Firstly, let’s just fuck the room’s elephant in the ass and admit that there is really no deep logical point in this reissue. ‘Gold Against the Soul’ may have been released on June 21st, but that release came in 1993, and I don’t think there is a wider habit among the music industry for rereleasing albums on their 27th anniversary. This is a legitimate and gorgeously packaged celebration, yes, but the intentions of its release are simply financial- the band knows that they still have a pathetic, rabid and obsessive fanbase, who will jump at the chance to buy a lavishly packaged and expanded edition of one of the band’s less well regarded albums. Yes, including me. But let’s just stop and look at the optics here- here are the most viewed pages on the Necessary Evil blog this year:
(*fuck, I am so old. Like, properly, well-adjusted and responsible adults were born after this album was released. Your bossat work was born after ‘Gold Against the Soul’ was released! Your weird uncle Freddy’s girlfriend was born after this album was released, and she’s the oldest girlfriend he’s has since his 1998 divorce!)
This can mean only one thing: time to pander to all those pathetic Manics fans again!
Shit’s really going down, ain’t it? You know shit’s going down because some big shops are shutting down. These shops didn’t shut down during a virus that’s currently been responsible for 376’000 deaths worldwide (watch this space!!), because, seriously, fuck these people, right? But now these multimillion dollar companies that have long built their success on the suffering and oppression of others are actually losing products on a scale absolutely insignificant to their wider wealth. So this shit’s important, yeah? COVID-19 testing centres are also being shut down in some areas because, well, some people don’t deserve to be safe, do they? In 2020, you really have to earn the right to not die, and we have to make it clear that certain people don’t deserve that right, yes?
This blog has never been the place for timely, contemporary and up to the minute fresh takes. In normal circumstances, if something notable happens during the year I simply put it aside in that special part of my brain that I hope to access around December, then at the end of the year I rant about it in a blog post about my 25th best album of the year, or whatever, when every other person in the world has long stopped caring about it. Or, most likely, I’ll simply forget all about it and instead go off on a tangent about rape fantasies or utter fucking nonsense. It was all we wanted. All we needed. We were happy.
Well, COVID-19 got me doing all sorts of crazy shit that I’ve never done before- last Tuesday I ate an unsalted pistachio*- so I guess I may as well add to the insanity by commenting on something that only just happened this last week. Partly this is because a particularly obnoxious crow outside my window has woken me up at two thirty in the morning, like I’m a 15th century wheelwright working in the tower of his master’s monastery or some shit, but partly because Lana Del Rey’s 21st May Instagram postreally got under my skin. Yeah, mostly the former. Sniff, sniff, what’s that smell? Oh yeah! Precious motherfucking content!!
Yeah, sorry, no more Bumble Rumble. Possibly… ever…? Listen, I’ve pretty much decided that I hate Zero Hour dating- I happen to still believe that I’m relatively attractive, so to have an app on my phone that frequently reminds me that I’m actually not is not good at all for my already inflated yet easily pricked sense of self-esteem. For now, my official stance is that I know that I’m a highly fuckable piece of hunky man meat who could grind genitals with pretty much any woman he wants, but I just choose not to, OK?? The official stance is that I’ve decided to concentrate on the more important things in my life, such as this blog- which has never been more popular- and my actual job- which I’m technically supposed to be doing now*. Remember this blog? It used to be about music, didn’t it? I mean… kinda… Let’s do that again. Basically, it’s time for:
Just wanted a photo with my eyes in it. Have they always been that colour? More after the jump!!
Ah, Hurley. Remember Hurley? Sure you do, she spoke in code about hating the police and people from Cradley Heath, and made it very clear that she was after someone over six foot two despite announcing her lust for Calloway, who only lists his height as three foot nothing. All of that can be forgiven, but she announced one thing that many people would simply find utterly unforgivable:
Eugh! Eugh, eugh, eugh, eugh, eugh! A vegan!! Vegans are the worst aren’t they?? With their… with their… with their vegatables… and… and… and their… and their… fucking… lentils… We all hate vegans, don’t we?
At the Little Simz entry at number 4, I worried that the ceaseless and heartless explosion of ‘news’ and ‘takes’ and ‘bullshit’ that is modern life only succeeded in confirming rather than challenging our prejudices and turning us against even family members as we’re convinced that political allegiances are the one thing that dictates whether human life is worth even considering.
Then there was Elbow at number 3, throwing their hands up in the air and wailing as they wondered what’s even the point of Elbow anymore?! There’s no sense of togetherness for them to soundtrack! The world hates itself now, and to espouse the sort of optimism and confidence that they used to would risk making them sound ridiculously out of touch! 2019 is grim, it’s paranoid, it hates it’s fellow human because, chances are, the fellow human hates them just as much so it’s best to return a shot! Then there was Sudan Archives making the second best album of the year by essentially mainstreaming her sound and making as many bangers as possible. So yeah, hear that Nick Cave? Make sure your album has as many bangers as possible, yeah?
Surely Nick Cave would be most affected by this new era of mistrust and negative assumptions. Not only has he previously made a career over detailing bad motherfuckers who would “Crawl over fifty good pussies just to get to one fat boy’s asshole“, but he would surely be more angry than most at life’s unfair and brutal nature after his 15 year old son died in 2015. He had already released ‘Skeleton Tree‘ in 2016, a broken and grim album interjected with occasional explosive pulses of agony, over which Cave sounded emotionally bereft and often numb. It was mostly a dark, hopeless reaction to a tragedy that today’s climate demands. Wallow in your misery! You’re all alone! Nobody gives a shit and anyone who does is probably racist, or something!! Mmmmm, yes, Nick Cave, feed me on your despondent tears!!
