Rumble in the Bumble pt.1

Have you noticed how things are a bit weird at the moment? Like, there seems to be something in the air, doesn’t there? People seem to be a little less socially active these days; nobody came to your barbecue last Thursday; WWE crowds are drastically down; you’re pretty sure Paul should have been at school these past few weeks not that you’re going to ask the little shit and risk getting pulled into an endless conversational loop about the largest dinosaurs; and Italian mayors seem to be furious these days. Something’s… different

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“Aye! Why-a you play-a da pinga-pong?!” #CasualRacism

I don’t watch the news- if I wanted a posh voice feeding me a liberal agenda I’d just ring my parole officer- but it’s clear to me what’s happened. There’s an unmistakable stench of disappointment overlaying an aggressive smog of sadness that’s infected the whole country. They know. You know. Everyone knows.

I am now officially single.

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19 Equip: CURSEBREAKER X

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’.

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(*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)

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Necessary Evil 2019 (30-26)

30 Candy Says: You Are Beautiful, We Are All Beautiful v2

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If this blog has one true aim, then it’s to introduce and promote new…

Well… no, actually, if this blog has one true aim then it’s to extensively psychoanalyse myself and admit my private shame into what I believe to be essentially ‘The Void’, all under the laughable pretense of ‘reviewing music’. Ha! I haven’t done any ‘music reviews’ since I was highly scathing as a twelve/six year old of the 1996 Dodgy album ‘Free Peace Sweet‘. Three piece suite! Now I get it! Sorry, Dodgy, that review was unnecessarily harsh. Reappraisal: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

OK, but if this blog had a secondary aim, then it’s to introduce and promote new artists to…

No, the secondary aim is just an excuse to talk about Manic Street Preachers as much as possible, isn’t it? With ‘Official Prince Chat’ sprinkled on the side as garnish. I might just rename the blog to ‘Artists I Liked When I Was a Kid, At Length (While I Wait for the Next Hotelier Album)’. Dot WordPress dot com.

(…)

“If it had a third purpose it’d be […] no actually it’d be [BANTER]. In that case the fourth purpose would be […] actually, it’d probably be [STONE COLD MEGALOLZ]. But the fifth purpose would definitely be… (repeat)”

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Entry #4 Marina and the Diamonds: Obsessions

What is the point of this blog? I mean, really?

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Don’t answer that.

I don’t mean to say ‘don’t answer that’ as a joke, like the answer would somehow be difficult to hear, it was an entirely serious suggestion. An order, really. It would really slow this entry down to a standstill were I to pause now to open it up for reader’s suggestions. It’s pretty much the definition of a rhetorical question, see? I’m not actually expecting you to answer, merely just asking it for dramatic effect. Do you see? Good.

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The Legit Bosses:136 Best Tracks of 2018

This is officially the end of 2018! And it’s only the 5th January [EDIT: Still only the 6th!]! Although there’s freaking one hundred and thirty six  tracks to get through, so this may well take until mid May! Happy Cinco de Mayo! No time to talk! A shit load of songs to get through!!

136 Candace: Rewind

Gorgeous, innit?

135 Epic Reflexes: Cha Cha

While Z-Tape’s ‘Spring’ collection was veritably busting at the seems with Legit Bosses, as you’ll soon see, this is the only similarly legitimate position of authority from their ‘Summer’ collection. They’re all still great though, as is the Epic Reflexes’s album ‘ChaChaChinatown‘.

134 The Carters: Apeshit

I had a lot of problems with ‘Everything is Love’, the surprising debut release from Beyonce and Jay-Z. Part of the reason I struggled with it was that I wasn’t sure how canonical it is. Like, is this it, Bee? Is this underwhelming collection of occasionally very entertaining rap boasts officially your actual follow-up to one of the most acclaimed albums of the 21st century? It’s an album about how two very rich people love each other but probably love their money more, that includes the line “My grandchildren’s grandchildren already rich” which, despite Kanye’s crisis of publicity, is by far the line from 2018 that Donald Trump is most likely to high five in a men’s locker room. Also, there’s a moment on the opening track where Mr Carter drawls out “Let it breaaaathe, let it breaaaathe” like JB Rockefeller basking in the glory of a fart he’d just released under the bedsheets, which marks the first time in more than two decades that I’ve thought to myself that I don’t think I really like Jay-Z. However, he often wins me back with the later claim that he’s “Good on any MLK boulevard”. This song’s pretty great though

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Fucking hell, Jay, that haircut though… One hundred and thirty three more after the jump!

