Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Commercial Broke...

Cable - Freeze The Atlantic

Cable - God Gave Me Gravity

Falling for bands based on tracks you've heard on television advertisements is a risky business. For every Jose Gonzalez, there's a Babylon Zoo. Imagine being one of the unfortunate few who coughed up twelve ninety-nine for the Babylon Zoo album because they liked the speeded up bit of the jeans selling anthem, 'Spaceman'.

I was somewhat luckier when I became obsessed with the band that provided the track for a Sprite advert back in 1997. I can't even remember the ad now; I think there were snowboarders in it or something, and at the time, thought nothing of the tune which sound tracked it. Fortunately for me, the melody from the chorus had crawled inside my ear and pitched a tent in the suggestible area of my brain, and for the next week, I couldn't shift it. It got so bad that I used to watch ITV continually, hoping to see the Sprite ad so I could hear the song again. In the end, I did what I should have done in the first place, and went out and bought the single. It was by Cable and called 'Freeze the Atlantic'. I played it repeatedly, breaking only to let rip the band's tremendous cover version of 'Ring of Fire' that was also included on the CD single.

If it is possible to be addicted to music, I had a Cable habit, which only got worse when I picked up the Derby four piece's debut album 'When Animals Attack'. The album is a lost classic; a scintillating collection of melodious hardcore punk pop, with an art rock twist in places. Their obvious influences were the likes of Shellac and Fugazi, but their pop sensibilities meant it wasn't a million miles away from 'In Utero' era Nirvana, and a defiant Englishness prevented them from being merely replicas of the aforementioned acts. 'Freeze the Atlantic' is definitely an anomaly in that it provides the only laidback moment on the album, the rest of which is more in the vein of 'God Gave Me Gravity', with singer Matt Bagguley's off-key vocal delivery providing a gripping focus for the solid backbone of tight snares, booming basslines and frenzied, buzzsaw riffs.

'Freeze the Atlantic' turned out to be Cable's curse. My understanding is that they decided to waive a payment for Sprite using the track, hoping to use it as a platform to gain wider exposure. When this failed (the single charted at 44), the band's management sued them for breach of contract. The band lost the case and, unable to afford to stay together, was forced to split in 1999, two days after the release of their excellent second album 'Sublingual'.

Buy - Cable - When Animals Attack
(And watch out, as there’s another band called Cable who look a bit shit – check the discography to make sure it’s by the Derby Cable if you plan to buy owt)
Visit - Cable
Visit - Cable @ Drowned in Sound
Visit - Robots And Electronic Brains for a brilliant interview with them, including the story of how they nearly caused Oasis to split up.
Visit - Commercial Breaks And Beats for help with identifying tracks from UK TV ads.


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