Authentic [au-then-tic / aw-then-tik] - adj. 1. Of undisputed origin; genuine. 2. Reliable or trustworthy.
The above describes one of the many facets we rock fans look for in our music. Not for us, the Pop Idol / X-Factor manufactured crap that the popular media force feeds our teenagers 24/7, regurgitating last year's hits this year - only this year Britney has dark hair / red hair / no hair / no bra! Fuck that shit!
Sadly though, 'The Authentics' are anything but genuine. Even their own press kit describes them as "Fighting to be heard and with a new look, new sound and new attitude"! Sorry guys, but isn't that exactly the kind of reinvention that exposed The Rasmus as fakes and stripped them of any credibility they may otherwise have had? Five or six albums in, they finally "found their sound" in 2003's 'Dead Letters' and hit the big time. Even the rock / alternative crowd lapped up songs like 'First Day Of My Life' and 'In The Shadows', before investigating the band's back-catalogue, only to find ska, skater-rap, drum and bass, reggae and all other kinds of unimaginable pop shit! Fortunately, The Authentics don't have five or six previous albums against which they will be judged, although there have been a handful of singles released to-date - 'Four Walls' being a particularly jaunty affair and in stark contrast to the angrier material showcased on this, their first full-length CD.
To quote from the band's website; "Influenced by The Clash, Metallica, Wilidhearts, Bob Marley, Muse, Chili Peppers, Beatles, Queen and Dub War. The band have been compared to The Ramones, Police, Foo Fighters, Guns n Roses and Therapy?, while supplying frantic adrenalin fuelled stage shows reminiscent of NOFX and the Clash's greatest moments! You've found your favourite band."
If you were to draw up a list of the coolest bands to be likened to today, my bet is that your list would include most of the above. I would go further to suggest that that is precisely what 'The Authentics' have done - drawn up a list of their favourite bands. For Christ's sake! Simply by saying that you're influenced by The Wildhearts, and bunging in the odd ill-conceived key change here and there is hardly going to bluff people into believing you sound remotely like them, or that you have even an ounce of Ginger's song writing capability. It didn't work for 'Whatever', and they had an ex-Wildheart on the drum-stool!
No. This is heavy metal by numbers; the odd Iron Maiden flavoured bass run here, some sloppy, Ramones-style arrangements there and all of the Foo Fighters' most boring bits chucked in for good measure. In short, none of the charm that made any of their cited influences so great, or original!
Welcome to Yawnsville. Population: 'The Authentics!'
That said; there are one or two brief hints that there could be some potential here. Most notably, 'The Authentics' have penned the occasional intelligent lyric. The first of these pops up on 'Pervert', which raises the increasingly thorny issue of media-led witch-hunts, and manages to combine this with a reasonably decent tune as well.
The concept of combining decent lyrics with a passable tune is abandoned on the atrocious 'A Shot in the Dark' though. The title apparently "comes from the legendary Peter Sellers film of the same name, a star the band all love and are inspired by." This sycophancy is largely irrelevant, as the song is anything but legendary and seemingly bears no connection with the film. It's not even funny!
Image-wise, 'The Authentics' are clearly thinking along the right lines, in so far as the look is broadly in line with the style of music they're going for - all goatee-beards and dreadlocks. It's all a bit too 'new' though, and needs to be 'lived in' for a while before it can even begin to look 'authentic'. Guitarist 'Jon' looks particularly absurd, flipping the bird in one publicity shot, with the most vacant and unthreatening expression on his face. He looks about as dangerous as a mug of Ovaltine and a digestive biscuit!
It would be mildly interesting to see how 'The Authentics' scrub up in the live arena, as they are clearly competent musicians and don't lack energy. It's just about possible that they could win an audience over. Theirs isn't a ticket I shall be queuing up overnight for though.
Authentics [au-then-tics / aw-then-tix] - noun 1. Of disputed origin; generic. 2. having very little depth; not lively or spirited; listless.
Visit the Authentics Website