The Rolling Stones - 'Doom And Gloom'

It sounds like a ‘Gimme Shelter’ for Generation Wii

Currently you can go to the Channel Four website and book your seat on the plane crash to see if you’d survive. If the new single from The Rolling Stones – ‘Doom And Gloom’, released as a download this morning - is right, though, surviving would be the worst possible option. Not only would you find yourself stranded in zombie-infested wasteland and having to shoot your way out, you’d be in the company of “drunk and insane” fellow survivors with no idea how lucky they’ve been: “sitting in the dirt, feeling kinda hurt/And all I hear is doom and gloom”.

That, fifty years into their career, they can come up with a song that opens like a mission from Dead Island (“Crash landed in the Louisiana swamp/Shot up a horde of zombies, but I come out on top”) and also unwittingly mimics Baldrick’s poetry (“when those drums go boom boom boom”) speaks volumes for their continued playfulness – they’re a pension-worthy band with the hearts and souls of petulant teenage freaks. That they go on to drop sly references to the Iraq invasion – “lost all that treasure in an overseas war” – and social inequality is testament to their sophistication, and that the whole thing is wrapped up in a tune reminiscent of their peak period makes for a rare combination of wisdom and enthusiasm. It sounds like a ‘Gimme Shelter’ for Generation Wii.

Keef’s riffs are fresh as ever, Jagger yelps, claps and croons about getting hammered like he’s still living it up down the LSE bar and there’s a Zep-tastic breakdown that thankfully stops the whole thing sounding too much like Primal Scream’s ‘Rocks’ – a concept that would launch music into an inescapable loop of influence as confusing as a bad time travel plot. No, the first new Stones song in seven years is a revitalising reminder of what made them great in the first place, a tune that will sit seamlessly amongst their classics. Are you listening, Macca?

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