Whoever said modern-day pirates don't exist was surely mistaken, especially as far as the world of pop music is concerned.
The recent success of such bands as Pop Will Eat Itself and the Wonder Stuff exhibit how many of today's acts swipe directly from other bands by either editing snippets of music or vocals into their own songs, like the first band (a process called sampling), or by copying sources stylistically, like the latter.Two of the most successful British copycat acts are Jesus Jones and Soho. The first - led by skateboarding popster Mike Edwards - practices both sampling and style copying, while the second samples directly into its funk-pop numbers.
Salt Lake audiences will get their first view of both bands Saturday, May 11, in a dance concert at the Utah State Fairpark Coliseum.
Jesus Jones is currently riding the crest of a popularity wave spawned by the single "Right Here, Right Now," off its second album, "Doubt." While critics have been nearly unanimous in their praise of the band, categorizing it is another matter.
For example, the Washington Post called the group "a heavy-metal band with more on its mind than merely a head-banging good time," the Nashville Tennessean compared the band to the Who, and the more astute New Music Express noticed the band's similarities to the Wonder Stuff, Pop Will Eat Itself and even Renegade Soundwave.
According to Edwards, however, the band's music is one-third dance music, one-third rock and one-third avant-garde. Edwards' breathy vocals and buzzsaw guitars, combined with Al Jaworski's funk-heavy bass, bring the band's music to life, and Edwards himself promises that the band is even better live than on vinyl.
Twin vocalists Jackie and Pauline are the focus of Soho's acid-house and funk-inspired pop sound. The group exploded in Great Britain with their dance club hit "Hippychick," which samples Johnny Marrs' contagious guitar line from the Smiths' single "How Soon Is Now?" but has yet to catch on in the United States.
"We were a bit disappointed that they didn't understand the single in the States," Jackie said in a recent interview. "But there are references to things like the miners' strike that would have been almost impossible to explain to U.S. audiences."
Tickets for the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m., are $10 in advance or $13 the day of show and are available at all Smith'sTix locations, the Salt Palace Box Office or at the door. - Jeff Vice