviewer, a bad release is seen as material for their witty put downs. Taking this view is what makes journalists parasitic. We don’t have the particular talents it takes to create music ourselves, what we do have – hopefully – is the enthusiasm and willingness to seek out and recommend the music we’re passionate about. And a music taste that strikes a chord with our readers.
Were I to follow the teachings of one Mr J. Christ more closely, I wouldn’t be casting any stones. In the past I happily laid into albums I’d listened to about three times to try to be clever and funny and impress my friends. I read those reviews now and cringe.
Having checked out Ally’s profile on DIS I note that it’s only his 2nd review. Let’s hope, then, that he’s an 18-year-old finding his feet, who hasn’t put much thought into what he’s doing yet, rather than someone who’s been doing it for years and doesn’t give a shit.
UPDATE – ok, just found his blog. He’s 26 and a seasoned writer… his other published work seems more thoughtful at first glance, though, praps he adapted his style for DiS…