Tuesday, 29 September 2015

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 29/09/2015: Wavves, Pope Francis, Isaiah Rashad and more...


'Pony' - Wavves

It gets better’ sings frontman Nathan Williams in a tone that is as hopeful as it is doubtful. If all the tracks on this San Diego band’s new album are of the same quality as this bouncy, breezy breakup anthem then pin me down cos this record’s going to blow me away!

'Wake up! Go! Go! Forward!' - Pope Francis

The pope is releasing a rock album later this year. The actual pope. I’m not kidding. It’s going to feature excerpts from speeches he’s done over predominantly rock instrumentals. Here’s the first taster, a proggy King-Crimson flavoured number, and it’s actually surprisingly good. Horns up in appreciation (wait, is that blasphemous?). Listen to it here.

'The Lavishments of Light Looking' – WOKE (Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces & Thundercat) ft. George Clinton

Avant-garde electronic producer Flying Lotus, experimental hip hop duo Shabazz Palaces, slinky bassist/singer Thundercat and funk pioneer George Clinton all team up for this warped jazz trip. I’m still trying to dissect my way through the labyrinth of instrumental layers. The fact that there is still a groove beneath it all is quite a miracle. Who knows what this supergroup have planned next?

'BBQ Grill' - Jon Oh

I can barely make out what this dude is spitting about? The monstrously bassy beat somewhat buries him but, oh well, I do like a bit of monstrous bass. My neighbours hate it.

'Nelly' - Isaiah Rashad

This Tennessee rapper is the master of smooth. His velvety sing-rapping in this song accompanied by the smoky beat is enough to make me forget all my troubles. Not that I have any troubles. I AM PERFECT


'My House' - Flo Rida

The piano beat is straight out the cookie-cutter, as is the materialistic drivel over the top. ‘Open up the champagne, pop/ It’s my house, come on, turn it up!’ If you want to try and serenade me Flo Rida you’re going to have to try harder than that. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Worst Types of Music Fan

I like music. Some of you who regularly read this blog may have realised this. It's always nice to talk to people who share my passion for music. However, there are some fellow music fans who are not a joy to talk to. You've probably come across them before. Here is a spotter’s guide:


The caveman gave up listening to new music in 1990 but still believes themselves to be an authority on the current state of the music industry. They take great pride in discussing the good ole’ days, back before all that ‘rap crap’ and ‘thud thud club music’, back when musicians actually played instruments and didn’t just fiddle around on a computer, back when you could still smoke in pubs and smack children. Trying to convince them that there’s still good music out there is futile. They don’t have time to Google search ‘Royal Blood’. They don’t fully understand the internet and still type with one index finger. Their favourite band is Queen.  Your dad is probably one of them.

Your dad


The neo-caveman similarly despises all modern music, despite being born after 1990. They believe themselves to be the sole guardian of a lost art, regarding the rest of their age group as ignorant One-Direction-loving Eloi. ‘Have you heard of the Rolling Stones?’ they ask. They expect you to have never heard of the Rolling Stones. ‘I was born in the wrong generation’ they lament. 'My generation sucks'. Rather be born in the sixties, eh? Throw away your smartphone then. Throw away your laptop too, the laptop that you use to stream all that sixties music you listen to.


The hipster only listens to music you’ve never heard of. They used to be a fan of The Atlanta Spoon Project, until you started listening to them. Now they consider The Atlanta Spoon Project too popular, too mainstream. ‘They’ve sold out,’ they tell you, sipping on a smoothie made from fruits you’ve never heard of, which they bought from some vegan cafĂ© you’ve never heard of. ‘I liked them before they were famous, back when they only had 50 Youtube views. I liked them before they were even musicians. In fact, I liked them before they were even born’. Hipsters pride being individual over being themselves. Fortunately, with ‘hipster’ becoming such a dirty word, this species of music fan has become virtually extinct.


