Single of the Week
Junior Boys – ‘Banana Ripple’ (Domino)
MMMMM. Just what we need in these unseasonably pleasant days, a new deliciously sweet sounding tune from those beardy bop-merchants Junior Boys. This tune has the potential to be the summer ‘sneaker-upper’, a song that seems to lack the instantaneous knock-down effect but then manages to claim your soul by spin three. All their usual minimalist restraint is in place as its taut beats and lazy vocals slowly grow into a horn-parping, whispered layered vocal swirling mind stew. Creeping into a crackling crescendo before droning off into the distance, it’s a nine minute whopper that feels like a quick spin round the block with the ice-cream man.
Beyonce – ‘Runs The World (Girls)’ (Columbia)
What in the name of Jay-Z(us) is going on? Yes, that’s Beyoncé singing over Major Lazer’s ‘Pon De Floor’ like she’s gone into one of those make-your-own-record booths in the Ilac Centre to amuse herself of a wet Wednesday. B has taken a trip to Wonder Woman island on this latest ode to Glamazonian Girldom. It’s a fist pumping, wonky, sweary, sweaty beast of a thing, that rises and rises like the vomit in the throat of a grizzled bride on her hen night. It meanders around in a half arsed fashion, doing not much and saying even less, apart from ‘Yay! Girls! Yay!’ in a frantic, frazzled, utterly empty manner. Expect it to feature in a future Boots ad where groups of leather clad women bound around city centres destroying unshaven men with their robo-death eyes.
Tom Vek – ‘A Chore’ (Island)
As the American Apparel-draped, nameless peroxide model preens, pouts and lipsyncs for her life through this video, it’s ironic to think that it is Vek’s own voice that essentially ruins this tune. Possessed with those predictable yelpy, anodyne, bored-indie-boy vocals they steam roll over the shimmering synths, clattering drums and chugging bass lines that make this tune anything but average or a chore (Arf!) Next time, give the girl a go eh?
Blue – ‘I Can’ (Polydor)
With Osama Bin Laden disposed of, can we now expect the annual thought from the brain of Lee ‘what about the dolphins?’ Ryan on the current state of the post 9/11 world? Hopefully. Let’s all hope something ridiculous about the plight of badgers in Essex falls from his gaping yawnhole come Eurovision night. It’d be a hell of a lot more fun and exciting that this tumbleweed of a tune. The blokey mob of painters and decorators, hairdressers assistants and the guy that works in the chipper hey-ho their way through this R’n’B-lite twaddle, finger pointing at no-one in particular. Face it, even in their Burtons’ best the Blue boys are bound to be outshone by the cartwheeling, Judderman juggernaut of insanity that is Jedward. Their moving tribute about ‘the dead US president man’ will make it unmissable.
Beady Eye – ‘Millionaire’ (Beady Eye)
Remember when Liam was incandescent? Remember when his vocals could sting with passion when all around were mumbly middle class apologists? The clear snarl of youth that cut through the air before he became a singing sword swallower, a swaggering Strepsils ad? This may not be the lungs of Liam’s glory days but at least it’s in a more manageable range and it’s all the better for it. The absence of the painful rasp gives way to a gentle, summery jangly jaunt a little bit Stone Roses a little bit Rubber Soul era by that Beatles band he enjoys. There’s nothing new here but nothing disastrous either, although expect the usual rolling of eyes and clucking of tongues by those folk who now use the name Oasis as a by-word for crap…oh how quickly we forget.
Oh Land – ‘Wolf & I’ (RCA)
How many devastatingly depressed chanteuses can Scandinavia ram into our ears and eyeholes? A factory full it would seem. We’ve already had Lykke Li banging on about her intense relationship with the blues, Robyn dancing with tears in her eyes and now this pretender to the Prozac throne, Oh Land. Looking like an odd hybrid of Heidi Klum and Cerys Catatonia she should make your average Q reader very happy, sadly on this track she sounds like a comedy-yodel AutoTune ring tone stuck on repeat. As the crooned ‘ooos’ painfully run into the thousands it makes you yearn for the days before pop became the pit-stop for the artfully neurotic.
Fixers – ‘Crystals’ (s/r)
Well this is unfortunate, someone really has been melting their copies of Merriweather Post Pavillion and Person Pitch with repeat listening haven’t they? This is not as embarrassing as their shameless ‘re-imagining’ of ‘My Girls’ on ‘Iron Deer Dream’ but more like the ham fisted Wombats trying to get their heads around ‘Brother Sport’. Lacking in the innate fluidity and sonic imagination of the American dreamers, they flit round the edges of psych but ultimately adhere to cliché and with their knuckle-gnawingly cringeworthy chorus about ‘Haight Ashbury’ it begins to sound like Busted after a bout of glue-sniffing.
Black Lips – ‘Modern Art’ (Vice)
Don’t tell anyone…but summer might be here, kids – and who better to herald in the days of drinking outside and afternoon hangovers than resident debauchery bandits the Black Lips? Fuzz is in abundance on this cheap thrill, along with twinkling bells and cutesy girl backing vocals, it skitters about in their irrepressible, effortless garage thrash. A bratty one night stand of a song, dance to it on sticky nights out but don’t expect it to be still there in the morning…