Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Short Cuts! 8 March 2010

This week's batch includes Gorillaz, Titus Andronicus and Broken Bells.
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Plastic Beach perhaps, but this is no plastic pop the irony of Blur’s demise is that Albarn is now too smart to push his (increasingly forlorn) hooks too far to the front.  Duly, he mixes things up with a Mick Jones here and a Bobby Womack (!) there, burying the Gorillaz-as-band continuity, but can’t resist marrying the whole together with an eco-harmonious back story. As always, no-one else would’ve dared, or bothered.

Choice Cuts: ‘On Melancholy Hill’, ‘Some Kind of Nature’, ‘Empire Ants’


Titus Andronicus Monitor

Punk concept records (an oxymoron, surely?) are a bit like algebra for toddlers. Even the smarter ones, of which Titus Andronicus must rank they like history, for chrissakes struggle with the step-up. Unfortunately, the American Civil War deserves better treatment than “you will always be a loser, man” repeated ad infinitum, and clocking your songs in at 7 minutes doesn’t constitute ‘maturity’. Disappointing.

Choice Cuts: ‘A More Perfect Union’, ‘Theme from Cheers’


Broken Bells – Broken Bells

James Mercer (Shins’ voice/strummer) and Danger Mouse (ubiquitous producer type Brian Burton see Gnarls Barkley; The Good, The Bad and the Queen) team up for this debut collaboration. Muso matchmakers expect a soaring majesty of cred and class, substance and sheen. Neither materialises Mercer’s vocal yelp is familiarly adequate, whilst Burton feeds everything through the usual washed-up electronic filter (then tacks on dub bass), but the results are uncharacteristically stilted.

Choice Cuts: 'Vaporize', 'Your Head is on Fire'


BRMC – Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Shouty garage rock noise meets blues stomp with the occasional point of interest namely ‘Bad Blood’ and the meditative ‘The Toll’, which sounds like the Jesus and Mary Chain singin’ the country-blues. As is customary with this vastly over-egged band, however, their couldn’t-care-less disappointment and ability to make two chords sound like such a chore eventually conspire to grind out another failure.

Choice Cuts: ‘Bad Blood’, ‘The Toll’


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