Hey! A special bonus post! This year’s Necessary Evil is finished, there’s still the Legit Bosses/best songs to do, but, dude, that is effort, seriously. It was my birthday yesterday (remember, Older Than ArloYounger That Caroline/OLAYTC), so thanks for all the happy birthday wished that you didn’t give me – you ungrateful bunch of leeches – and all the lovely presents you didn’t send. No, Paula, that Tupperware tub full of your own excrement that you throw through my window doesn’t count as a present. You’ve done that every Tuesday since I slagged off Mercury Rev’s album back in 2015. I have plans tomorrow, New Years Eve, and then it’s just next fucking year and that’s a whole thing in itself. What I’m saying is, there happens to be a gap in my schedule today, so I’m going to scientifically analyse Jon Hopkins’ latest album by getting high as balls.
‘Music for Psychedelic Therapy’ is exactly what it sounds like. Inspired by Hopkins’s visit to some Ecuadorian caves to do some standard white boy in Ecuadorian cave shit, as Hopkins has obviously never read, seen or heard of Alex Garland’s The Beach or has such stunning lack of self awareness that he believes acting like he’s a late 90s gap year student isn’t something to be ashamed of. The album that came out of these hallucinogenic experiences is… really dull. Listless ambient nonsense. But I was sober when I listened to it! It’s like asking for my opinions on dog food when I’m not a dog, or to judge a Magic Eye contest when I’m not wearing my glasses, or asking me to set rules on abortion when I’m a man. Fucking ridiculous! Shameful, really. Hopkins made sure the album was 64 minutes, the average length of a ketamine high. Where would I get ketamine, you ask??
You want an intro? You got that in part one! Let’s get down to the dirty, sticky and dangerously unhygienic business:
This was an important year for me, this was when shit got real. Yeah, Labour won the election, which I was aware I was supposed to celebrate but not yet conscious enough to know exactly why, just that ‘our team won*. Princess Diana died, inspiring a nationwide reaction that even 13 year old Alex Palmer recognised as being a bit fucking much**. All that was meaningless background noise though, as most importantly 1997 was the year that I became really switched on to new music. Before this point, most of the albums I’ve listed would have been discovered by me later and posthumously lusted after in the kind of nostalgic necrophilia that I would later grow to despise. Yeah, sorry if you’ve already imagined me as an incredibly cool seven year old bopping his head to Soonby My Bloody Valentine. From this point on, these important albums in my life and personal development were pretty much all discovered as contemporaries. Seriously though, ‘It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah’ was the first CD that I ever owned. Yeah. I’m that cool/weird.
The ninth studio album by Ver Rev (as the kids almost definitely call them) is the rather sad and dispiriting sound of a once highly significant band miserably fizzling out. While certainly no disaster it’s such a descent from their truly ground-breaking best into ineffectual rambling that listening may make you question the very point of recorded sound. The band seem uncertain what exactly their music is aiming for other than a place on the Radio 2 playlist and a radical re-think is needed.
‘Fun’ Fact: ‘Sunflower‘ is absolutely the worst thing they’ve ever recorded. Perhaps the worst thing anyone’s ever recorded. Perhaps the worst thing anyone’s ever done.
It can’t all be bad bro, surely? The lead single ‘Are You Ready‘ does the best impression of usefulness