Just to let you know, dear reader, at times in this article it may sound like I’m derogating the general situation or decrying a loss of civility in wider society or lame things like that, but I am actually complaining about you personally, as your own behaviour is at the centre of what I’m talking about and it is completely within your power to address it. And, I’m sorry, but if you consider yourself left wing then you really are chiefly what I’m thinking of. We cool? We cool??
If you are left wing, you are (generally, generally, generally!!) concerned with supporting the community rather than the individual but also want the state to make it as easy as possible for a human being to express themselves freely and with a truly equal framework of opportunity. That’s cool and- you know what?- I probably agree with you. If you are right wing you are (generally! Gen-er-motherfuckin’-ly!!!) concerned more with allowing the more successful people as little impediments to their achievements as possible, you think the best state is one that interferes as little as possible, that things like high taxes and overzealous bureaucracy only discourages human potential. You (GENERALLY!!!!) thank that to support the less successful financially is actually just encouraging people to ‘do nothing’ and removes the impetus for them to truly excel. That’s cool. I don’t agree, but we both honestly believe that our positions on society are what’s best for either the good of the community/country/world or just, y’know, yourself and your own family. Maybe the latter’s more important to you. Maybe the former’s more important to me only because it will increase the good of the latter. Maybe we both think that the former plays a part in improving the latter but without the latter being dealt with the former has no chance but without the former being stabilised we don’t even have a latter but then what is the former if not just a larger collection of latters and the latter and the former both need to somehow work in synergy? Yes, that’s probably the one statement we can all agree with.
On ‘CURSEBREAKER X’*, Equip step shit up massively. Previously, the less forgiving may have accused them of being more gimmick than legitimate artist. Every album, like 2018’s ‘Synthetic Core 88‘, came with the hook that it was the soundtrack to a video game that existed nowhere but inside Equip’s imagination. This inspired some incredible music, but for many the conceit would be far too ‘cute’ and even ‘eye rollingly hipster’ to bridge that gap between ‘concept you might appreciate’ and ‘music you unreservedly love’. ‘CURSEBREAKER X’ doesn’t just bridge that gap, it clears it in a single bound by casting a +50 COMPOSITIONS spell and fills the cavern beneath it with buffed power ups as it flies over. Equip breaks the game with WWE 2K20 level glitches that make it unplayable, because they’re playing something else entirely with ‘CURSEBREAKER X’.
(*we’ve seen far too many artists recently, from awakebutstillinbed to Ariana Grande to repeat offender american poetry club, show such a flagrant disregard for proper capitalisation that I’m pleased to see Jamila Woods, Michael Kiwanuka and now Equip have fought against this by, if anything, overcapitalising their records. I’m pleased to officially announce 2019 as The Year We Won Our Capital Back)
Hey! I wrote a big review of this album when it came out! What, you want me to cut and paste all those words here?? Jesus, your sense of entitlement is actually rather worrying. I’m not angry, I’m just… learning things about you…
I’ll just add one little story. One of my friends actually subscribes to my blog. Like, literally I think, one of my friends. That’s how fucking useless my friends are. Honestly, if you take away the option of offering them an excuse to get drunk (even if you keep stressing to them that, even if you don’t drink, you really fucking want them to, because they’re such overwhelming dullards when they’re sober!) you’ll find that many of your friends don’t actually care that much about you. Anyway, my one true friend, the one who actually reads this piece of shit blog, noticed that my latest masterpiece was titled ‘Govier Forces a Little Exception of His Own’ and asked me if I was making political posts now. I just said ‘No’, that ‘Govier’ was the name of the artist, and we moved on. Much, much later, I started to get puzzled by what exactly about that particular title might have led him to believe that it was political, and I think by now too much time has passed for me to reopen the inquiry to attempt to discover…
Michael Gove!! He thought it was about Michael Gove. Well, that’s been solved, and I hope the Michael Gove reference in my latest Miley Cyrus review helped quench that particular thirst. Wow, turns out I really didn’t have anything to talk about for this entry…
So Kanye ditched ‘Yandhi‘, which was late in its production and looked like it might become very worthwhile, to instead work on a completely new album. OK. I mean, switching projects completely so rapidly and frequently might not bode well for general standards of quality, but who am I to speak about artistic methods? I do this list every year and yet still manage to never let the quality slip below pelvis shattering power, so I’m sure lesser artists like Kanye will be able to ensure standards are still high. And it’s a gospel album?! Well colour me intrigued! Perhaps Kanye will be able to put similar spins on (and analysis of) the genre as Chance the Rapper did on ‘Coloring Book‘! Back when Chance was good! Perhaps, in the future, we will look back on ‘Yandhi’ as Kanye’s ‘Black Album‘, Prince’s mythical 1987 album that he allegedly dropped work on after experiencing a spiritual epiphany while on pills* and decide to instead focus on the gorgeous paean to the struggles of good over evil (and, y’know, shagging) that was ‘Lovesexy‘. Perhaps something happened to Kanye similar to Prince coming up and seeing the light. Kanye West doesn’t take good drugs though, guy has far too much upper body tension, so it’d be an experience more suited to him. Maybe he saw someone else wearing leather jogging pants- his invention!!- and it just pushed him over the edge. Maybe he realised the president he’s such a fan of is an unashamed racist and wants many of his fans removed from the country. Hard to say. Perhaps ‘Yandhi’ will finally receive a proper release in 7 years time and people will be ever so slightly disappointed
(*described as a ‘bad experience on MDMA’ in the Wikipedia article, which, hehehe, no. Taking a pill and then deciding to drop the darker work you’re doing in favour of positive stuff that tries to bring love to everyone isn’t a ‘bad experience on MDMA’, it’s just what happens when you take pills)