The long-running franchise's latest instalment "might be the summer's most satisfying blockbuster"
Blast! Bugger! Damn them to hell! I had this scorching 200-word hatchet job seething in my heart like an alien chest-burster on Nazi Crank - a rabid rotty of an anti-cutie manifesto which would have gratuitously lumped the soft-sounding Jellys in with John Major-worshipping kings-of-shit Bis as wilfully infantile nappy-suckers from limp-as-lettuce middle-class suburban hell. This record SHOULD have sucked. Like a leech with tapeworms. As it was, the sickeningly puerile cover, with its jolly bees and flowers, provoked spontaneous projectile shock-vomiting. Then the words 'jelly', 'lemonade' and 'girl' made the veins which crisscross this Henry Rollins-style macho beetle-brow stand out and THROB! With HATRED! Kill the cuties! Kill, kill, kill, kill, KILL! Slap them! Nip them! Make them CRY!
Alas, 'Lemonade Girl' is an illegal-drug polluted Ramonic thunder-fest of cascading Idlewild-esque attack guitars combined with lyrics which artfully combine overactive monkey-gland and overdosed'n'sexually twisted teenage wangst with gratuitous references to genito-urinary functions. Cool.
For God's sake! It's January! Space 1999! Eleven months 'til APOCALYPSE!
"See that rainbow?" snarls God. "That's my sign that I'll never flood the world again! Promise! Ha! No! 'Cos it's the FIRE next time! You BASTARDS!" Coo! What a NUTTAH! But seeing as how the world's going to end on December 31 for certain, where's all the ranting, raging, snarling, speeding and insanely gibbering 'Aaaargh-we're-all-gonna-die!' APOCO-ROCK? Come on! What have you got to lose!? Let's party like it's 1999! Which it is! Live fast! Die young! And leave eight billion smoking corpses!
So, Atomika - that's a pretty apocalyptic moniker! 'Dead Flowers' - frightening! Tremendously Wagnerian imagery! But - and it's a tragically HUGE but - the accompanying press release warns us that this "Hampshire-based four-piece" sound like a cross between "the Manic Street Preachers and the Foo Fighters". And "The Deftones" and "Stereophonics". And they do. 'Cept without the tunes. More of a whimper than a bang.
The Apocalypse is coming! The Beast from the Book Of Revelations is getting fat! Please lock The Levellers in a concrete underground nuclear fallout shelter with lots of tofu and life-prolonging technology so that they can emerge blinking into the New Age that will surely follow the nuclear winter in or about the year 3000.
And what a time that will be! No science! No music industry! No electricity! Just the Levs and their crustie chums with their ethnic didgeridoos and nose flutes, playing earthy-type authentic folk music in between ploughing the mung bean fields with a unicorn-drawn plough for 18 hours a day and dying of the plague. Eden revisited! Or what!? "Oh friendly bombs, come fall on Brighton/It's full of crustie jugglers/With top hats and tights on".
Every You Every Me
Is it a boy? Or is it a girl? Oh dear, I'm all confused! It can only be Brian! King Of The Sex Dwarves! The Moloko Bar Kid! Marilyn Manson for middle-aged mums! Phwoooar! Years ago Placebo used to be a jolly good little punk-rock band with a gender-bending chick-bloke singer possessed of amusing poor posture. Then something went terribly wrong and they put out the truly dreadful single 'Pure Morning' in which Bri-Bri coyly warbled on and on and on about what a terrifically polyglot sexual athlete he/she was through the use of teeth-grindingly irritating rhyming couplets in which the Lily Savage For The Blank Generation had the sheer gall to rhyme, if memory serves, the words "fuck", "duck", "truck", "luck", "buck", "tuck", "suck", and "shuck".
You want more of the same? Really? Like almost EXACTLY the same? Including the same tune? You got it! You lucky people.
Gimme Some More
An amusing, almost Dickensian tale in which Busta falls down and bangs his head and suddenly starts gibbering like a manic street preacher on speed. Cor, listen to him go! Bing, bang, bong, gobble, gabble, babble, bubble! Go, Busta, go! Haven't got a fucking clue what he's babbling on about but it's terribly exciting! Something about "niggers" and "shit". Fascinating. Busta has taken the deranged gibbering of the care-in-the-community pavement poet and turned it into pop. Sheer genius. And on his new album, 'Extinction Level Event', Busta's only gone and teamed up with fellow nutter Ozzy Osbourne to do a version of the Sabbath classic 'Iron Man'!!!! One can't wait.
