Kid Centrifuge is a rock band with dreams no bigger than other rock bands: ho-hum, tour and get signed and be famous and change the universe. Alas, unlike their rock-music forebears, our heroes live in a world that has largely moved on to techno, dance and pop. Yes, the music industry is still littered with double-crossers and backbiters, but now they're looking for DJs, and maybe guitar champions need no longer apply. So the kids tilt against the same old windmills musicians have battled forever, but with a suspicion that the same old animating dream - all you need is a guitar and a great song and you'll make a million bucks - is dead.
That gives their grass-roots aspirations more than a little desperation, and bad decisions ensue.
War On Sound gets inside its four featured musicians - Amanda, the singer; Sebastian, the guitarist; Kate, the drummer; and Scott, the bass player and angsty piloting force - the way Don DeLillo did in Great Jones Street and Roddy Doyle did in The Commitments. These talented kids wage war, blinkers in place, faith challenged...they have big success and big failure, and they keep playing. War on Sound is by turns hilarious and profound, and illuminates the contemporary music scene better than any recent novel.
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The characters are so real, it almost hurts.
- Seth McKinley
Epic and Microcosm
Trenchant, poignant, true
Mr. Harris made a detailed look at the demise of a great American art form, while working in another, and it doubles as a timely look back at our recent past, the acceleration of technology and distance between us, how they add to the economic and cultural anxiety we feel, against a backdrop of perma-war and terror. And it is very funny and well-read. Highly recommended for anyone who cares too much about music.