Johnny Depp plays a monstrous Boston gangster in a disguise so unsettling you’ll struggle to recognise him
This Week's Singles Reviewed - 11 April 2011
Funeral Party, The Wombats, Beastie Boys
Funeral Party - 'NYC Moves to the Sound of LA'
I do love a go-go bell: they add such a delightful steam-powered clunk to a song. This one didn't really need the help in becoming more delightful, mind - being comprised of a tummy-knotting verse, a furious bridge and the huge release of that chorus, with a great crowd-shouty breakdown for afters - but anything that helps increase the amount of Fun in Funeral Party is fine by me.
The Wombats - 'Anti-D'
So it's a ballad, but a Wombats ballad. Which means it labours under quite a clumsy metaphor - about being a human anti-depressant - and everything appears to have been given artificial gravitas using strings and anthemic shouting, even though it is not an anthem and it lacks gravity. Worst of all, the point of the song, which is quite sweet, gets a bit lost in the fact that the words all sound sardonic even if they're not.
Beastie Boys - 'Make Some Noise'
With the departure of LCD Soundsystem, smartass thrills which are also dumbass thrills are going to be in short supply for a while. So welcome back the masters of the art. Yes they've been making exactly this noise (shouting over a squitty synth-bass) without variation for well over 20 years, yes it fails to address the imposing darkness at the heart of all modern society, or call David Cameron a bumface, and yes "I fly like a hawk, or better yet an eagle, a seagull" is a silly thing to say. But it's also brilliant. And that, my friends, is the point.
Jon Fratelli - 'Santo Domingo'
The good news is Jon has not elected to ditch the Fratellis' trademark sleazy roughness in order to embark on a journey into the beating dark heart of dubstep. The bad news is this means his solo work still sounds exactly like the Fratellis. 'Santo Domingo' is one five-note melody, repeated endlessly, with lyrics that get catapulted all over the place by Jon's rubbery delivery, so sometimes the syLAbles land IN the wrong plaCES. Quite a tiring listen, all told.
Tall Ships - 'Plate Tectonics'
Well, this is a drippy song, isn't it? Performed over several movements, with whispery vocals and intricate guitar work, but little in the way of a wondrous tune at any point, it sounds like someone has read a one of those purple-faced Foals reviews about colliding guitars and decided to make exactly that music, as described, without having heard it.
The Plea - 'I Am The Miracle'
Oh no, this won't do AT ALL. We've only just got rid of one Richard Ashcroft, y'know, the real one, we don't need this lot coming out and channelling his boorish spirit over some really drab stadium rock. And let's be honest, he at least had a chorus or two. The Plea (it's a nickname, short for The Please Make It Stop) have one soggy and repetitious boast, and a lot of bellowing. If they're the miracle, I'm applying for the job of miracle cure.
Other songs out this week:
Arctic Monkeys – 'Don't Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair'
Barbara Parker - 'Empire'Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – ‘Must Be Blind’
Burn – ‘Burn’
Deerhunter – ‘Memory Boy’
Emika – ‘Count Backwards’
Alice Gold – ‘Runaway Love’
Joan As Police Woman - 'Nervous'
Magic Bullets – ‘Lying Around’
Misanthrop – ‘Sidereal’
Pint Shot Riot – ‘Somebody Save Me’
Smile – ‘Closer EP’
Snake Eyes – ‘Snake Eyes’
Teenage Bottlerock – ‘Mutilate Me’
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