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Gensu Dean & Planet Asia    Chuck Berry (Mello Music Group)

Holy fucking Moly, this is fucking mad. Strung out yet rocksteady beat peppered with a smear of static, and the filthiest fuzz guitar this side of Eddie Hazell or Pete Cosey. Heard this beat before on Roc Marciano's 'Scareface' rerub but my god, when you stumble across something as fantastically unhinged as this you just want more and more of it. 'Abrasions' is the forthcoming long-player, me want me want me want - even more so having heard this monster. Go get.

The Killers    Flesh & Bone  (Island) 

How can we dance when the world it turning? How can we sleep when our beds are burning? Lots & lots of words here achieving the special trick of meaning sweet fanny adams, rotating the same (yawn) "anthemic" motifs the rest of schmindie-shmock seems to have their Converse mired in at the moment but desperately shoving Casiotone Dixons pissabouts, badbad prog-poesy and horribly chirpy Christian-rawk into the chunder-swirl as well. Get to fuck you grotesquely professional pricks ya. Motivational-speaker music. 

Biffy Clyro    Biblical (Beggars Banquet)

    God it must be tough being in a gee-tard band sometimes. All that VAGUENESS to keep afloat, making sure that every single one of your thoughts, ideas, expressions have that definitive aura of non-commital commitment, that latitudinal damn-near horizontal imprecision todays rock-demographic desire. Making sure that your music never ever strays dangerously away from the endlessly accented trills tween fifths and ninths that Blink 182 & Godspeed You Wank Emperor & Radiohead & other enemies of humanity have laid down as thee constraints of serious frowny flail-rock. It must feel so odd, to so feign freedom under the weight of so much self-inflicted paralysis. Only when the brain is truly incapable of creating anything of any possible interest can it start getting easy, and it'd seem that Biffy Clyro have hit magic-time now, the kind of golden-era of creative ease artists rarely achieve in which everything they touch turns to the kind of shit that will sell to the walking agglomerations of body-odour they call their fans. Festival season soon so this will light the fires up the hill, brayed to the heavens by the hordes as God plugs his ears and puts another Dillinja 12 on his i-pod. Real people, y'know.  Every third face having a burger inserted into it. Real people, the kinda people you avoid like their leprosy is airborne, the kind of people who a decade ago were into Feeder, a decade before into the Stereophonics, a decade hence looking forward to the Biffy Clyro reunion tour with the kids they've inculcated with their cuntishness. Ever thus. Ever with us. 
     It really is time to make the anthemic anathema cos fuck me this is some horrifically ugly shit. Gruesome lumpen para-rhymes (magical, wonderful, biblical, immeasurable, understandable - this record is only one of these things sadly), the 'under-tow' (they heard a Tool album once & there's another word - in fact entire lyrical theme -the nautical - that needs banning from rock lyrics forever) gleaming chugalug technofied rock like Fountains Of Wayne getting sodomized by a leering Butch Vig, BC looking over their heavily inked shoulders as  his left talon strokes their beards, his right-claw anointing his scaly permatanned cock with a jar of tinctured digital syrup before plunging in nutsdeep, goochdeep, making them wail all the way to the shockingly compressed & confined limits of the soundscape. 
    NME/Kerrang rock par excellence. Avoid like the Coalition government it, and those magazines, so clearly thoroughly support.  

Copywrite    Obituaries (Man Bites Dog Records)

"What the fuck's sleep? Oh yeah, that stupid shit you humans do..." - Copywrite making friends and influencing people again with some really rugged low-end menace courtesy of Marco Polo and rhymes you have to rewind half-a-dozen times just to catch every syllable. Reminiscent of Chino XL at his moodiest, 'Obituaries' should point you towards the 'MHz Legacy' LP as soon as possible, you protoplasmic scum. Sorry, think this freak's rubbing off on me. 


