Why were so many people so keen to revive the 90s?
Adam Tait

15:06 26th March 2013

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There was much talk about the return of the guitar bands in 2013, but not only does this prophesy seem to be grossly untrue in many ways, it's also makes no sense and runs the risk of closing our minds to new and exciting music.

What even are 'guitar bands'? Presumably something other than simply bands that use guitars, because that would comprise the majority of musicians releasing music. Given the groups labelled ‘guitar bands’, it seems what we’re talking about is rock music.

Even one of the biggest guitar bands on the current music scene think the sheer volume of music and outlets to experience new music in 2013 is a good thing.

"When there used to be one music channel that would repeat the same music videos, you were bound to get into Nirvana because they were played all day, everyday," said Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian to NME recently. "Obviously that's some of the most incredible music ever made, but it was very easy to tune in. Now the choice is a god thing, but it makes things very different."

When it comes to guitar bands in 2013, there are two bands which stand out - and apart - in terms of their approach to guitar music. Peace have produced an excellent, modern and well received debut album, but Palma Violets - the darlings of the guitar band renaissance - were torn to shreds by many reviewers who were bewildered by the derivative and unoriginal nature of their music. That brand of music already happened, and faded many years ago.

There seems to be a desire to return to a bygone era among those preaching ‘guitar music’s’ return. In other words, a return to Britpop – the last time guitar driven anthems reigned supreme.

But the unavoidable fact is we can't go back and nor should we want to.

Peace - 'Wraith' ('guitar music'), released January 2013

Brett Anderson, whose band Suede came to prominence during the Britpop era, recently told Gigwise that he was in no rush to go back.

"As far as a Britpop revival goes I can't think of anything worse. I never really liked it at the time, let alone 20 years later," he said.

But isn’t music about progression, about always striving to do things that haven't been done?

Many bands are in fact doing just that, offering us new exciting music. The vast majority of them wouldn’t be considered guitar bands.

Why would we want to dismiss these new acts, acts who also use guitars, in favour of music that sticks rigidly to the 'guitar band' criteria (whatever that might be).

Bastille - 'Pompeii' (not 'guitar music'), released February 2013

Any attempt to classify 2013 the 'year of the guitar band' is ultimately futile. Music is an ever-changing, exciting thing. We never know what the next 12 months has in store for us.

To try and predict the next year's musical character is pointless, but also runs the risk of closing listeners' minds to new experiments and ideas.

It'd be much better for bands and listeners alike if the press encouraged people to be open to new things, rather than promising a return to a tired and spent period of British music culture. There will always be guitars and there will always be 'guitar music'. Whether any of it is any good however, is something we have no say over.

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Photo: facebook.com/peaceforeverever