Greetings, fellow Londoners! Time to sort the popwheat from the rockchaff, what. (Img: adamprocter2006)
Singles Reviews: May-orial Special!
Published on May 2nd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Rocksucker teams up with newly re-elected Mayor of London Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson for a look at this week’s singles…
Burial – “Street Halo”
Rocksucker says: Whether dubstep and ambient house tickle your fancy or not, it’s undeniable that Burial’s highly acclaimed back catalogue puts him a cut above the rest in this field, and this gently rave-y track certainly tickles ours. (Er, our fancy, that is.)
Boris Johnson says: Its haunting synths, shuffly beat, pulsating bassline and reverse pedal feel all add up to the kind of 3am thing that probably won’t get to number one but is sure to “do the rounds” on the disco circuit or whatnot. Splendid job, my good man.
Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
Cover Drive – “Sparks”
Rocksucker says: The promising start made by this week’s singles came to an abrupt halt with this autotuned aural harrassment (which incidentally, depressingly, has one and a half MILLION hits). If you’re going to be shit then don’t be boring as well; go for it, be heroically shit!
Boris says: It’s good to see our youngsters out there making something of themselves. Perhaps they were rehabilitated at one of the many two-star youth acadamies we opened across Greater London last year. I trust that our overlooked contributions to the urban arts shall soon be hailed in the lyrics of a best-selling hip hop ditty.
One Quail out of Five!
Delilah – “Breathe”
Rocksucker says: Poor girl…drowned by her own song. This has a kinda sorta interesting kind of electro beat, but we’re clutching at straws to be frank. Delilah sighs and warbles way too much for someone who can’t breathe, and while this is not entirely tedious, those melodramatic strings push its luck. A lot.
Boris says: Delilah, eh? That dangerous old temptress. “She who weakened or uprooted or impoverished”; clearly this girl is an unsuitable role model for the youth of London, so I cannot possibly allocate her any more than a simple courtesy Quail.
One Quail out of Five!
Rebecca Ferguson – “Glitter and Gold”
Rocksucker says: Wonderful, another half-decent voice that’s managed to heroically wriggle free of any kind of charisma and make a big old success out of itself regardless. Still, this manages to score slightly less boringly than those last two songs on Rocksucker’s patented bore-o-meter. This just makes us think of tepid water. Or was that Delilah? Or was that Cover Drive? To paraphrase Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: “could everyone stop releasing singles that pose the very real threat of making people, in their droves, fall asleep at the wheel?”
Boris says: Personally I love The X Factor; I always have it on silently in the background while I’m busy doing less moronic things, just so I know which faces I should pretend to recognise at the various charity events that I remain committed to attending in my official capacity as Head London Chap II. I’d also like to echo Rocksucker’s words; it’s terrific to see a half-decent voice succeeding independently of the charisma that so many of us take for granted, and I wish it every success in the future.
Flux Pavilion (feat. Example) – “Daydreamer”
Rocksucker says: Example is a perfect example of someone who should set an example by, for example, accepting the cards that the talent fairies dealt him and going quietly into the night. This sounds a bit dubsteppy and more than a bit vacuous, so will no doubt be blasted out repeatedly at every gym in the known universe over the course of this summer. No doubt about it, though; this Identikit brand of faux-emoting will get Example supremely laid, so hearty congratulations are in order.
Boris says: This drivel should sell by the bucketload, so well done Example; you are indeed setting a fine example to your fellow youngsters in terms of boosting the economy in these times of austerity! Might I suggest that you use one of my free and readily available bicycles the next time you’re on your way to one of your so-called ‘beauty calls’? Well done also for conjuring a suitably vapid gymnasium soundtrack; don’t forget, a healthy Londoner is a productive Londoner. Or is it a happy Londoner? I forget which.
Half a Quail out of Five!
Josh Osho (feat. Childish Gambino) – “Giants”
Rocksucker says: Sigh. Actually, to be fair, Childish Gambino is okay; it’s a shame he didn’t get to write the whole song or direct the video (check out this master class in simplicity). Dreadful bilge with a splendid guest rap, if you’re quirky enough for that to be your sort of thing.
Boris says: This is excellent motivational fare to rank along the likes of “Search for the Hero” and “I Believe I Can Fly”, two Johnson family favourites that were cranked out with the obligatory gusto the night of my re-election. Spread one’s wings and fly away, what!
Two Quails out of Five!