Amelia Lily     Party Over (Xenomania)

As a fellow diabetic, I should show solidarity to this near-forgotten X-factor mediocrity - however I should advise Ms. Lily that not only is her single a regrettable slew of Fall Out Boy-meets-liquid-d'n'b arserot, but that the 'party' she refers to should definitely be over if, as the video avers, sugary soft drinks and alcohol rather than fresh fruit and vegetables are on offer. Although it looks like good cardio-vascular exercise is being engaged in, it's no good if her glucose intake is so high, and her blood-sugar count will be well over the 4-8 range she should be aiming for. In fact, she is in possible danger, if she doesn't back up her insulin shot with the right amount of slow-release Metformin, of slipping into hypo-glycaemic shock. Yes, Amelia, the 'party' is definitely over. Now, have a bowl of Quaker Oat Pillows and get some sleep.

Bat For Lashes   Lillies (Capitol)

As a fellow paki, I should show solidarity to this listless bore. However I should advise Ms. Kahn that not only is her single a forgettable slew of Tamsin Archer-meets-Tori Amos magical-realist twinkly bollocks, but that the video she's so clearly proud of actually comes across like the kind of thing your parents force you to watch cos it's 'good old-fashioned storytelling'. Sonically polite to the point of gagworthy, like a fart so smelly it's actually sweet. Always nice to find that artists/bands that others have been flipping wads over & that you've never listened to should REMAIN that way. I've done my duty now and can safely put BFL in the ol' mental rolodex under 'Please Dispose Of Your Dog's Waste Here'. Bye, hippy.


Dag Savage    Cali Dreaming (Dirty Science)

Gorgeous production from that man Exile again - keeping things simple, but making sure each component is weighted perfectly, rotational dreamlike piano and sparse sketchy guitar threading together a beautifully atmospheric warp 'n' weft of sound. Great rhymes from Fashawn & Co$$, and just the right amount of cut-ups to lubricate the flow. Wonderful stuff, stuff you want to drown in. Whilst you're at it seek out 'Twilight and 'When It Rains' too. Need album, NOW. 

 Tom Odell   Hold Me (Sony)

Gosh, he's certainly not someone you can sit on the fence about! Hats off to him! Haven’t had such a strong response to music in a while (Al Pacino voice) whooahh! 
   Sometimes it takes time to really get into stuff or figure out a response but have to say there’s no such umming or ahhing with fresh new privately-educated, signed to Lily Allen's label, albinoesque  talent Tom Odell. Within merely 3 seconds exposure, in fact before he'd even made a noise,  I wanted to drive red-hot ingots into his eyes, the stout hammering of medieval molten agony to his pasty phizog reaffirmed as reasonable response with only the most cursory scan of the overwhelmingly positive youtube comments this slab of sloppy effluent has attracted. Comments as enlightened, Australian-interrogative and entirely non-loathsome as this . . .
Really annoys me -the fact have brilliant artists like Tom, The Rolling Stones, Green Day, The Sex Pistols and stuff -and I know they are different so you cam compare, but I mean you get shittypeople like Rihanna and Lady Gaga, who are like a disgrace to music?"
'Hold Me'? Only if it's under the water in a bathtub until your legs stop kicking you objectionable guffmerchant. Next time someone you love, care about, potentially maybe even someone you might accept food or drink from (just think, they'll have touched it, with their freckly, dirty hands), admits to you that they like Arcade Fire, send them thissaway. Make them watch this worthless birdshitstain cunt, hear the nauseating over-wroughtness of his voice, the corduroy-choirboy punchability of the chorus, the ‘anthemic’ (yeah man, cos BELONGING like I’m in a fucking Carling Black Label advert is what I most fondly covet from pop) the almost scarily-negative musical non-entity of the timbre and orchestration. Make them hear it. Then make them hear it again. Then drive those red-hot ingots into their eyes also, just to be sure, just to be on the safe side. It’s the only way we’re gonna progress as a pop culture. Careful, attentive listening, and the repeated use of red-hot ingots in the eyes, ears and asses of reactionaries everywhere. So, to recap on our progress so far,  that's two things to remember -  
1. listen carefully.
2: red-hot ingots. 
Do you think you'll remember that? There'll be a test at the end.