Hipsters of the heavy metal universe, the metal elitist only listens to metal bands you’ve never heard of. They live by a strict code, only listening to demo tapes from Scandinavian black metal groups with unreadable band logos recorded in someone’s shed. Any band that doesn’t fit this criteria – any band that has any kind of mild popularity – is deemed ‘poser metal’. This includes anything from Limp Bizkit to Slayer. None of this is ‘true metal’. As for the whole Satanism shtick, the metal elitist naively thinks it’s all serious.   

Band logo must be unreadable


They’re wearing a Nirvana shirt they bought in Primark, despite never having listened to Nirvana. ‘I saw them live in 2009,’ they tell you. ‘Kirk Coltrane is my idol.’ Their efforts to impress you are adorably embarrassing. You wish they’d just admit they don’t like Nirvana, that they prefer Calvin Harris. Give it a week and they’ll be donning a Ramones tee, telling everyone how punk they are.


Isn’t the weather beautiful,’ they say whilst waiting in the line at the Post Office. ‘that reminds me of my favourite song, You’re Beautiful’. I do like James Blunt. I happen to have all his albums. CD, vinyl and cassette. Got a lot of his merchandise too. I ordered a James Blunt Monopoly board today. Waiting for it now. I’ve even got a tattoo of his face on my butt. And a tattoo of his butt on my face! I know everything about James Blunt. I know his favourite ice cream flavour, the primary school he went to, his shoe size, his blood type – you name it! I hope to meet him one day. Got an engagement speech planned and everything. Can you guess what my pet dog’s name is?’. A combination of the word ‘stalker’ and ‘fan’, the stan couldn’t be more polar opposite to the poser. Their James Blunt tee is torn and faded. You will never be as big a fan as they are. To them, you might as well be a poser.

A typical James Blunt stan

Monday, 21 September 2015

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 21/09/2015: DOOMSTARKS, Guerilla Toss, Meow The Jewels and more...


'Lively Hood' - DOOMSTARKS

How much longer must we wait? These balls can’t get any bluer. It’s been almost ten years since veteran rappers Ghostface Killah and MF Doom announced they’d be teaming up for an album under the alias ‘Doomstarks’. Finally we have ‘Lively Hood’ – a collaborative single with a badass orchestral beat that may possibly be a hint that the new record is at last in the pipeline. I can just picture the deadly duo in their volcano lair laughing sadistically at the steadily growing impatience of their fanbase.

'Polly’s Crystal' - Guerilla Toss

New York noise punk band Guerilla Toss have a twisted sound that slowly sucks you in against your will like a tornado. Bleepy synths and unsettlingly dissonant guitars ride a hypnotic groove in this new seven-minute psychotic carousel ride, topped with some unhinged female sing-shouting. Can you believe the frontwoman used to be in a gospel choir?

'Dream' - Long Beard

‘Dream’ certainly lives up to its name. The New Brunswick band combine distant vocals and reverb-soaked guitars to create a lulling atmosphere that’s as warm as your childhood bed. You’ll want to curl up and suck your thumb.

'The Nile' - Kisses

Here’s some indie disco for all your indie disco needs. It builds up subtly from a galloping funky bassline, climaxing with some pretty horns. Is ‘The Nile’ title a reference to Nile Rodgers?

'Oh Darling Don’t Meow' - Meow the Jewels

US rap duo, Run the Jewels, drop another cat-noise remix. Yes, the beat is made entirely of meows and yes, somehow it still bangs as much as the original.


'Ride' - Lowell (feat. Icona Pop)

An overdistorted bassline and a sweary chorus make this the perfect track for any teenage rebel looking for a brattier version of Charli XCX.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Review of 'Beauty Behind the Madness' by The Weeknd

 ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ is the kind of funky, feelgood love song that momentarily restores your faith in the radio. Sadly it’s also the only song of it’s kind on this album.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 12/09/2015: Oneohtrix Point Never, Nick Brewer, Miley Cyrus and more...


‘Please Eloise’ – Flyte

Eloise isn’t a name I’ve come across before. I guess nowadays you’ve got to get creative given almost every other female name has been taken and used in a song. Anyhow, all that aside, this is a damn good indie rock track packing some serious groove and an explosive chorus you’ll inadvertently find yourself singing the next morning in the shower. This London band could be ones to watch.

