(Andy Synn wrote this article, which includes thoughts about the new albums by Lago from Arizona and Burial In the Sky from Pennsylvania.)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but the concept of pure “originality”, in its most stringent and (ironically) restrictive form, is often given far too much weight and consideration when bands are being critiqued/assessed.
Now this in no way excuses bands whose music never rises above being a dilute derivative of something we’ve heard a thousand times before, but the truth is that the majority of musical growth and evolution occurs in the form of slow, incremental changes, with successive artists tweaking, altering, and adding to the formula(s) of their predecessors over time.
In that sense it’s a lot like science, where new developments are generally the results of years of perseverance, building on the legacy of the work done previously, so that the chain of events, the path of discovery, is clear for all to see.
Of course in music, as in science, there will always be sudden, paradigm-altering breakthroughs when inspiration suddenly strikes, and something truly “original” is created, but, for the most part, we need to acknowledge that all of us, from the least to the greatest, are standing on the shoulders of giants.