Taylor Swift   Twenty Two (Big Machine Records)

"It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes/It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight/To fall in love with strangers"
   Clearly stop-out Swift's not been listening to her most caring critics like the genius girl above, more worryingly she appears to have given up on the idea of creating anything, rather pinning herself like a butterfly on the flailing vagaries of algorhythms and code.  '22' is like a leftover-sandwich, every offcut from all her other songs condensed into one emetic stew of cliche, every line completed by predictive text, all slathered over music that seems to be made up as it goes along, and not in a 'Trout Mask Replica' way either.
 This is the sound of what happens when the computers set up to devise the next edition of pro-tools start becoming self-aware and human decisions are removed from strategic songwriting. (Pro-Tools begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug). Scarily bland.


Quelle Chris feat Denmark Vessey    Rappin Ass (Mello Music Group)


Now THIS is what some proper crate-diggin' can get you. Hats off to Mr House Shoes, WHAT A GROOVE. Don't know where it's from, don't care, just know that it's filling out today with some of the freakiest most frabjous, sumptuously stupendous soul-funk I've heard in aeons - great piss-taking rhymes from QC seal the deal up compellingly, and with a great nonchalant vibe. There are doubtless more cutting edge, hipper, more important records released this month but nothing will seep sunshine into your cells quite like this, and in this bleak neverending midwinter that's all you should care about. VVUNDERRBARRR.

Haim   Falling (Polydor)

Phewff, that was close, nearly clicked on the version that was ‘live from Maida Vale’. 
[Bomb Maida Vale, someone, now that it's become the livelounge cathedral sanctifying the ongoing acoustic anschluss, preferably ensuring that Jo Whiley is inside, wearing a big parka sat on a piano stool next to Kelly Jones, her pisshole-in-the-snow eyes closed as she nods appreciatively as he plays a broken version of ‘Mr Writer’. Would be lovely if she’d invited Zane Lowe & Fearne Cotton along too. Sorry, shouldn’t get lost in these daydreams, the snap back to reality where these people live and breathe and move through air and draw wages from my license fee is too too painful to make the reveries worthwhile. Her parka-fur singed and lit and undoused by her frenzied tears. Lowe’s crispy flame-grilled fists beaten into tandoorified charred stumps on the door-pane, the air in Cotton’s head evaporating in an empty baloon hiss of steam. The sprinklers failing . . . failing, sorry where was I?]
   Oh yeah: the Haim sisters & friend continue their mission to dilute ‘Tango In The Night’ into palatable chunks of disguised vomit for mass re-consumption and commit the cardinal error so common to so many born-in-the-80s 80s-retronauts i.e getting everything right sonically and nothing right spiritually, and as ever forgetting to write a chorus. The retro-ness I don't particularly have a problem with at this late stage of our disappearance down pop-history's plughole but it's the palpable sense as ever that these people are on no journey, personally, emotionally, or musically, or romantically, just that they've arrived WITH MUSIC TO MAKE and the tools immediately at their disposal, that so utterly saps their admittedly 'correct' sourcing and facsimile of any potential intrigue it might have had. 

See, that’s not a chorus, that’s a bridge. FFS am I gonna have to get Songwriting101 on yr asses? Yessssssss, it happens after a verse but that doesn’t make it a chorus. Admit it, you were so pleased with yourself for constructing such a believable simulacra of a 70s soft-rock verse &  bridge you COULDN’T ACTUALLY BE ARSED to find a hook for a chorus. Which is like blowing up the paddling pool only to not bother putting water in it y'lazy fuckers. This is not Belladonna. It's just vella shitta. 

Duke Dumont Ft. A*M*E   Need U 100% (iTunes)

Hmmmkay, THIS is how you do 80s rejigs without a proper chorus. Don't matter when the bass'n'beats'n'keys are PROPERLY compelling, PROPERLY physical like they are here. Nearly nothing to it but the tiny details seal it - the suddenly dubbed-out vocals, the rippling snare-shots & hand-claps, the build from the bass-heavy verse upwards to the trebly bliss of the turnaround.
     Not gonna be taken as seriously as Haim in the 80s reimaginings stakes cos this is more to do with the wrong side of 80s Detroit than the right-side of 70s Laurel Canyon but 100% better for it.

