Two kings of the indie dancefloor unite for a warm, timeless take on 20th century pop and rock
Round Squared: Weirdbag Vol 1
Pet Hates EP
The first sign that this is the best record in the world ever is the cover, which features a five-year-old skinhead caught in the act of bricking a copper. Cool! The second is the inclusion of a track entitled 'C-- Rock X' - a track so powerful that even NME dare not spell its name in full! Awesome! What do Polythene sound like? GAAAH!
Well, imagine that a mad scientist ripped the space-time continuum a new arsehole and went back in time to another dimension where he discovered a 'good' Huggy Bear. Now, what if that mad scientist then set his controls for Brighton, 1994 in 'our' dimension, where he unleashed the 'good' Huggy Bear, who hogtied and slaughtered our 'evil' Huggy Bear and then ate their 'brains' in order to acquire their 'power'. That's what Polythene sound like - only madder, shoutier, ruder, rawer, redder and more rabid by a factor of ten. At least.
Which is to say it's a bit like Chubby Checker's 'The Twist' played by lobotomised and fingerless chimps on an assortment of aluminium pots and pans in a radioactive rubbish tip while being attacked by giant mutant seagulls ridden by gibbering sex-spiders shouting situationist slogans through squealing hamster-wheel dynamo-operated megaphones. And one of them used to be in The Fall. One can only assume she was kicked out for being too mental. For The Fall. Think about it. And tremble.
"... No, Mr Sutherland! You're WRONG! Steve's recent Banging On (NME, October 10) column sang the praises of 'choice' as embodied in the arrival of digital TV. More topless darts? More reruns of The Bill? More pay-to-view football? More bloody stupid cookery/chat/make-over shows? More Jack 'Bastard' Docherty? AAAAAAAARGH! NIGHTMARE! As the teetering skyscrapers of shit singles currently covering every square inch of this creaking desk prove, what we need is not MORE choice but LESS! Yes! What we need is a Ministry Of Anti-Crap headed by me and funded by a retroactive 200 per cent income tax of Murdoch and Branson, backed up by a heavily armed SWAT squad and empowered with draconian legislation enabling us to stamp out crap music and TV before it even reaches the public. The first four seconds of Snowpony's 'John Brown' are utterly chunki-funki tasty-delicious but after that we're in the wonderful world of ephemeral, ethereal, handflapping, winki-wanki-woo smack-wock. And they're called Snowpony, which is just begging for a kicking. Five years in the salt mines, now be off with you."
Sheffield Song (I Love Her More Than You)
Hey, Supernaturals! Two words - FUCK OFF! Who in the hell gave you permission to sound like a really shit also-ran chart band from 1965? Eh? Come, my flying fanged monkey assassins! Find the A&R person who signed this shit and destroy him! Unless it's the same one that signed Idlewild, in which case just nip his arm a bit until he starts crying. Go, my winged beauties! Justice must be served!
Hairstyle/Why Don't You Rub It In My Face
"... Hear The Smurfs get funki! No, realli! Big, fat, shuddering basslines romp like psychotic sumo brontosauri over a Day-Glo post-nuclear winter garden landscape made glorious by these sons of Blackpool. And then it's remixed by Luke Haines who used to be in the shit Auteurs but is now in the brilliant Black Box Recorder (not to be confused with Black Box who had a Number One disco smash hit with the thumpa-alonga-diva classic 'Ride On Time'). The Smurfs chant, "I wike wor hairstyle" again and again and again and then a posh lady robot says, "Why don't you rub it in my face?" over some ask-your-grandad Jethro Tull-type goatherder nose flutes, and then a male robot repeats the mantra "funki hairdresser" repeatedly and - what d'ya know? - you're suddenly dancing on the ceiling and laughing your cock or c-- off like Dick Van Dyke and his mad and diseased uncle in the cult horror classic Mary Poppins."
Man In The Rain
Mike Oldfield? Mike Shitfield, more like. Britain's answer to Jean-Michel Jarre? I'm afraid so. With added wobbly-voiced earthchick vocals and dinosaurwank geetar solo to boot. See what I mean? The Strangle Wank At Birth police would have been on to this festering pile of steaming hippy cack like a pack of starving rottweiler attack dogs on the bollocks of a fat burglar with half a pound of still steaming wood-smoked pork sausages stuffed down his voluminous St Michaels. Gnash! Rip! Chew! Swallow! Sorted!
