Accidental Tourists

Is the Music the next big thing or just a bunch of very lucky guys?

The group's self-titled debut full-length on Capitol contains many of the sonic elements that made these early efforts appealing: Harvey's soaring and powerful (if indecipherable) vocal stylings, Nutter's melodic yet aggressive guitar leads, and the churning, relentless rhythm work of Coleman and Jordan. At times, the Music can inadvertently channel pseudo-blues slide-guitar and white-boy doo-wop ("Take the Long Road and Walk It"). But the use of dance-floor electronics (such as the Roland TB-303 on "The People" and the frantic edits at the end of "The Dance") show the group isn't stuck in the past. For his part, Harvey attributes the electronics to producer Jim Abbis, but insists that beyond those additions, the album was no harder to make than previous efforts.

Since the record's release in February, the boys have been busy. The group has toured nonstop, opening for Coldplay and, later, the Vines, with a pit stop in Indio for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and performances on The Late Show With David Lettermanand Last Call With Carson Daly. In addition to Lollapalooza, the Music also headlines Scotland's summertime T in the Park fest. Comments on and suggest that all the exposure might be paying off. ("I couldn't help being taken in by the music and the driving beat that dominates in many of their songs and I would recommend the CD based on their live show alone," reads a typical response.) As Harvey acknowledged in an interview with the New York Daily News, many of these remarks come from an older fan base that hears the similarities to Zep, Mott the Hoople, and other post-Hendrix rock outfits that disbanded before the Music's members even registered frequencies on a sonogram. These references suit Harvey fine, since, like those fans, he figures that music nowadays doesn't matter as much as it did then. "In the '70s, music used to make money. Now, the money makes the music, do you know what I mean? It's like bands are ... products now, instead of people with feelings and a message to give."

Phil Knott


Tuesday, May 27, at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $12


Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus (at Chestnut), S.F.

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Such pronouncements are a bit ironic, given that the Music has no real message to convey to its audience. But as any old-school rocker knows, a statement isn't necessary. All that matters is that people are moved and excited by the tunes. The Big Point can come later, if at all. Whether it will arrive during the group's next studio sessions -- set for the fall, after the current tour -- depends on inspiration. Harvey can't be sure. "You don't know what your next song is going to sound like. You're only as good as your last song," he offers. For now, it's as much as he needs to know.

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