Here are some guidelines:
- The Beatles sounded like about 10 different bands. Say which one you’re talking about. Beulah sounds like “Rubber Soul-era Beatles”. If you don’t know the Beatles albums well-enough to know which to compare a band to, then leave this comparison to people who do.
- Sun-shiney harmonies don’t make a band automatically sound like the Beach Boys.
- If you compare a band to Neutral Milk Hotel, it’d better be fricking epic and life-changing, not just some dark fuzz-pop with random instruments.
- Just because it’s finger-picked and folky, doesn’t make it sound like Nick Drake.
- “sounds like [band name] on [drug]” is weak and stupid. (McAnulty alerted me to this one.)
- “sounds like [super obscure band #1] had babies with [super obscure band #2]” is usually useless.
- Making a judgement of an album based on personal beliefs of the band makes you seem small.
- Mentioning a band member’s facial hair and passing judgement on an album based on that makes you seem stupid and small.
- Making a judgement of an album based on personal activities of the band or band members is stupid.
- Not all lo-fi bands sound like Guided by Voices. In fact, none of them do.
- Seriously, have you even listened to Slint’s Spiderland??
- Don’t make a judgement about an album based on a comparison or objectionable phrase on its promotional one-sheet. The band probably didn’t write that. They might not have even seen that.
Am I missing any?