Sitting at the barber shop thumbing through a magazine the other day and I see that the people at Camel cigarettes is up to a hipster's marketing campaign once again. It isn't too uncommon. Hell, there were even jokes going around that they help fund the Detroit Garage Rock Explosion (that in the end really only ended up being a stick of dynamite and a couple of well placed M-80's). They were co-oping any way they could. Napkins, ashtrays, signage and giveaways. There was even one bar I had a good working relationship with that got a monthly cash expenditure allowance from them and they would call me to see if I had any bands they could spend money on because the dough didn't rollover for the next month. It didn't even matter what kind of numbers the band would draw as long as one of the cool/retro/hip/fashionable images the cigarette company was using got lodged into their subconsciousness. Yep, subliminal adverstisment at it's most obvious.
Really, I have no problem a musician willing to endorse whatever they want. It's their trip. I can make up my own mind. And I don't think they should be the blame if one of their fans goes off the deep end. If someone is willing and not forced to do whatever it may be they've obviously made up their mind. The thing is with this particular ad campaign is that when I saw bands like Home Blitz and Tyvek (who somehow got lumped in with the likes of Boris and High On Fire which seemed "Wha? Who's behind this thing and are they sure about that?") named dropped in it I wondered if the bands were even aware of what they were being associated with. I went to the website that was listed in the ad, nothing was there and news is the campaign has been abandoned. A couple of hours later I stopped by the Terminal Boredom forum and saw a thread on the subject. What do you know-the bands did have no prior knowledge of it. Very interesting indeed and now it can only be estimated how many heads went rolling at the ad agency.
Detroit's Tyvek do what they do best on their side. BareWIREd guitar blasts and the structure of a simple yet intense take on the "Pink Flag" sound bulked up and ready to take on all challengers while keeping the particular dark sense of humor thats' wise to develop when living in the middle of a eroding and rusted out city intact. All of that and a lock groove too. Cheveu, from France, manage to excite and annoy at the same time on their side. Repetitious rhythms in a pre-techo/post synth rock beat you over the head with a rock while six string mangling throws you down the stairs just to applaud the tumble.