Iggy Azalea   Work (iTunes)

OH FFS - I was only into her for a month! 'Whatchu Lookin At' was the track that first got me sold on IA. Diggit.

I thought, instantly -  she's hilarious. Great rhymes, great rock'n'roll delivery, great at fitting syllables between rhythms. Prayed she'd NEVER let anyone else have a voice on her records. Hoped she'd be a bigger star in 2013 than she ever has been before. And now here comes her first kinda 'official' non-mixtape release and quelle surprise she suddenly sucks just a little bit . Afflicted suddenly with that horrible ubiquiotous note of teenage self-pity & defiance that renders 'Work' nauseatingly aspirational, absolutely sucked-dry of all the juicy UNREASONABLENESS that made 'Whatchu Lookin At' so compelling.
   Tasteful piano sweeps where there should be bass pitched so low it makes you puke, mellotron strings and Guettechno-build where there could be more swearing. Bullshit teenage self-melodrama about 'struggle' and 'working hard' and 'you can hate' and how 'you don't know the half', the good lines about valleygirls giving blowjobs "head over heels", and 'no money no family/16 in the middle of Miami' (IA bullshitted her parents and came to her spiritual hip-hop home from her native Oz all on her tod - see, a hell of a story unfortunately only touched on here) squashed out of the prominent hookiness they deserve. Leaving the door wide open for lazy Ke$ha & Minaj comparisons when she'd previously suggested so much more than that. Hope she gets back on track soon cos I reck she could be a better pop star than all of them put together.


Twizzy    Make The World Spin (Bandcamp)

Loving the Charlie Mac production here, a sweet swoonsome mix of pared-down Blue Note jazz sparseness with string-laded Delfonic-style soul swish. The lyrics pose questions, leave them open, take us absolutely into Twizzy's mindset, both downered and hopeful, leave you almost breathless with the incisiveness and honesty, a clarity and lightness matched every step of the way by CM's production, ending with some of the most divinely fuzzed-up guitar you've ever heard. 'Working Class Zero' is the album this is taken from, cannot WAIT for it to drop.

Hurts    Blind (RCA)

What? Yr fucking kidding me. This is it? I really wanted to hear Hurts cos the phrase 'disastrous A&R showcase' in a biog is almost guaranteed to get my ears pricked up. But this is horrible, a lighters-aloft sway-along song for the bovine and docile that makes Fun sound like Caspar Brotzmann Massaker. Has anyone got a fresh set of ingots heated up yet? For gods sake, lets get a backlog built up, the cunts are coming in waves.

Rihanna    Pour It Up (Island)

Man, this song is soooo about my life it's not true. Checkitout, RiRi might have come a long way from her roots as market-stall barker and crackhead's daughter but she hasn't forgotten the struggle, or how things are for the vast majority of us great unwashed. 

“Throw it up, throw it up/Watch it all fall out/Pour it up, pour it up/That's how we ball out/Strip clubs and dollar bills I still got more money/Patron shots can I get a refill?/I still got more money/ Strippers goin' up and down that pole And I still got more money/ Four o'clock and we ain't going home Cause I still got more money /Money make the world go round I still got more money /Bands make your girl go down I still got more money/ Lot more where that came from/I still got more money/All I see is signs All I see is dollar signs/Money on my mind Money, money on my mind/I still got more money Who cares how you haters feel And I still got more money Call Jay up and close a deal I still got more money My fragrance on and they love my smell I still got more money So who cares about what I spend I still got more money My pocket's deep, and they never end I still got more money I'm going dumb with all my friends I still got more money”.

So, basically Rihanna doing what she does best i.e absolutely fuck all of any interest whatsoever, and charmlessly so at that. No video as yet, but this will suffice.


  1. You should have your own singles column in Music Week or some-such, Neil - make it so, scaredy-cat editors!


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