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Aug. 22 2012 04:52 PM

Top 10 overused rock-critic words or clichés


1. Indie: Used so often it became meaningless, like the word “friend.”

2. Garagey: In the mid-2000s, CityBeat’s music section read like a maladjusted Auto Trader.

3. Gravelly: Used when a singer’s voice sounded like he or she drank whiskey and smoked cigarettes until giving birth to their liver.

4. Straight outta [INSERT UNDESIRABLE TOWN]: NWA’s righteous battle cry for Compton was co-opted by a bunch of Anglos who thought it was cute to claim music came directly “outta” various shit holes.

5. Summery: If music appeared to be inspired by excessive yet fun amounts of Prozac, we cast it into the seasonal category. “Autumnly” was not as popular.

6. Psychedelic: Fond of extended guitar solos and synthesizers? We assumed you took drugs in the forest.

7. Radio-friendly: Always used as a slag. Although radio hasn’t been cutting-edge since the 1970s, music journalists felt it necessary to remind disc jockeys of that fact for another 30-plus years.

8. Radiohead-esque: In the mid-2000s, this meant “your music is possibly the result of mental trauma suffered in art school. Is it weird if we pray to you?”

9. Jangly: Used to describe peppy guitar pop. Made it sound like a bunch of people standing in front of a vending machine.

10. An [INSERT WORD] revival: Look. It’s rock ’n’ roll. At this point, unless you’ve managed to turn a Dyson vacuum cleaner into an instrument that plays alien rhythms at an undiscovered speed interval, audible only to people with a certain recessive chromosome, every bit of music put to tape is a revival.


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