Just… gorgeous. ‘Bigness’ seems almost like it was intended as something of a wry, ironic name, as Mr Darling deals in ostensibly small scale music. His songs can initially seem so slight, polite, inoffensive and casual, all linked with a voice so hesitant and unassuming that it’s the volume and urgency that a fruit fly might adopt if it wanted to get the waiter’s attention at Costa Coffee to inquire as to what was taken its Hazelnut Praline & Cream Latte so long but didn’t want to make too much fuss. The tags that the album is identified with on Bandcampare alternative; bedroom pop; christchurch; new zealand; pop; indie; indie pop; Christchurch, which tells you one thing… Well no, it firsts lets you know that Pickle Darling is from Christchurch, New Zealand, as he’s so keen for you to realise that that he states it twice, but the second thing that the tags tell you is that ‘Bigness’ is a bit of a cheery, unassuming and- in the words of Helltown– ‘bedroom bullshit‘ kind of record. It’ll be fine. It’ll be cheery, a little bit twee but well meaningfully pleasant. Most of all though, it’ll be small.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m a big believer in getting into artists solely because you like the cover art of their album. Well, guess what? I freaking loved the cover of ‘A Girl Cried Red’ by Princess Nokia. A Latin-American woman in a Slipknot shirt giving me the finger? Yes please, that’s all that I ever want, give that to me now, please, let me chow down on that, nomnomnomnomnom, thank you sir, can I have some more. Do you see? Well, I got the album, I loved it, and then was left with two main questions:
Where do I get to get more of this stuff and then shovel it into my ears?
So, what, is she the daughter of some sort of monarchy based around mobile phone manufacturers? Is she the daughter of the king of the Nokia phones, or is each different member of that particular royal family a different type of phone? Like is her brother Prince Samsung and her great aunt Duchy LG? I mean, the king has to be King iPhone, don’t it? Not based on quality, but one assumes that actual phone sales would feature in most prominently when deciding the lineage of such a monarchy. But if Nokia’s parents and older siblings die and she ascends to the throne, does she then take on the name iPhone? You can’t be having phone manufacturers royal house being run by a fucking Nokia, what is this, 2002??
How many words have I vomited onto my fingers then indelicately smeared across my keyboard in respect of Money in the Bank matches? Ten thousand? Fifteen? A million?? Probably closer to the latter*. A lot, I think we can agree.
All 22 WWE Money in the Bank ladder matches ranked. Listen, I thought the title would work better than it does, just go with it, OK?
The Money in the Bank (from hereon in referred to as ‘MITB’, because I’ve got a lot of writing to do and I am a very, very lazy man) ladder match is the best idea that WWE have had since Steve Austin’s turn to the dark side at the end of Wrestlemania 17 in 2001 signalled the end of the Attitude Era and drew the curtain on the last period which wrestling seemed in any way relevant or widely notable. It’s arguably the only good idea they’ve had in that 18 year period. Save perhaps having The Miz replace Ted DiBiase jnr. as the lead actor in ‘The Marine’ franchise from ‘The Marine 3: Homefront’ onward. Yeah, WWE make movies now. And yeah, they’re all terrible.
The premise- 5-10 wrestlers battle to use ladders to reach a contract swinging over the top of the ring which allows them a shot at any title they choose at any time they want over the next 12 months- is simple but ingenious, and allows for great storytelling potential and the chance to quickly promote a wrestler into the main event picture. Of course, this potential is more often than not completely squandered, because WWE are generally incompetent and we’re not allowed to have nice things.
Ranking the matches is difficult, because save a handful of amazing bouts and a smaller, Jeremy Beadle sized handful of slightly poorer ones, they’re almost always a similar level of ‘alright, pretty good, I suppose’. However, I am perhaps the greatest blogger of my generation- the ‘Heart Blog Kid’ Blog Michaels, or ‘Stone Blog’ Steve Blogstin, if you will- so I knew I had the ability to do it. I had initially planned to write this list in the build up to the 2018 Money in the Bank pay per view, back when there had been exactly 20 matches, and it would have made so much more sense. Alas, now there are 22 and, to be completely honest, I can’t even promise to finish it in time for 2019’s event exactly two weeks from today. But it’s a cash cow that the WWE are unlikely to put down for a long time yet, so there’s always the chance of a top 24 in 2020. Or perhaps a top 26 in 2021. I mean, I’ve started it now and I’ve already realised it’s going to have to be two parts…
I know, I know, she’s not number one. This was all set up to be perfect, wasn’t it? Nobody has ever won Necessary Evil more than once, and after her outstanding debut won it way back in 2010 before anyone important was even born, it seemed as if it was all set up for her to make history. But she’s at number two. I’m as shocked as you are.
It’s something I’ve been struggling with since April. The reason somanyalbums were seriously considered as being 2018’s best is because for near eight months I was furiously searching for a reason to not hand it to Janelle Monae.
This mini-album is a threat. It’s an aggressive and intimidating declaration of intentions. It’s subtle, but there are people (or perhaps just ‘person’: me) smart enough to decipher it. Like when Donald Trump
visits Kim Jong Un for a state banquet, and Jongy spends the entire meal flicking peas directly into Trump’s mashed potatoes, particularly around the east side of the plate. Trump won’t understand the suggestion, of course, because [DONALD TRUMP IS STUPID JOKE] and the fat fuck is just happy that he’s getting a little extra food. But us smart people (yes, you. And you. And you! Not you though. You know why. You know why) will see the threat being made, we’ll know some pretty awesome shit’s about to go down!!