[B]'Elastica'[/B] was a classic. [B]'The Menace'[/B] is dog food.
‘Elastica’ was a classic. ‘The Menace’ is dog food. Justine doesn’t try hard enough. New keyboardist Mew tries too hard. The resulting live show is fantastic. It’s a sex thing, let’s be honest. Not just a heterosex or a homosex thing but a rock’n’roll sex thing – an altogether more complicated beast.
First off there’s Justine – the “decadent cheerleader”. She doesn’t need to be here. She could be at home grooming her pony. Or showing [I]Hello! [/I]magazine her Aga oven-fitted kitchen. Or cuddling up underneath a baby-seal skin rug and enjoying deliciously depraved upper-middle-class sex with top international rugby union players. Instead she’s slumming it down here with us. But she’s so goddamn cross-gender all-out sexy while she’s doing it. Oh yes.
It’s not tired old constipated ‘cool’ we’re talking about here. It’s insouciance, baby. If she was more laid-back the lustful groans emitted by the pogoing boys and girls in the first few rows would border on the necrophiliac. And, despite her current campaign to paint the massively less talented Damon Albarn as a whining loser, the only question that really needs to be asked is – what the hell was this towering sex-iceberg doing canoodling with that lightweight pseudo-cockernee wanker in the first place? Huh?
And then there’s bopping, skipping, bouncing Mew. Half spring-crazed baby rabbit, half insanely grinning clockwork tin gorilla. She yelps and yells and, most importantly for the ranks of well-scrubbed dirty young men and women down the front, she bounces. BOING! And her sweaty, over-eager and infectiously enthusiastic rock urchin’s overpowering desire to please, combined with Von Frischmann’s aristocratic languor is utterly, awesomely, jaw-droppingly irresistible. Like I said, it’s a rock’n’roll sex thing, dude.
And there’s Scruffy Annie in full effect, looking like the cat’s just dragged her in half-comatose straight from Crusty Rehab. And the black-clad pretty boy Elastica-lads, looking so effortlessly don’tgiveafuck that you want to smother them in Vaseline and bang them till they bleed. It’s a good job top indie pin-up Donna left, really. If Elastica were any more sexy they’d implode.
Yeah, OK, so the new album sucks. But, perversely enough, the stutteringly discordant experiments that sounded so half-arsed and, er, [I]rushed[/I] on ‘The Menace’ (‘Da Da Da’, ‘Love Like Ours’ ‘How He Wrote Elastica Man’, etc) slide in neatly next to the first album pogo-killers (‘Line Up’, ‘Waking Up’, ‘Connection’, ‘Stutter’, etc). The squeaky clean young Oxfordians pogo with an endearingly polite frenzy. And then they listen and lust while Elastica quack, splutter and clang. And then they pogo some more.
Foreplay. FRENZY! Foreplay. FRENZY! Good sex, it’s in the brain, dude.
It’s ‘Stutter’ that drives them mad, of course. And there’s something rather endearing about seeing so many white, male, middle-class heterosexuals celebrate a song which so chillingly dissects their own sexual (and cultural) impotence.
Top fuck. Who gets to sleep in the wet patch? There is no wet patch. The whole bed is a juice-sodden swamp, dude.