Keane – “Silenced By the Night”
Rocksucker says: Imagine if U2 had an emergency operation to remove what talent they actually have, and were drained of it, right past Coldplay levels of anaemic, down towards Train territory but not quite as douchey…BINGO. What a big old bowl of ‘meh’.
Boris says: I can see why people would like this. The average Londoner has so much to
worry be mindful and conscientious about at the moment that there isn’t really time any more for pop music that actually requires some form of active participation on the listener’s part to digest it satisfactorily. This is a great song to file your tax returns or seek out employment to.
One and a Half Quails out of Five!
Lianne La Havas – “Lost and Found”
Rocksucker says: Well engage our rugged old footwear in courtship, it’s a good song, something that actually sounds like real music and not like the mass-produced gobshitery we’ve been subjected to so far this week. Ironic given that the song itself is rather depressing in its depiction of self-loathing and abusive relationships, but this actually prevented us from smashing open the windows with our bare knuckles and flinging ourselves out. Rocksucker HQ is a few floors up, so thank you Lianne.
Boris says: This young lady appears to be rather unhappy. I’d suggest she listens to Example, takes a refreshing bike ride and fills out her tax returns like the happy, healthy Londoner that we all have it in us to be once I figure out why everyone’s losing their jobs to foreigners, wibble.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
Lonsdale Boys Club – “Light Me Up”
Rocksucker says: The Michael Jackson disco beat of the first few seconds proves to be something of a false dawn. It doesn’t get much douchier than this; if only they weren’t marching through the streets but marching as lemmings off some beckoning cliff edge. “Come on, come on, come on, yeah! Everybody one more time…uh uh uh…one two three!” Now this is how you suck spectacularly; take heed, earlier singles. Lonsdale Boys Club must have worked hard at being this gosh darn awful, so no-one can begrudge them their two months at the top.
Boris says: I am most unamused by this popular beat combo’s flagrant disregard for the Green Cross Code, as evidenced in the above promotional video. There’s going to be quite enough traffic in London during the Olympics as it is without these jokers, dare I say hoodlums, parading through our streets spreading noise pollution with their ghastly nonsense. Being quite frank, this simply isn’t cricket.
Rocksucker says: Have a Dead Quail!
S.C.U.M. – “Amber Hands”
Rocksucker says: Goodness, another decent song; truly we are spoilt this week! Coming across like a cross between The Horrors and Echo and the Bunnymen, “Amber Hands” is a disorienting mix of power chords, driving monotone fuzz bass and big, echo-y synth strings that, along with Lianne La Havas, looks to have saved the council one hell of a sweeping up job just outside Rocksucker HQ’s third-floor window. Here’s to good music, and it’s continuing ability to prove that life is worth living even after listening to Lonsdale Boys Club’s new single!
Boris says: This is certainly interesting but I can’t help but feel unsettled, even a smidgen threatened, by the very real possibility that whosoever made it is wont to partake in illegal drugtaking activity, possibly through a “bung” or whatnot. I cannot condone this.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
Stephen Hudson – “Everything Electric”
Rocksucker says: This actually came out last week but, seeing as we like it so much and didn’t do a singles round-up last week (due to, variously, sunning ourselves in Coachella and watching football on the couch), we’re going to feature it here. This Lancaster bloke has a lovely, breezy way with gentle psych-pop, combining here a perfect sort of almost-out-of-tune jangle, a killer end-of-chorus chord progression and a latter-day Beatles guitar solo that blows up and falls back into an acoustic rendering of the wonderfully endearing chorus (“Some folks like to have a dream with everything thrown in it / But I just want my record on and someone who will spin it with me / Everything electric blows up in my hands”). Single of the Week no question, and very likely would have been Single of the Week last week too. Head on over to soundcloud.com/stephenhudson for more of where this gem came from.
Boris says: This is very good, probably. Fourteen red-breasted robins out of twelve! Huzzah!
Five Quails out of Five!
Tulisa – “Young”
Rocksucker says: The video here initially seems to be a frame-for-frame tribute to Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, before going all out for ‘steaminess’. Excellent, well done. “Forgive us for what we have done / ‘Cause we are young” sings the former N-Dubz-er; what could she be referring to? She does in this video get led out of a club for writing “The Female Boss – aka Tulisa” on a wall, so she could be referring to that, but that’s really not quite the same as ****ing **** and then ******* with a ******* for ***** and *********.
Boris says: **** indeed!
Two Quails out of Five!