One Direction

One Direction... Evil comes in many forms (Img: Brett Robson - Global Photographics)

Singles Clubbed: Muse, Alt-J, RHCP, Drake, Hawley, One Direction, Mika and some others!

Published on October 3rd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Hey guys, look: it’s this week’s singles! Let’s go in for a closer look. Careful, I see One Direction in there…better wear gloves…

Alt-J – “Something Good”

This may not be one of the most striking cuts from the Mercury-nominated An Awesome Wave album, but it’s comfortably one of this week’s better singles all the same (a cursory scroll down should reveal how little this is saying, but still…). A cool, clattery beat gives way to swirling pianos, understated yet not particularly distinctive vocals, and it’s all quite broodingly soothing without really threatening to blow any minds. Nice matador-featuring video, though.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Dog Is Dead – “Talk Through The Night”

Hmmm. Car-based tomfoolery…not seen that before. A The Sript/Train-esque slow euch-pop ‘stomp’ bodes terrifyingly, but the vocals are a lot less sickly than feared, and there’s some nice, chiming lead guitar work. Thank goodness for those redeeming features, because lyrics such as “me and my friends are gonna talk through the night” would otherwise have had Rocksucker reaching for the Dead Quail and/or sick bucket. Half a quail deducted for the video’s transparent attempt to Rebecca Black-up MGMT.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

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Drake feat. Rick Ross – “Lord Knows”

At first it sounds as if these footballers’ favourites have gone all “here’s a spiritual, gospel-tinged number to redeem how otherwise awful we are”…but, on closer inspection, the lyrics are indeed about sleeping with lots of “hoes”

Welcome to Self-Awareness 1.01, folks. Here’s what you should be trying to avoid:

“I change rap forever, the game back together… I’m a descendant of either Marley or Hendrix”

Rick Ross is as good as ever, though. By which we mean: not at all.

Rocksucker says: One Quail out of Five!

a quail

Ellie Goulding – “Anything Can Happen”

…in which faintly irritating high-pitched yelping is cloaked in ‘ethereal’ production for that authentically ‘credible’ sound. “It’s like Kate Bush and Cerys Matthews mud-wrestling on Mount Olympus”, the press release might say. We don’t know, we’ve not read it.

The Neptune-y/ocean-y video probably cost an absolute bomb and got loads of approving comments from industry types who’d see it as a “slick product” and “a really professional job” rather than anything of any artistic value, because that’s what the world has become, and that’s how we are all drip-fed garbage by people who really don’t care, and why should they, as long as they get paid?

We’ve heard much worse than this, sure, but the fact that she’s bleeding black from her nose should be your second clue that there are malevolent forces at play here.

Rocksucker says: One Quail out of Five!

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Flo Rida – “I Cry”

Mr Rida introduces this video as the story of his struggle growing up in the projects, then proceeds to rap so quickly that we can’t tell what he’s saying. There’s an annoying, Goulding-esque vocal sample, too. On closer inspection the lyrics are reasonably sweet and compassionate, but alas the song is still pretty rubbish. An extra half quail awarded for not rapping about hoes, or indeed any other gardening implement: Drake take note!

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

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Richard Hawley – “Seek It”

Another Mercury nominee: do all their videos feature lomo photography now? Hawley’s voice sounds great, but then everyone knows that by now. As with parent album Standing at the Sky’s Edge as a whole, this is very respectable but somewhat mired in both a lack of any great imagination and, at 5:41, an overlong running time. Hawley sings here of being “blinded by love”, and it could be that the critics are blinded by his indisputable charms as a vocalist. Basically, if he wins the Mercury Prize then he should share it on rota with Elbow and Doves.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Lower Than Atlantis – “Love Someone Else”

“I’ve tried my best to be myself / But it’s not good enough” – that’s straight from the horse’s mouth, folks! Is it time now to take up Armando Iannucci’s suggestion of organising a Kerrang! burning session? Forget Pastor Jones, this is getting pastor joke (arf!). Really, how many of these bands do we actually need? Isn’t Download Festival full yet? We reckon they’re being bankrolled by the hoodie industry. This is redeemed slightly by one decent chord change in the chorus, but we shan’t be buying the merchandise.

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

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Madeon – “The City”

Ready-made, if not actually bespoke tailored, for douchebags to tap along to on their steering wheels while jerking their necks semi-rhythmically. Overall, this is musical sweetcorn: it has no nutritional value, and it comes out the other end still intact.