Gym And Tonic
Spacedust's 'Gym And Tonic' is, and I quote through clenched teeth, "the thumping fruition of the aerobics-driven, legwarmer enshrouded dancehall lunacy that began in Ibiza this summer". Jeeeeeeezus! Why is this sort of crap still legal? This would NEVER be allowed by the SWAB cops! We'd nuke, napalm and DDT Ibiza until we'd turned it into a glowing radioactive wasteland upon which not even a cockroach scuttled! Vote me! Now!
SAM & VALLEY
Sam & Valley's 'Unsuitable Japanese', meanwhile, is described as, "Sweet children's melodies about cows, fish and other lifeforms such as watches... Jonathan Richman meets Pizzicato 5..." Which is PR speak for, "32 agonisingly long minutes of unlistenable, hateful but utterly cute, experimental, annoying student wank rock which sounds a bit like Bis with throat cancer. Only worse."
I'm A Message
They're punk! And they rock! Hey, let's not beat about the bush! They're punk rock! Like The Beta Band! Only totally different! Except for the B-side 'Mince Showercap (Part 3)'! Which sounds exactly like The Beta Band! At their wankiest! Otherwise they sound like The Monkees! The fourth best band in the world ever! Circa 'Daydream Believer'! On cider! Plus a riff worth killing for! When the song gets going a bit! Shame about the C-side! 'This Is Worse'! Which is drony shite! With what sounds suspiciously like really boring trad-rock misogynist lyrics! So, no Single Of The Week for you! You naughty boys! Now pull down your trews! And bend over! For a damn good thrashing! Ooh yeah!
THE AFGHAN WHIGS
Awesome! Sexy! Thrusting! Priapic! Smoking! Hot! Throbbing! Written by somebody called 'Greg Dull'! Ha! No, really, look here - 'Greg Dull' HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HA! HA! Is that funny OR WHAT?! I'm sorry, it's been a long day. 'Greg Dull'!!!!!! Brilliant! (Steven has misread Dulli as Dull. Do you see? Honestly, we give up - Ed)
Lodger. Hmm. What is the point of Lodger? No tunes, no spunk, no sparkle. Are they maybe a very clever ten-year-long, like, wanky art-stude project on the 'meaning of mediocrity' or something? Ooh, how clever. Or maybe they're just shit. Either way, the Swabcops'd have 'em stacking shelves and cleaning toilets from DAY ONE! That'll teach 'em to suck!
As for frashmetal greatgrandmotherbummers Anne Frax - pull your Cliff-from-Cheers-style white socks up, you wispy-chinned, pee-stained old bastards! Is this meant to be 'a ballad'? Or 'a rocker'? It's neither, is it? No. It's just rubbish! Isn't it! Pah! Five hundred press ups! NOW!
When I Was Young/ Roughie
The first sign that this is the second-best record in the world ever is the cover, which features a photo of the bloody-nosed copper what copped the brick tossed by the five-year-old skinhead from the cover of the Polythene single. Schmindiepunk synchronicity city lo-fi marketing scam genius award of the year or what? Or can it all be just a 'strange' coincidence? MUG! Hey! Indie bands! Here's a tip! Try making your sleeves, like, not really fucking boring? Respect! Gilded Lil are a can't-play/won't-play uh-uh chunka-chunka punka combo with Huggy-type twin boy/grrrl attack vocals and a record collection which obviously contains more than a few early PJ Harvey recordings. And if all that doesn't spell SHEER GENIUS in your book then your book's CRAP! Probably something by Will Self. So take it back to the library and change it for SOMETHING GOOD! NOW!
FLOOD & THUNDER
White Knuckle Ride
(Stone The Kubist)
"... Starts with the amplified, agonised and rapidly rising whine of a giant tortured bee and then goes off on an utterly frightening Rubettes meet Lena Lovich meets Sigue Sigue Sputnik meet Heaven 17 in outer space for a top kiss-me-quick kitsch pop dollyrocker 'riot for your right to par-TAY!' 'tip' retro-disko fun fist-fight in zero-grav. It's bollocks! But it's brilliant! It'll make you laugh! It'll make you dance! It'll make you feel good about yourself! So you'll probably hate it. It's candyfloss, knob-shaped Blackpool rock, saucy postcards, seagull shit and Gazza-style plastic tits. It's cheap, nasty, vulgar and corny and will make you want to bounce around like a demented three-year-old."
"Receiving Department/3am/ Staff cuts have sucked up the overage" sings Happy Stan Slappo brilliantly. Damn it, but this is good. Abort kicking! Abort kicking! BASTARDS! Even if it does sail dangerously close to the rocky shores of Ripping Off 'Everybody's Talkin'' Land. Naughty Slappo! Bad dog!
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