This Week's Singles Reviewed (08/12/12)
Major Lazer, Plan B, The Cast Of Cheers
This week’s singles reviewed by NME’s Tom Howard
Major Lazer ft. Flux Pavilion – ‘Jah No Partial’
On which reggae legend Johnny Osbourne’s ‘Mr Marshall’ is sampled and then battered to death with a bassy sledgehammer. The subtlety you may have enjoyed in previous Major Lazer single ‘Get Free’ has been crushed like a lightbulb under the jackboot of a soldier. Brilliant if you get angry on pills; bad if you just want to cuddle.
Muse – ‘Follow Me’
The one that starts with the sound of Matt Bellamy’s baby’s heartbeat, recorded on his iPhone. The one produced by chart-dubstep trio Nero. The one that ends with Chris the bassist doing an impression of Bono on ‘With Or Without You’. The one that sounds like Bellamy is performing bizarrely out-of-place guest vocals for the house band at a Star Wars convention. That one.
Haim – ‘Don’t Save Me’
The best thing about Haim is that the songs they write are 100 per cent bullshit-free. Los Angeles sisters Danielle, Este and Alana Haim sing proper vocals and play proper guitars and give their drums a right proper thwacking and don’t try to do or be anything, they just let it happen. As easy and natural and obvious as the gradual transformation of ewe’s milk into a nice big block of Roquefort.
Plan B ft. Labrinth – ‘Playing With Fire’
Plan B’s like that guy you sometimes bump into in Spar who informs you that MI6 have tapped your phone and that tomatoes are pumped full of water by evil farmers to make them look like they’re juicy. He means well, and that’s amazing. But sometimes it’s nice to pretend that life really is as simple as buying a paper and reading the sports pages in the bath on a Saturday afternoon. No drama.
Jaws – ‘Surround You’
Vans. Baggy T-shirts. Hawaiian shirts. Floppy hats and/or caps. Subtle tropical vibes. A song about a girl, featuring fairly unremarkable lyrics (“Let the wind blow through your hair/Send me crazy with your stare”) that actually sound kinda remarkable when drawled by a man named Connor who sings like he’s fallen asleep. Birmingham in 2012, people – it’s what 2013 will sound like.
The Cast Of Cheers – ‘Trucks At Night’
Dubliners The Cast Of Cheers want “more clothes, more food, more wine” – and that, chums, is something I can get behind, especially when these sartorial and gastronomic demands are being made over a winning Interpol/Foals/Everything Everything shuffle. Garçon!