A Band of Buriers A Band of Buriers… Bury good indeed

Singles: Rihanna, Drake, Coxon, Shins, Maccabees, Liars and several others!

Published on May 31st, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Singles, singles – get yer singles! Threeferapahnd! By which we mean, of course, join Rocksucker in taking a simultaneous butcher’s at and earful of this week’s batch of singles…

A Band of Buriers – “Cello Dub”

Very likely the only one of this week’s singles to feature the word ‘opalescent’, this is typically, fantastically portentous fare from the recent Rocksucker interviewees. James P Honey’s eloquent, monastic flow is in commanding form, barely batting an eyelid as the music swells with a female backing choir, while the video is perhaps their most polished to date, not to mention another fine addition to their canon of compellingly chilling promos.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Avalanche City – “Sunset”

This is good-natured, inoffensive, Jack Johnson-y summertime pop that belies the big freeze implied by Dave Baxter and co’s moniker. Although Baxter comes across like a much less distinctive Ben Gibbard, the song itself should charm many with its clapping and whistling motifs. ‘Shooting’, ‘fish’, ‘barrel’, anyone?

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Benga ft. Bebe Black – “Icon”

If the immediate warbling of “don’t you drag me down, I’m going to live my li-ah-ah-ah-ife” doesn’t set alarm bells ringing in your head, then truly modern life has gotten the better of you. If you’re then able to endure the dropping of a commercialised dubstep beat – one that you can see coming but are unable to avoid, like Wile E. Coyote looking up at falling anvil and unfurling a feeble umbrella – then there is probably no hope for you. Or is it a crunk beat? We really don’t know or care any more.

The skydive in its video is by far the most interesting thing about this, even if it does fee like a bit of a cheap and easy way to make people associate the song with something awe-inspiring, a bit like how people now associate Russell Howard with being funny because his incredulous expression is the first thing they see after an amusing YouTube video that he had nothing whatsoever to do with. We eagerly await the inevitable copycat videos – bungee jump? Paragliding? Dwarf tossing? Oh, it’s all so exciting!

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five! (one for the ‘song’, one for jumping out of a plane, which we can only encourage)

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Chiddy Bang feat. Icona Pop – “Mind Your Manners”

Chiddy Bang’s previous single “Ray Charles” was okay, kind of dumb but amiably so. However, this is just overdone. Icona Pop’s super-falsetto vocal is quite annoying but at least she makes use of the ba ba ba, an all too underused vocable in the world of mainstream pop. “Mind Your Manners” is at the better end of the chart fodder spectrum, but it is resoundingly nothing special.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Graham Coxon – “Ooh, Yeh Yeh”

In our review of Coxon’s A&E album, we said of “Ooh, Yeh Yeh”: “the blasé close harmony singing feels full and rich in the mix before going on to do something quite melodically spectacular with its titular refrain. This is fabulously inventive songwriting within such a simple template – namely two distinctly separate, alternating ‘bits’, the more unexpected of which being the chorus – and, in the right hands at least, sometimes that’s all a song really needs.”  We haven’t changed our minds.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Drake feat. Lil Wayne – “HYFR”

So this is the guy all the footballers keep banging on about on Twitter. He’s okay, we guess – his flow is impressive, but the lyrics about texting some girl or other…well, we couldn’t care less. Weird bar mitzvah video too, not really sure what point he’s trying to make with that. It’s become very trendy to swear in pop songs all of a sudden – HYFR stands for ‘hell yeah, fucking right’, you see – and it’s really crossed the point marked ‘subversive’ to stray deep into ‘moronic’ territory. This is simple boner-pop, but not without its charm.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Ladyhawke – “Sunday Drive”

Although starting off sounding a bit like “Rock the Casbah”, “Sunday Drive” goes on to play host to such tedious lyrics as “please don’t go, I need your love” and the kind of super-polished vocals that can be rather off-putting – however, it boasts a genuinely interesting production, with weird blasty sounds and piano chipping away in a nice, full mix. It would be interesting to know how much she had to do with that side of things, because the song in isolation is as frightfully dreary as its title.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Laurence & The Slab Boys – “Mushroom”

“Be My Baby” drums, big ‘n’ reverby guitars and vocals – the Jesus and Mary Chain comparisons may be set in stone, but there’s driving energy to “Mushroom” that places it slightly in opposition to straight-up shoegaze., The guitars go on to chime grandly, suggesting that the album out on 18th June might be well worth checking out.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Liars – “No.1 Against the Rush”

The video starts off as all good videos should, with an ageing guy in his pants grooming himself (cutting his fingernails and combing his hair, that is, nothing more deviant). As for the song, its darkly atmospheric synths remind of  Depeche Mode, brooding sinisterly in a way that will never get this to number 1- but frankly that’s a ringing endorsement these days. It’s texturally subtle, softly rendered yet driving of beat, and all the while aforementioned pants man – now dressed – goes around chloroforming people, covering them in cling film and dumping them in the back of a van, before it all ends with mutual strangling. What more do you want?

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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The Maccabees – “Went Away”

Deceptively intricate beyond its initial straight-up rhythm, some fine guitar work and floaty vocals build into something that sounds like a cross between Doves and U2 back when U2 were good. The drums break free of their pounding shackles towards the end and rumble fantastically, while harmonised electric guitar speed-picking hurtles it all skywards…and then it’s all over within 3 minutes 40. Excellent work!

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Miike Snow – The Wave

Perhaps the cheeriest sounding song ever to have its video start with an explosion and a scene of loads of children lying around dead. It’s also splendid, teeming with quirky electronic flourishes, glitchy synth pads and smooth vocals – but you might be a bit freaked out by the gang of identical, weird, big-nosed, shirtless guys running to the scene of the crime and making policemen dance with some kind of call. Strange stuff indeed.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Pure Love – “Bury My Bones”

Big ’80s glam stadium douche rock whatever. Meh. “If I ever die, just bury my bones in here” – you will die. That’s not a threat, just a fact. It’s a shame that douche-rock will apparently never die. Pure Love? Pure apathy, more like.

Rocksucker says: One and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Rihanna – “Where Have You Been”

Great video, especially on mute. Production’s pretty rockin’ though. “Yeeeeahh-hee-YEEEAAAHH-yeeeeaahhh oooohhh yeeeaaahhh-HEE-yeeeaaah!” – put simply, Rihanna should be seen and not heard.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five! (Mostly on account of the video)

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The Shins – “The Rifle’s Spiral”

In our review of parent album Port of Morrow, we said of this: “‘The Rifle’s Spiral’ pairs majestically, mysteriously conjured melody with a quick-step bouncing rhythm in a way that’s so unmistakably Shins-ian. A comforting way to re-submerge oneself back into the dreamy surf-pop world of James Mercer and co.” It sounds even better in isolation, and paired with this creepy animated video, it’s a winner.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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The Ting Tings – “Hit Me Down Sonny”

In our review of parent album Sounds from Nowheresville, we said: “’Hit Me Up Sonny’ sees Katie White seemingly trying to emulate MIA’s delivery on ‘Paper Planes’, but her brattish yelp does not play well with our ears, and nor should it for anyone except over-sugared 12-year-old girls and Nickelodeon production teams. I’ll make you a banging headache proclaim The Ting Tings here, and they do good by their word.” We see no reason to retract these statements.

Rocksucker says: One Quail out of Five!

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While She Sleeps – “This is a Six”

How’s she going to sleep with that bleedin’ racket going on? This is okay, probably. Metal aficionados – is this good? If so, why? Seriously, this is the only way we’ll learn. Excellent drumming, for what it’s worth. Not a six, though – this is more like a…

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.