Breakups can seem like the end of the world when they have just happened, but in the long run they can bring new forms of happiness. This is true in both life and music. There are times when a band’s breakup leads to the creation of another one equally as fantastic, if not greater than the first. This leads us to the topic of this week’s 3 Of The Week. Songs by bands that emerged from the fall of another band.
1. “L’Via L’Viaquez” – The Mars Volta
At the risk of losing credibility, I will go out and say that I prefer The Mars Volta over At the Drive-In. Sure it may not be the scenester thing to say, but I truly believe it. If anyone thinks that At the Drive-In was crazy, then they have not heard The Mars Volta, who are downright insane. It only takes one listen of “L’Via L’Viaquez” the 12 minute long epic from the band’s second release Frances the Mute (surprisingly it’s not even the longest song on the album). “L’Via L’Viaquez” shows the mastery of guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, who is an insanely creative guitarist, as he packs technicality, funkiness, and a sweet dose of Mexican music influence in this one track, which is accompanied by his partner in crime, frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who pulls off notes that most vocalists in the world wish they could hit, and alternates from singing in English and Spanish, making the song much more unique. While it may sound like a chore on paper, listening to this 12 minute long track is far from one. At the Drive-In’s breakup may have saddened many who saw the band as the next savior of mainstream music, but there’s no denying that we got a pretty amazing outfit out of it.
2. “Dark Blue” – Jack’s Mannequin
North and Leaving Through the Windows may have been the soundtrack to the highschool days of every romantically misunderstood kids in the early 2000s, but after their breakup frontman Andrew McMahon made sure to continue providing his lyrical support to the teenagers of the second half of the decade. “Dark Blue” is exactly what you want from the band that rose from the ashes of Something Corporate, very piano driven, as it should be expected from a song written by McMahon, and given its beauty thanks to McMahon’s crisp and clear voice, but what truly makes this song shine is the lyrics, which shows that McMahon understands you more than anyone will. “Dark Blue” and the rest of Everything In Transit were meant to be your soundtrack, and I’ll be damned if there’s a single teenager who doesn’t relate to the lyrics in this wonderful album.
3. “Clint Eastwood” – Gorillaz
Before 2001, did anyone ever think that Damon Albarn, who at the time was mostly known for being the frontman of Blur, would replicate the success of Blur with Gorillaz? When the band was announced music fans everywhere might have thought Albarn had gone insane; an animated band that mixed Britpop with Hip-Hop? There was no way that could work. Leave to Albarn to prove critics wrong. “Clint Eastwood” the first single of their 2001 debut self-titled is the prime example of the success of Gorillaz. Reaching #4 on the UK Singles Chart “Clint Eastwood” had shown that Gorillaz had the star power to reach the mainstream audience, but luckily the music also backed up its success. Mixing Damon Albarn’s singing with Del Tha Funkee Homosapien’s rapping may seem like a strange idea on paper, but it works wonderfully. Accompanied with a keyboard line straight out of a horror film, and a harmonica part that evokes the illusion of a western, the music showed that the band had what it took to be more than a mere vanity project. Gorillaz was a weird but wonderful experiment coming from the brain of the same man who had previously brought us Blur, and “Clint Eastwood” was only the beginning of the madness that Gorillaz would become.