#81 Beneath Utopia: Legacy

Do you ever feel that art is our main bulwark against the strangulation of Capitalism?

Sorry, sorry, I’ve come in too strong there, haven’t I? I don’t usually start screaming extreme leftist agitprop until this whole annual exercise in laboured futility that I needlessly put myself through each Christmas has really rotted away the discipline and self awareness parts of my brain. By the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster at #38 my post consists of nothing more than a frenzied call for a brutal Maoist reorganisation of the state of home ownership. All caps. No spell check. So looking forward to that this year.

Sorry, I shouldn’t have got your hopes up, the Eighties Matchbox Be-Line Disaster haven’t released an album since 2010. That’s the hole in your life that you’re struggling to fill, don’t listen to your fascist psychiatrist who says it’s dissociative disorder)

You know what I mean though, right?? There’s something almost erotically compelling about a human being setting out to create something only on the basis that it is beautiful? To gift to others not for gross accumulation of capital, not to fuel the insane reciprocal arms race of consumerism, consumption and decay that will soon destroy us all, but because hopefully it will make their lives more beautiful too. Or not even that, just a little more bearable, perhaps? If not, hey, so what? It still exists, it’s still there, it has still been created. Making this sixty minute long heavy rock album that includes a delicious Pet Shop Boys cover was not a productive fucking idea at all. It has no place inside capitalism. It’s is neither production nor product. Mark failed to consider Beneath Utopia. There is no surplus value of a human being putting their being into audio form. Seriously, that would be fucking weird, right?? What would Adam Smith say??

He would say “On me ‘ed, son”. I was actually referring to Adam Smith, the footballer with more than 250 appearances for Bournemouth FC. That was a clever bait and switch, wasn’t it? They’ll be more examples of my witty wordplay over the next eighty albums, be sure to hit subscribe.

Ian certainly didn’t need this record to secure his legacy. Pa! Piffle and cocksnooney I say to thee, young rapscallion! Ian was and is already an unarguable legend amongst the most important people. That is, amongst middle aged online Manic Street Preachers fans: the real Illuminati. His New Chart Riot blog is now so respected that it’s seen as the scientific truth when it comes to ranking which Manics songs are held in highest esteem by the fans (even, if you compare it to the actual legitimate list, it can be laughably incorrect in places, that’s more down to the idiot fans than it is to Ian). Hey look, there’s me! Ian is already more GOATed than a Loire Valley Quiche Lorraine, thank you very much. Yet here he is just stapling his testicles to the woodchip to write, compose and perform his first album as Beneath Utopia, and…

Hmm? What’s that now? Speak up, young ‘un. What??

No, his fifth album as Beneath Utopia and first in fourteen years!! That’s actually even more impressive in a way that’s difficult to explain. Like, this isn’t an initial burst of talent and creativity that has burned up inside him all his life that he’s struggled to translate into existence. It’s actually a burning talent and creativity that he has unleashed into the stratosphere before, when it better fit into his schedule, then just placed in stasis for a decade and a half while he did other shit, then one day just taken off the shelf and exhibited once again. That is, I’m sure you’ll agree, pretty gangster.

Beneath Utopia get their first press coverage in Metal Hammer. In nineteen cocking ninety cocking seven!!

I mean, fuck, it’s all so fucking amazing. Get your art out there people. We’re very alike, Ian and I. The only difference is that his art is more centered around astonishing guitar play managing to create a bond through an amazingly diverse amount of genres, and my art is more being snarky online to music that I’m not talented enough to produce myself. Honestly, dude, we’re like… we’re like… like… the Attenborough brothers, yeah? Or something? Like, I’m more like David because I often converse with gorillas, and he’s more like Richard because the first attraction he ever built was a Flea Circus, Petticoat Lane. Really quite wonderful. He had a wee trapeze, and a merry-go… carousel and a seesaw. They all moved, motorized of course, but people would say they could see the fleas. “Oh, I see the fleas, mummy! Can’t you see the fleas…?”

Oh piss off, not everything I write is a hit line! We can’t all be ‘Ian’!

The main message I wanted to convey with this first entry was to make sure we all knew that anything I say on this list doesn’t actually matter. The only important thing is the art itself and the geniuses that contributed it. They make life worth living.

OK, who’s next? I kinda wanna slag something off now…

BandCamp

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