Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
This Week's Singles Reviewed (15/09/2012)
Biffy Clyro, Fake Blood, Glass Animals
Zebra Katz ft Njena Reddd Foxxx – ‘Ima Read’
Super-sultry, menacing, hypnotic, with Katz and Foxxx’s call and response about “reading that bitch” being used as a curious but inventive insult. Among the remixes: the return of Tricky! The Bristol trip-hop legend and Gangsta Boo add a nasty (in a good way) whisper to the inherent malevolence. The only problem with this moody gem is the idea of Samantha Cameron (Tricky’s uni pal) and the Prime Minister getting down to it in Downing Street.
Two Gallants – ‘Broken Eyes’
The San Francisco folk-blues duo return, three years after The Taser Incident, when police responded to a noise complaint at a gig in Texas by stun-gunning the band and their fans. After which a slanging match over who had the best beard escalated until someone’s ukulele got trashed with a knitting needle, we presume. New single won’t raise any hackles though: it’s a nostalgic charmer.
Burns – ‘Lies’
‘Lies’ casts Burns – a man previously known for being a bit like Calvin Harris – as a massive bangermonger in his own right. A catchy, pained vocal is pinned on a popping dancehall beat before a hands-in-the-air chorus with synths. Dancefloors will go bananas. Even Mr Burns would do the Macarena if he heard it.
Biffy Clyro – ‘Stingin’ Belle’
’Mon the Biff! The Scots are back. And it sounds like touring with Metallica has brought out the band’s heavier side. Loud-quiet-loud-quiet-loud. And then… bagpipes! Oh dear. Korn and AC/DC couldn’t get away with it, and neither can Biffy.
Fake Blood – ‘Yes/No’
New Fake Blood has the power to clean anything! One squirt or your money back! Gets to the places other brands can’t to banish the mould in your shower! Kills 99.9 per cent of all germs! Exterminates everything from boredom to fatigue! Two for one at your local! Also: dirty, gritty bass, Moroder-inspired keys, a muscular beat and a fucking flute. Fake Blood’s new one hoovers the brain and sets you on your way. It harks back to the music on Amiga games. I’m a superhero. Whoosh!
The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality
A still-vital John Lydon rages towards retirement on a saucy, scuzzy new album
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (26/8/2015)
Oxford's finest flit between gnarly rock and frustrating slickness on an often-brilliant fourth album