DEEJAY PUNK-ROC VS ONYX
Bit of jazz sax. Bit of drum machine. Bit of rap blokey going, "Yo! Nation! Inflation! Creation! Charing Cross Station! The English Patient!" etc for ages. Not Punk. Not Roc. Just rubbish.
Semi-heavy metal thunder! Generic semi-falsetto indie vocals! A semi-melody promoting semi-intelligent lyrics which rhyme "revolution" with "solution". What sort of 'revolution' do Liberty 37 advocate? One without violence, apparently. A sensible revolution. Sort of a semi-revolution, if you will. Semi-good. Semi-semi-good.
Is this the Llama Farmers' 'Instant Karma'? Is it a Manics-style soulful tribute to incarcerated feminist icon Frances Farmer? Are there backing vocals from Judith Chalmers? No, no and no. 'Big Wheels' is a strangely effective stop-start jobbie (` la Radiohead's 'Creep') with the usual whining white middle-class vocals. Self-pitying, bad poetry tosh lyrics backed by swirling mad-jack rabbit attackattackattack guitars. A hit? You betcha. This comes as something of a shock. One had expected the Llama Farmers to be complete shit. One is pleasantly surprised. And savagely disappointed.
THE DIVINE COMEDY
"National Express is a little light relief", smugs the most punchable man in pop. In other words: if you think your life is shit, go and have look at these people.
'These people', of course, are the dull, fat, stupid, boring-type plebs who have to travel around the country by coach. Aren't they ugly!? Aren't they silly!? Aren't they frightfully, frightfully amusing!? Ugh! I think I'm going to be sick, you patronising turd! You noxious little stuck-up knob-end! You SMUG TWAT! What a filthy, disgusting, revolting, nauseating little record this is! Summed up in one utterly crass but nonetheless deeply psychologically revealing lyric, we find all the reasons we'll ever need to hate The Divine Comedy. Forever. Beyond the grave. Beyond the death of our universe. Beyond the end of time itself. This is mock-pop. This is the work of an 'artist' who thinks himself superior to his art form and despises his audience.
Neil, you aren't fit to lick the dog shit off the stacked heels of Fatboy Slim's baby sealskin cowboy boots. You're dwarfed by The Beautiful South, rendered obsolete by Wet Wet Wet and shat on from a great height by Robbie Williams. Even Celine Dion - the Satanic Siren Of Sexless Sucking herself - makes you look rubbish. So what do you have to say to THAT!? Eh? You Postmodernist Crap Boy!? "This record is my version of Brecht-cum-Cliff Richard," smugs Smuggo Smuggins, smuggishly. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!
All The Money's Gone
The story so far. Bab Zoo, singer-songwriter of extraordinary genius, gets one of his songs used in a rarver groofy TV advert. Millions of pop kids rushed down Woolies and bought the single - only to get it home to discover to their horror that it was 'good' (like in the advert) for about ten seconds, And then became rubbish. Very rubbish. This pissed a lot of people off. Then Bab did a shitload of interviews where he more or less claimed to be the Second Coming Of Our Lord Jesus Christ Incarnate and to be possessed of a staggering talent so magnificent and all-consumingly luminescent that it made Einstein, Mozart, Beethoven, Rembrandt, Hendrix, and Presley look like fumbling wankers. This pissed EVERYONE off. Tally ho! Media feeding-frenzy! NME hog-tied and slaughtered the twat for being a puffed-up one-hit wonder wanker. Brass Eye then stretched Bab out over the ant hill of self-parody and left him to die.
But Bab rose on the third day! And then rose up to heaven to sit on the right hand of his father, The Lord God Almighty! For all eternity! Praise be! And now, praise The Lord, now is the time of his second coming! Once again Bab walks amongst us mortals! Waving his very Bowie-esque new single. Which sucks. Like a swamp. Full of vacuum cleaners. On the Planet Suck. As it's sucked into a massive black hole. Question: How much suckier could it possibly be? Answer: None. None more suckier.