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21 Poppy Ackroyd: Resolve

‘Resolve’ is an absolutely mind-blowing album. I don’t know why Poppy Ackroys isn’t soundtracking every movie, ever. ‘But what film could possibly be good enough for her?’ I hear you cry. I dunno. What films are good? Bumblebee? Yeah, she could soundtrack Bumblebee.

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I’m not sure I need to add anything to this colossal record aside from pathetically urging you to listen to it and, if you have any desire at all to see artists paid for the incredible work they do, buy the fucker as well, so I’m instead going to give you a harrowing and perhaps damaging journey into my mind.

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39 Ariana Grande: Sweetener

“Once I have you, I will never let you, never let you”

I feel quite sorry for Ariana Grande. ‘Sweetener’ is an absolutely brilliant album, and the jokes about my ‘TDE’ (Tiny Di… yeah, you got that joke, didn’t you?) would write themselves. It sees Grande finally locate an identity for herself, and honestly contains some of the best and most subtly experimental mainstream pop music released this year. I’m just going to use this review to talk about Hejjy again though. First ISIS, now this: poor girl just can’t catch a break.

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Buckle up!

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23 St Vincent: MASSEDUCTION

MASSDELUSION

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“How can anybody have you and lose you
And not lose their minds, too?”

That’s a really nice little couplet, isn’t it?

It relates to the similarly awesome surrounding song’s Los Ageless*‘s themes of  desperately attempting to battle the horrifying and corrosive party-pooping  efforts of aging. It’s so cleverly written though, that Annie Clark is aware how it could potentially become an anthem for jilted lovers and soundtrack many traumatic break ups. Annie Clark is clever enough to realise that, realistically, the largest effect any song written and performed by a woman can hope to have on wider culture is if it’s included on the soundtrack of a ‘Bridget Jones’ movie, so she might hit paydirt with this one.

I really love the line. I love how it flows, I love how many ways it could be interpreted. I love how Clarky sings it. I love it so much I actually got it as a tattoo.

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…which, given the things I’m about to talk about, might have been a mistake…

Imagine if the lyrics were slightly different. Imagine if the song was actually about how finishing a relationship with Annie is likely to send someone loopy, because she’s so fucking awesome. The chorus would instead go ‘How can anybody have me and lose me/And not lose their minds too?’.

It would still be a pretty boss lyric, wouldn’t it? I mean, a little less nuanced and subtle than Clark’s songs usually are, but still an exhilarating anthem of female empowerment that is once again guaranteed that Bridget Jones movie spot.

However, what if the lyrics were: ‘How can anybody have me and lose me/Move to a different country for three years/Finally divorce me/And not lose their minds too’?

It’d be a bit weird, wouldn’t it? I mean, the rhyming scheme has been completely compromised, and the song’s whole melody would probably have to be rewritten in order to work it in.

Don’t worry, I am actually going somewhere with this:

Let me take you back to April 31st 2010:

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24 Waxahatchee: Out In the Storm

Love is Undefinable

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“See, I always gravitate toward
Those who are unimpressed
I saw you as a big fish
I saw you as a conquest”

It would have been late 2010. I had spent the day drinking, because in 2010 my only three states were

  1. Drinking in order to get drunk
  2. Drunk, and drinking in order to get more drunk
  3. Asleep, possibly passed out after drinking

Now it was late at night at the choice of pubs in Dushanzi were extremely limited. Sean suggested we get a taxi to nearby Kuitun and go to a club. I was still in my 20s, so going to a club didn’t automatically seem like the most horrendous idea in the world. And I was drunk, so going to a club seemed like the most awesome idea in the world.

We jumped in a taxi, we got to the pub, we ordered a bottle of vodka for about £10 to exhibit to the rest of the club quite how big a deal we were. And we danced, convinced that we were the coolest fuckers these people had ever seen!

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