Eco Amplifier: The Gorillaz

Eco Amplifier: This Week, The Gorillaz. Source: The Gorillaz Press
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Eco Amplifier: This Week, The Gorillaz. Source: The Gorillaz Press

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Eco Amplifier: The Gorillaz

Many bands are remarkable for their ability to draw upon one or two different genres in their songs, blending the styles together to create something new. However, few can say that they have successfully blended 5, 6, or even more genres together to widespread acclaim worldwide. 

However, the Gorillaz has not only achieved this but has done so while only maintaining a lineup of two people. 

The virtual band, founded in 1998, has become influential in modern pop music in ways that aren’t fully calculable. There are still new acts that become important every day who cite the Gorillaz as one of their major influences. 

The project was created as a collaboration between Damon Albarn, the lead singer of Blur, and Jamie Hewlett, a comic book illustrator. The band’s music is intimately connected with the visuals of the promo art, music videos, and album covers. 

In the band, there is a fully connected lore and universe told and explained through the various music videos and releases. Many have also been confused over the years as to how many people are actually in the band, as though Damon Albarn solely works on the music, the art makes it appear as if there are four members: Russel Hobbs, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle, and 2-D. 

The Gorillaz project was initially conceived as a reaction to the growing popularity of boy bands at the time. Albarn explained, “This was the beginning of the boy band sort of explosion… and it just felt so manufactured. And we were like, well, let’s make a manufactured band but make it kind of interesting.” 

Throughout the years of the band’s long-time existence, they have tackled difficult and interesting issues presenting themselves to our world. For example, on Demon Days, they addressed the idea that we live in a state of perpetual darkness; the most notable example is in the song Dirty Harry, in which they talk about the callous way lives were disregarded in the American war in Iraq. 

In Plastic Beach, they took an environmental tone more explicitly, with marine pollution being a central artistic focus throughout the project. One of the remarkable things about the Gorillaz is their ability to make charming, enjoyable songs while maintaining a lyrical social focus. 

They achieve this without sounding preachy or insufferable either, one can listen and probably already has listened to Dirty Harry and enjoyed it significantly without fully understanding what it’s about. 

However, the messaging is still there should you choose to listen closely. 

The lead single for their new album, Cracker Island, is available to listen to here, and if you want to book a date for their tour, you can do so here.

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