Ho ho! Nov pop! Make me LAFF! You red-nosed BASTARDS! Sounding like overrated, one-joke, one-finger Kraut synth-plinkers Kraftwerk after 15 too many skunk-packed nine-skinner killer spliffs, Regurgitator examine the 'woman/doll' metaphor which has fascinated pop acts as diverse as X-Ray Spex, Aqua and Cliff Richard. The 'Gurge, however, lacking Cliff's kittenish sex appeal, the Spex's irresistible bouncy punkishness and Aqua's unquestionable genius, add absolutely zilch to pop's rich tapestry. What a terrible waste of the shiny silver stuff from which CDs are made.
Be A Celebrity
(Artists Against Success)
Ho, ho! Wry, witty, mocking, clever-clever and ever so slightly self-referential indie pop which seeks to dissect, analyse and then revive and crucify the pretensions of this very publication and the bands that inhabit its 'golden pages'. Then we get 'Stop Mumbling', which, we must assume, is a savage sideswipe at shite-sucking spunkgibbons Belle & Sebastian. And the firestorm of Wildean-wit then concludes with 'Queen Of Lo-fi' which is a cruel parody of, um, Sarah Bottomley, drummer with Wolverhampton nimplypimblers Sparkledog. Probably. Not bad but not a patch on the utterly brilliant 'God Bless The UK Music Scene' by Helen Love which SHOULD have been Single Of The Week for ten weeks running last year but WASN'T. Because there is no justice. Just us. And we're not going anywhere. Get used to it.
It says here: "Mission - Get Committed - Mediocrity is not a role model". No, of course it isn't. Mediocrity is an abstraction. It can't possibly be a "role model", can it? Pillocks. ANYWAY, shite sloganeering aside, this is great. Really great. So great, in fact, that it's almost smashing. It's got swoopy, loopy, nutty-as-a-fruitcake duck-squeezer hippychick-type vocals. Just like Portishead. And lots of swoony, loony, trippy muzak-for-mutants type trip-hop stuff going on in the background. Just like Portishead. And seeing as how Portishead are the Kings Of Ambient Death Metal and rule my world with a fist of iron in a velvet glove then this is NOT A BAD THING at all. More Portishead clones, please. It's what the world needs. Seriously.
They All Laughed
They say that an amazing 75 per bleeding cent of the Western World's population were conceived to a Frank Sinatra soundtrack. What they don't tell you is that Mr Sinatra was also a major masturbatory aid back in the 1940s and '50s before porn videos and Loaded were invented - FACT! He wasn't called Frank The Wank for nothing.
But it's hard these days to see what all the fuss was about. Even back then he looked like a wizened old git and sounded like an old bloke with the flu. Alright, be fair, an old bloke with the flu who could sing. A bit. OK, A LOT! But still? Sexy? I don't think so! And this is a truly bollocks lyric. "They all laughed at Christopher Columbus", sings Frank, archly, "when he said the world was round". Er, no they didn't. When Chris set sail to 'discover' America in 1642, the fact that the world was a globe was universally accepted in Europe, Asia and North Africa. So bollocks, Frank! What THE FUCK are you talking about? You haven't got a clue, have you? God, it's no wonder, with research like that, that Elvis kicked you into the dustbin of pop history. Pull your socks up, grandad! This is the era of Thom Yorke, Brian Placebo and Dick Ashcroft. Your "moon/June/ shooby-do"-type bollocks just ain't gonna cut it any more (And what about your research, eh, Mr Swells? Chris actually 'discovered' America in 1492. What THE FUCK are you talking about? You haven't got a clue, have you? Your shoutyshoutyCAPITALLETTERS-type bollocks just ain't gonna cut it any more - Frank).
With Skepta and Stormzy dragging hard lyricism into the mainstream, Flowdan’s blunt rap suddenly feels on trend
The Canadian band bring little to the table with their second album of meat-and-potatoes tunes
Please, let this fifth Ice Age film be the last
Spielberg’s take on the beloved Roald Dahl novel is restrained, nostalgic and sweetly sentimental