Don’t tell anyone, but if you’re in an indie band and want a surefire formula for success, here are your two ingredients:
1) Write superfluously pretentious music
2) Be common as shit
Yes, middle class cardigan-wearing music critics do have a penchant for intellectualising arbitrary lyrics and feeble guitar tone, but they also love nothing more than a few good Northern lads unintentionally tackling artistic transcendence.
If you’re like me and feel that the popular indie scene since 2004 has felt a bit like Billy Elliot the musical, then you might not approve of the following band.
I found Young Offenders Institute on a ‘one to watch’ list back in 2007. Stylistically they’re a cross between the Arctic Monkeys and store-brand lager, blended with a little bit of rap and injected with lots of chav-punk. They’re poorer and more Northern than any other band I can think of, but despite the fact that they probably stole all their instruments, they’re also quite awesome.
Due to the regional accent it’s a bit hard to make out the lyrics, but here are some of my best translations and analysis:
It’s kinda hard growing up on the estate
Drinking alcohol, getting mashed, staying up late
Well put, lad.
We all need something to score
Got no future anymore
Well I don’t know about all that, perhaps another 8 years at community college would help?
I think I like them because there is absolutely no way to make their music sound pretentious. To me they’re like a spoof of everything I think is wrong with popular indie. I mean, one song even starts with ‘let’s foot-king do it!’ Add this to the fact that they’re actually really foot-king good at it and we have a thumbs up from me.
So it’s a shame that they broke up almost immediately after I read about them. At least I assume they did because their MySpace has been inactive ever since. I won’t deny that there is a slight chance they are behind bars at the moment.
If they’re reading this (ha, reading) then I would like to suggest that this is the perfect time to make a heroic musical come-back. Partly because I want to hear some new songs, but also for their own financial gains. I mean, it would surely be useful for them to make some money from having a successful band, especially as the new Tory government is going to cut off their housing benefit.
Listen to ‘Let Me Out’: