Independent Music News // Nov 2012

Page 1


ƫ ƫ ƫ

, #!āĀƫ

ƫ ƫ ƫ ƫ ƫ ƫ ƫ, #!āĂƫƫ ƫ ƫ ƫ ƫ ƫĂĀāĂƫ, #!āĉƫ ƫ ƫ, #!ĉƫƫ ƫ ƫ ƫ, #!ĂĂƫ














Feature // Pop Land


elcome to POPLand. In POP Land you have to be your alter ego. EFFLUENCE – today you’re Nicki Minaj and you’re new song – Club Sick – has hit number one. How do you feel? SLACK!!! How’s your new album doing? What influenced you to make it?


Did you enjoy your appearance as a judge on X-Factor? How’s Simon, my old chum? Yeah I left a baby-bell on the seat. Simon was oreyt, he kept asking to see my balloon knot though. Any other plans for 2012?

PROPER SLACK! And EFFLUENCE influenced the album. Big influence.

I watched EFFLUENCE play at the SWN Festival in Wales on the 18th of October. It was a sexual experience.

Favourite track on the album? Dog Sack is our favourite. Rebel Rose!

One last question, favourite artist – Britney Spears OR Mr Bean?

Dating anyone at the moment? Andrew Hodkinson.


Top Ten Downlands

Aaron & the Burrs


-Self Titled

-Self Titled



-Night of Sense

-Rough Demo

Beat the Grid

Cream Child


-School Skulls album/school-skulls


Wheels Myth

-Dream Rider


Zone Out


-Zone Out Ep

-So High


!"#$ %&'

CHILDREN IN MUSIC: If there is anything I find more irritating than Halloween, it would be children who make it big in music. Most of the time, it’s pushy parents who smoked too much marijuana in what was supposed to be a freeing trip to Amsterdam and lost their way for four years. Typically losing a finger so they can’t play ‘The Entertainer’ properly any more.

gin soiling their pants at inappropriate times. What’s more shocking is how, should you do a before and after, they look like their own worn-out grandparents, despite being 35. That’s good heroin. Aside from the parents being pushy with a dream that takes away childhood innocence (much like Jimmy Savile), the pure confusion on their faces as they turn up for interviews is priceless. It’s like a deer in headlights; the grown-ups are asking them questions all of a sudden, and the impression of grandma just doesn’t cut it any more. The public are as vicious as a cat on acid – we have to remember this.

We all know the types of parents I’m talking about - artists who could have been so much more push a paintbrush into their three year old kid’s hand, musicians who just couldn’t make that cover of ‘Unchained Melody’ work decide that their child is going to be a member of a Backstreet Boys tribute act – the parents who have decided I must spare a massive “piss off” their child’s hectic work sched- to child pop-stars though. Chilule before they’ve left the whom. dren should not be in music. That’s the be-all and end-all. The high What’s terrifying about these sto- voices are almost as irritatries is the aftermath; we bear wit- ing as Simply Red (a band who’s ness as these tortured ex-child music isn’t even qualified to be stars start their horrific (but played in a lift), but the vidhilarious) drug addictions and be- eos are really what take the cake.


I’ll use ‘Friday’ by Rebecca Black as an example. To anyone who hasn’t seen this video, first of all, you have no friends. And if you did, now they hate you. Everyone was buzzed about this new song by Rebecca Black; purely because it was so god-damn terrible that you couldn’t watch it with a full bladder for fear of wetting your pants for laughing so hard. The song was awful, the lyrics were meaningless, the video was confusing and made me want to hurt a 13 year old and the worst part is she probably thought she was making it big. Someone screwed her over; she should have been on a paper round rather than seeing off attacks on Twitter from people she’d never met. That said, I do enjoy abusing random people on Twitter, so maybe that would have happened anyway. In a conclusion that beats 300 for epicosity (lovely word), I will say this: please, never encourage a child to make music in the industry, just hold off, or you’ll have three boys that thought they were destined to be the Jackson five, but instead ended up like Hanson.

OLDER BANDS: Are They Appreciated?

ry, but if you think this, you are a moron. Think about this for a second. Once you’ve realised I’ve insulted your horrible level of intelligence, come back with a quip about my mother. She’s a lovely woman too, you bastard. The Beatles are never, ever over-rated. The music they made (while admittedly high as a kite, those LADs) was a tremendous amount of genius wrapped into every album, like a lovely fajita. That’s nice.

As I sit back and listen to a bit of Led Zeppelin, I become increasingly aware that older bands built the foundations to let music today pile upon to create a house of wonder (pretty poor bricks considering today’s top selling tunes). The Beatles, Queen, Elvis, Buddy Holly; all the oldies that have influenced our favourite bands today have to be credited and bowed down to. Just It’s unfortunate that the state mudon’t kiss their feet, you weirdo. sic is in today requires help every so often with some pair of numpWhat I cannot abide is when people ties like Sam and Mark (remember do not recognise the impact this mu- them? Me neither) covering bands sic has. In honesty, I can never get from days of old; in fact, when any enjoyment out of Buddy Holly or Alexandra Burke covered ‘HalleluElvis (other than when there’s con- jah’, a Leornard Cohen classic made spiracy theories that they are still all the better by Jeff Buckley, alive; that shit is hilarious), but I found myself seething with haI respect that without their mu- tred towards this woman I’d never sic, many of the bands we know and met, who apparently won X Factor love would not be around. Maybe and cried a lot. Screw her – get Gary Glitter could have been left yourself under control, you silly out, but we all make mistakes, eh? cow. In fact, the nation’s reacI am still friends with people who tion was similar to mine, giving call The Beatles “over-rated”. Sor- me faith that Simon Cowell may not


succeed in ruling the world one day. Another thing I find hilarious is the idea that a band called LMFAO will be regarded as a band that make their mark on history. Can you imagine dancing to any of that, or Rihanna, at 75 years old? We’d be straight down the nursing home, with cold porridge and awful TV all day. I don’t want that, and neither do you. To round it all up, I’d like to mention that the term “Respect your elders” is not applicable here; I don’t care about respecting my elders, especially when they call me by the wrong name and then give me a kiss on the lips with that flappy elephant material they call their skin. I am merely stating that old bands should be recognised by kids nowadays as the geniuses that they are; David Bowie and Paul McCartney are living legends. Yes, even in spite of Paul releasing some of the worst songs that can be thought of. I guess that’s the lack of drugs, poor Paul. - The Muse

!"#$!%&$'(%))*+%,$ -./012$"3$4564 Ah, 2012. It started with the death of a pop diva and never seemed to let up on depressing events. Michael Clarke Duncan passing away and me accidentally forgetting to cancel my Netflix subscription on time to avoid the £5.99 payment are among the biggest tragedies. As usual though, there has been a wide array of music released for the public to enjoy or slate. I must admit, I’m partial to the latter. Maybe I shouldn’t sugar-coat it – there were a lot of awful albums. It’s new music that should not have been made, like a band went into the studio and ran out of ideas after 4 songs, resulting in a lot of half-arsed ideas, none of which had any substance (bar the stuff they were taking when they wrote it). I’ll go through the ten most over-rated albums of 2012 in no particular order of preference:



Tallest Man on Earth - There’s No Leaving Now The ‘Tallest Man on Earth’ may not be the most familiar character to you (bar his world record breaking height), but I’d heard through the grapevine that this musician was one of those sacred experiences. In other words, if you’d heard his music, you’d know he has the impact of a Jesus Christ teaching, but most people are unaware of him. So I got the album and slapped it on while playing a bit of Fifa (need to keep the skills sharp for the drinking games to come). I found myself thinking about how it would be nice if the album was over, then I wouldn’t have to listen to it again; an odd sentiment if you’re enjoying someone’s album. Then it hit me – I wasn’t.


Frank Ocean – Channel Orange I’m unaware of Frank Ocean’s roots, but I am forced to assume that they stem from playing in blues bars for stuck-up ‘artists’ who believe they are better than Picasso and Da Vinci combined, or from sitting in a lift and singing for entertainment. I will admit that the music isn’t horrible; it’s just not great. Society seems to make the mistake that by going back into the past with your music is innovative and different. Well, it isn’t. In fact, that’s pretty much the opposite of progress, and I’m tired of it. The album begins with a track called ‘Start’ in which we hear the old Playstation One start-up sound, and ends with a song entitled ‘End’. Interestingly simple way of starting and finishing an album? Yes. Pointless? Equally yes; and this feeling carries through the album. All of the tracks are the in-between, throwaway tracks from other artists, or at least that’s how it feels.


Sean Paul – Tomohawk Technique

Let’s be truthful. Sean Paul fans are not the kind of people that can listen to an album all the way through at once. They don’t have the patience. It’s not an offensive statement; after all, followers of his music probably can’t read past the first page of this publication anyway. I understand that where there is pop, there will be followers, like zombies waiting to take a bite out of David Dickinson (primarily to see if he tastes differently). I must object to praise for albums like this though – when music sounds like they have spent the budget mostly to hire attractive women in the videos, you know you’re in trouble. Sean clearly ran out of ideas two tracks in – the leading single ‘She Doesn’t Mind’ pretty much gives you a spot on template as to how this album sounds. The lack of variety is actually astonishing – I can’t believe he’s getting away with this! He seems to be appreciated by the industry because he’s been away for a few years. A return can be exciting, but this is not the way to do it. The worst part is I think this is actually the best he can come up with.



Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded I have the feeling that many will become annoyed by this slating; but not because they are fans of hers, but because it’s almost the done thing to slag Nicki Minaj off nowadays – she seems to attract criticism like a pin cushion. It’s almost boring to insult her; like the chubby kid at school, it’s just become too easy. I think that most people have harsh feelings towards the way she dresses (which, in itself, is ridiculous), but I’ll concentrate on the music. I’ve noticed that she keeps releasing one song after another from the album, amounting a total of 6 singles so far. That’s seems unnecessary; I think we all know what the album sounds like having just heard the singles. It’s getting to the point that her music is like the local town tart; everyone has dabbled.


I must give a special mention for the song ‘Beez in a Trap’ though. Sweet Jesus, if 2012 really is our last year on this planet, then we’ve fizzled out good and proper. I couldn’t physically hate this song any more than I do; it makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t despise Nicki Minaj perhaps as much as I should, purely for the reason everybody else does a damn good job of it; so I’ll move along.

Train – California 37 Oh dear, a train is coming. Here’s to hoping this one will be late for once. I must just get this out the way – I hate Train. ‘Drops of Jupiter’ was decent, but holy scrotum, they have slipped if that used to be the standard. I’ll begin with this; Drive-By has to be up there as one of the worst songs and videos of the year. The video just fuelled the whole cheesiness of the band; they are the type of people to cry every night for all the tragedies in the world, while they sip on their expensive wine in their mansion. Just piss off. There is variety here, I’ll give them that. But the variety is comparable to the sweets nobody wants out of different boxes of chocolates; they are not wanted and usually end up in the bin, which is now where my copy of this album lies. As for the lyrics, “we all got bruises” is the biggest gem. It sets the stage for generic and meaningless statements that are better left at home.


And the lead singer looks like a creepy guy, who probably knocks those around him out with the strong smell of aftershave.

Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania Uh-oh – here come the angry fan boys. The Smashing Pumpkins don’t half have an aggressive fan-base too, good thing my picture is blacked out (though I don’t doubt Daniel Thomas would give you my address and phone number for a bottle of vodka). Put your pitchforks away and listen though. It is well known that the work of Billy Corgan is untouchable; people seem to have gotten in so deep with admiration for this man that he can do no wrong. Well, I’m telling you, as an outsider from that bizarre bubble, he’s a dick. Seriously. He’s a perfect example of someone who has been drastically affected by fame, letting it go to that big bald, egg-head of his.

4. 20

The album itself is okay. Just okay. I’m going to have a guess; you think I don’t ‘get it’. Well, perhaps I don’t. But if this means I can view the band for what they are, then I’d prefer not to. Anyhow, we’ll get back on to the hatred of generic pop to calm those of you down who wish to throttle me after ‘under-rating’ a mediocre band:

Madonna – MDNA Madonna has fallen from grace, and it wasn’t far to fall. We all know it – but she still has a few loyal fans out there, so I’ll elaborate on why this album made it in the list. It’s quite tiring listening to the album and knowing that she once did deliver musically and actually made a difference to the industry. It’s a shame; I can easily compare it to watching a grandparent deteriorate – her music has attempted to shape-shift like a crap transformer into something relevant and enjoyable. For the most part, she’s actually managed it; but not with this latest outing.

It’s an album full of attempts to do what younger ‘musicians’ are doing. I don’t understand why she would want to be part of that scene anyway – most of the music in the charts is terrible. Bar Gangnam Style, of course. In a very uneasy attempt to look younger, we have the videos where she’s in a skimpy outfit with men pretending to admire her. I do ponder as to how many of those men went insane afterwards; she just isn’t in the shape she used to be.

Lana Del Rey – Born To Die Lana Del Rey is like a Lady Gaga-type character without the attention grabbing meat suits. I will get this out of the way; her music is boredom embodied. You have to drink to get through this album, and then by the time it’s finished, you’re drunk and you’ll forget it all anyway. I will say that ‘Video Games’ is a pretty amazing song; but I defy you to find another song that offers the same ambience off the album. It feels like it’s music that is being pushed onto you, like a cake at a family reunion made by your aunty who has had too many divorces to keep her sanity. Lana Del Rey feels like an artist who is literally forcing you to like her, and I find it scary in all honesty. The album name is also a foregone conclusion as well; it’s like naming your album ‘All Fruit Rots’.

2. Muse – The 2nd Law Okay, don’t put the magazine down and don’t throw it in disgust. The amount of fan-boys that harbour hatred for me now has to be at an alltime high. Muse are a band that are over-rated in general. Here’s why – the music is good, the singing, while somewhat whiny, is good. But the lyrics. Listen to the lyrics.

3. 2.

Matt Belamy is a man who is not a musician. He’s not a genius. He’s just an incredibly good actor – he acts like his music is amazing, and we believe him! If you actually listen to the lyrics, then you’ll start to realise that Matt Belamy is what I like to call an ‘Accidental Genius’. In other words, he stumbled into a few good songs and has been convincing us that he’s carried this on ever since. The album is great, but the lyrics harbour no substance and therefore no meaning in my book. This drags it down astronomically; and renders it pointless. Still, it’s an enjoyable kind of pointless.

1. Justin Bieber - Believe Of course he had to make number one on the list. Anything he puts out should make it to number one on any list that demeans the music. I actually feel sorry for Justin; he took an opportunity the rest of us would grab up in a second. The problem for me lies in the content of the music, not hatred for him as a person in particular. He plays guitar, drums and a wide assortment of music, so it seems like a huge waste of potential talent. He was crafted into a money making phenomenon and can never escape it. Can you imagine a Justin Bieber album that actually has content that differs from any other pop track? I think not.


All he sings about is about being someone’s boyfriend and how it would be good for them. Well, not me. It’s an exhausting concept. As for the Justin Bieber fans, they’ve made it a thousand times worse. I’ll close this part with a quote I heard that made me laugh – “Justin Bieber fans claim that we are jealous of him because of his success. Hitler was also successful, should we be jealous of him?”.

In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed me ruining your days and potentially upsetting an entire generation of teenage girls. The Muse-