‘I Bite Through It’ – Oneohtrix Point Never

Never one for conventionality, US electronic producer Oneohtrix Point Never delivers this digital glitchfest. It ski-ski-skips along like a scratched record, whilst skilfully managing to be both melodic and emotive. A full album, Garden of Delete, is set to drop soon.

‘Myths’ – Frank Gamble

These vocals sound bloody awesome. Is this even a dude singing? I mean, I don’t know many chicks named Frank, but that range is extraordinary. The glittery semi-trap instrumental is pretty awesome too.

‘Talk To Me’ - Nick Brewer

I know the beat’s stolen from Crystal Waters’ ‘Gypsy Woman’ and I know T.I. already sampled it, but UK hip hop artist Nick Brewer’s smooth rapping still manages to bring a new sense of life to it.

‘Ready Aim Fire’ – Lexi Scherr

Don’t we have enough eighties nostalgia floating around right now? Probably, but this Chicago singer’s new upbeat single trumps most of them.


Dooo it! – Miley Cyrus

Why they put the dick in the pussy?’ See my Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz review. Although you probably have ears so no doubt don’t need me to justify what’s wrong with this song.

Review of 'Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz' by Miley Cyrus

That's it. I’m throwing my Hannah Montana DVD box sets in the skip. Who does this outrageous woman think she is, poisoning the minds of children? Does she not think of the children? WILL NO-ONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Review of 'Pathology' by Trails and Ways

I’m glad Trails and Ways aren’t another depressing wannabe-Smiths indie band. I’m also depressed that it’s taken me until September to give this album a listen when it could have been fuelling my summer.

Friday, 4 September 2015

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 4/09/2015: Macklemore, George Clanton, Battles and more...

As usual, I single out my favourite and least favourite singles from the last seven days. This week Slayer sing about getting stoned and Macklemore muses about mopeds.


'It Makes The Babies Want To Cry' - George Clanton

Is this vaporwave? Chillwave? New wave? I don’t know the difference any more (I never knew). In any case, this new single from Brooklyn artist George Clanton is a hellload of fun. Shimmering synth stabs and distant vocals make for a sparkly eighties-inspired pop track complete with worn, bleary-eyed production. Let it wash over you like a wave, whatever –wave that may be.

'Cast the First Stone' - Slayer

Tuned down to drop-z, Slayer’s latest single is a ten-ton sludgy monster of a track that will rumble around your bowels. I’ve kind of got used to the metal veterans churning out identical breakneck thrashers year after year, so it’s nice to see the band trying something a little different (relatively speaking).

'Downtown' - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Eric Nelly

Lyrically it’s not as witty as ‘Thrift Shop’ – mopeds aren’t as funny as hipsters. However, the funky bassline and groovy agogo bells more than make up for this. Ryan Lewis has composed a killer beat here. I’m still warming to the flamboyant chorus, sung by guest singer Eric Nelly – its all a bit cheesy and theatrical. Still, US rapper Macklemore has definitely put together a fun pop song here, the constantly shifting instrumental keeping the listener guessing as to what will come next.

'Floored' - Priscilla Sharp

New York underground artist Priscilla Sharp provides breathy vocals over a glitchy electronic instrumental. The moments of silence are deafening and make for some serious suspense.

'FF Bada' - Battles

Also hailing from the Big Apple, experimental rock three-piece Battles tease the build-up to their new album La Di Da Di with a new characteristically-intricate instrumental, ‘FF Bada’, accompanied by some more foody artwork to drool over. Their last single ‘The Yabba’ struck me as a bit too noodly, but this new track seems to be just the right balance of complexity and cohesiveness.


'Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)' - Felix Jaehn ft. Jasmine Thompson

The Chaka Khan original was feelgood. This cover is depressing and Jasmine Thompson, whoever she is, sounds like she’s trying far too hard to be an Ellie Goulding clone.