The Coronas at the Forum
Groove-less Indie-rock had its day. There’d be no Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World were it not for the likes of Rearviewmirror by Pearl Jam; both songs defined by a dogged, marching guitar sound, only between 1994 and 2001 there was a sweetening of this particular rock. The production became cleaner, the vocals less angst-filled yet somehow more adolescent and all unequivocally aimed at a younger, fresh faced audience of high schoolers. Skipping forward to the Forum in Kentish Town this week, straddling the stage is a hapless descendent of this musical devolution. The Coronas will not be the torchbearers of Ireland’s rock’n’roll tradition for very long, but will rather slip anonymously into the annals of toothless alternative rock. That wasn’t a joke about Shane McGowan by the way.
The band enter the stage with a frat-boy-like enthusiasm. They’re clean cut, pretty, have biceps and well-groomed facial hair. A crack of the snare and the auditorium is filled with whistling guitars as clean in tone as they are in appearance. Lyrics about being here and being now and being able to have it if we want it enough, and do it because we’re worth it, spread placid smiles on the faces of the cider drinkers by the bar.
The set bumbles along quite happily. Time signatures are uniformly 4/4 and the vocals occur within a set remit of two notes – one of a mid-range tenor, the other a couple of semi-tones higher. AC/DC made a career out of 4/4, writing the same song over and over again and for some reason it never stopped being compelling. Morrissey never sang more than two notes throughout his entire career and is a national treasure for it. The same cannot be said for The Coronas. The four-piece just play out an exhausted formula for indie rock – devised somewhere around 2007 – and seem entirely trapped by it. San Diego Song – an ode to sleeping all day and drinking all night, as the lyric runs – is a flat-pack ditty and something of an anthem to many of the fans, who dance enthusiastically. Though The Coronas clearly have a loyal following, their music seems not to be enough to hold even them in its grip. During Like It Used to Be the floor area – thinning throughout the night – is more sparsely covered than before. The bar is never clear of heavy cues, the only thing resembling a mosh-pit happening in the pursuit of drinks and the smoking area is heavily populated too. It seems the band came second to the night out, even for many fans.
Their namesake – an innocuous, gentle beer – is oddly fitting. The Coronas’ music would do little to rouse one from a mid-afternoon nap and watching them optimistically slap away at their guitars, their banal pseudo-inspirational choruses are thrown over the audience like a soft duvet. This form of gutless indie-rock can be an effective soporific at the best of times but to hand it to them, The Coronas were hangover free. A resonating sense that indeed, nothing had happened at all.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information and future events visit The Coronas’ website here.
Watch the video for Real Feel here: