Gibson has a long-overdue article called Guitar Riffs ... an Art in Need of a Revival. Yes, I dropped the question mark.
It talks about the dangers of comparing the old to the new (less than effectively, actually, ‘cause of course Babe Ruth was better than Albert Pujols). They do have a point: each generation has to do its own thing. But for some reason, today’s rockers seem to have abandoned the riff.
Kinda a weird, because the article nicely explains why that’s the tool to imbed your music inside the listener’s psyche, to imbed it under the skin, to worm its way right into the DNA chain. A good riff sticks to you like oatmeal sticks to your ribs.
Maybe it helps explain why “classic rock” records now outsell current releases. As the article explains, a good riff is instantly familiar but also altogether new. A lot of songs today sound very familiar because they feature the obligatory distorted power chords and shouting, but not much feels new.
By talking about The Stones’ most recent riff on Doom and Gloom, the article neatly proves that Paul Stanley from Kiss was dead wrong when he claimed all the good riffs had been written.
Not so. Come on, people. Get out there and give us something to remember.