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

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Mika feat. Pharrell – “Celebrate”

Exactly what has Pharrell done on this substance-drained Passion Pit impression? Think very carefully about the greater implications of this: A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL BE VERY PROUD AT HAVING CONTRIBUTED IN SOME WAY TO THE MAKING OF THIS. Yes, the “slick product” brigade: if you’re reading this, please know that we’re onto you and that one day, maybe one day real soon, wars shall be waged to defend the honour of Holy Mother Music. Change your ways, or start running now.
“I want the whole world to celebrate”, sings Mika; in that case, try moving to another planet, or carving out your own voicebox with a meat cleaver and feeding it to rodents, or…look, we could go on for hours, so if anyone out there would like to hear more, simply sit Rocksucker down with a drink and we’d be happy to regale you with ideas of how Mika could be directly conducive to worldwide celebration.

Rocksucker says: One Quail out of Five!

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Muse – “Madness”

…in which Muse move to distance themselves from those Radiohead comparisons by veering into jittery, ice-cold electronica, with the same watered-down-by-comparison results. If someone ‘boshed’ some ketamine and decided to remix “Faith” by George Michael, it would sound like a funner version of this. The dubstep schtick is not becoming of Muse, and, as single choices go, this is a saddening admission that the wettest, limpest track off an album is bound to be the most popular. Sort it out, Earth.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

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One Direction – “Live While We’re Young”

Rocksucker sighed even before listening to this; heck, just reading the title is enough to have you readying yourself for a hailstorm of rabbit shit.
This is so Dead Quail-worthy the RSPCA are investigating it. “Giiiirrrrlll!” – this transcends even euch-pop. This is bleeeeeeeeuuuuuuuurrrrrrcccccchhhhhhhh-pop. This is so bad, and the video so full of eminently punchable faces, that we’re going to take the unprecedented step of giving the blighters one Dead Quail each. That’ll learn ’em.

Rocksucker says: Have Five Dead Quails!

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Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Never Is A Long Time”/”Love Of Your Life”

It’s been years since RHCP turned into a pop band, and still no-one seems prepared to acknowledge or countenance it. This is a shame, because they do it really rather well: “Never is a Long Time” is one part Beatles to two parts RHCP, while “Love of Your Life” begins as a slow trot in triplets with twiddly guitarpeggios, shifts into a melty-lovely chorus, and then sails into more tempestuous waters using a spazzily wailing guitar solo as a paddle. The inescapable RHCP-ness of their sound may still pall for some, but they’ve been releasing some pretty ace stuff lately.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Simian Mobile Disco – “A Form of Change”

The title track from their forthcoming EP, this picks up more or less from where their splendid Unpatterns LP of earlier this year left off: a swirling ambient build-up seems to go on forever before giving way to an acid-rave click-beat with an insistent pulse, holistically not overly concerned with melody as much as synaesthetic brain-addling. The wobbly, slightly out-of-time parping sounds work a treat, and while Rocksucker still pines for the Simian of old, this is expertly pieced-together MDMA comedown fare.

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

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Taylor Swift – “We Are Never getting Back Together”

For those who weren’t already irritated enough by Katy Perry… Taylor Swift is arguably the very definition of Should Be Seen but Not Heard, her titular assertion coming as a blessed relief to its target’s ears, one might think. The is the kind of flimsy display of ‘girl power’ that works so unintentionally to erode it, like a 12-year-old stamping her feet; there’s even a gossipy spoken word bit that’s punctuated by the word “like” on at least three occasion. This isn’t quite as bad as One Direction, but…you know, for crying out loud, and all that.

Rocksucker says: Half a Quail out of Five!

half a quail

Unicorn Kid – “Need U”

…like early Prodigy held hostage in Ibiza, with most of the fun sapped out of it. Those twinkly synth droplets are fairly appealing, but ultimately the title could be suffixed with a question mark and addressed to Unicorn Kid.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

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Walk The Moon – “Anna Sun”

Video = Shoreditch warehouse party from hell, and one made even more objectionable with every embarrassing attempt at conveying humour. There’s an old Day Today sketch in which police deal with noise complaints by turning up to the offending house and releasing a tiger into it. Yuh.

This is definitely one of the most anger-inducing videos of the year so far, and yet it’s almost acceptable when considered alongside One Direction. “This house is falling apart” they cry, and with any luck so will this hipster boyband, if that is indeed the nature of the horror we have just witnessed.

Rocksucker says: Half a Quail out of Five!

half a quail

See you next week, everybody! 

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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.