Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
This Week's Singles Reviewed
Battles, CSS, Tribes
Battles feat Gary Numan – ‘My Machines’
With a ticking timebomb for a metronome, this is music to panic to. And Gary Numan’s pained vocals don’t help. Just when you think you can cope, a screechy synth comes to saw away at your brain, and it’s time to have a lie down. Repeat incessantly for another two minutes. I hope this is what the inside of James Murdoch’s head sounds like.
CSS feat Bobby Gillespie – ‘Hits Me Like A Rock’
CSS and Bobby Gillespie’s collaboration should have produced hallucinogenic jungle fun, but instead they’ve come up with a song that sounds like a track from Yo Gabba Gabba!. This could be a jingle about how you should brush your teeth in the morning. Maybe with Gillespie in a toothbrush outfit.
Tribes – ‘Sappho’
Imagine The Kinks’ ‘Lola’ rewritten by somebody with no sense of humour and a 2:2 in classics: that’s how we end up with pop songs named after lesbian poets from Ancient Greece. Singer Johnny Lloyd posits the eternal question, “How do you tell a kid that his daddy left his mum, when she fell in love with a girl like you?” The answer being that you don’t raise the subject by writing a song about it, you twit.
Cloud Control - ‘Gold Canary’
Alister Wright promises the most useless of all useless gifts, while singing like a young Peter Gabriel. Presumably the gilded bird of the song’s title is just to make up for the fact that he’s trying to shag my sister (“I won’t hurt your sister/I cannot resist her”). But, FYI Ali: if you want to buy me animal-based ‘soz for breaking your heart’ gifts in the future, I’d prefer a diamond-encrusted micropig.
Hard-Fi – ‘Fire In The House’
There’s always that moment when you’re out, you’re a bit drunk and you see someone you dislike and think, “Maybe I’ve misjudged them. They’re probably alright. I should go and say hello.” So you do, and they’re a prime megadick. Hello, ‘Fire In The House’. Embarrassed by its own faux-dubstep intro, it lurches into naff pub-singer depths for want of some deeply misfiring bravado.
Emeli Sande - ‘Heaven’
Having sung with Professor Green, Tinie Tempah and, erm, Chipmunk, ‘Heaven’ sees Emeli branching out solo, with a track about having a nice time at a nightclub. Except it’s all a bit emotional, as she worries about how things are developing, and her friends have fucked off, and oh, she’s off home with a stranger. Perhaps she should stay in this weekend.
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