Brandon Flowers

Brandon Flowers... He's sure no Bill Withers (Img: Piotr Drabik)

Singles Clubbed: Animal Collective, Linkin Park, Green Day, Killers, FFAF, Elton, Bieber, Lana and some others!

Published on November 14th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Singles are like kisses: some of them are lovely, some of them are all gross and sloppy.

Shall we club some? Yes, by Jove, yes!

Animal Collective – “Applesauce”

Soak it all in, folks: originality, creativity, dancing melodies, colour, flair, entertaining lyrics, unexpected yet seamlessly integrated tangents…look, we already talked about this track in our review of parent album Centipede Hz, but you’re advised to steel yourself with this if you plan on listening to all of this week’s listed singles. It’s a horror show, alright.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quaila quail

Elton John v Pnau – “Phoenix”

Looking down the list of this week’s singles, this is bound to be one of the better ones. It strikes Rocksucker just how well Elton’s voice has held up through the decades of, er, ‘expensive hobbies’, but then we read that the Australian duo are remixing old ’70s material. Forgive us for not knowing our Elton, we only really like “Bennie and the Jets”.

Anyway, the more this goes on the more it reveals itself as crushingly predictable disco-pop, a more sunnily disposed version of “You Don’t Know Me” by Armand Van Helden, or any of the 450 squillion (latest count) tracks that sound just like it.

Still, we’ll be very surprised if this isn’t better than Bieber v Minaj. *Shudder*

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

a quaila quail

Example – “Close Enemies”

Pffft. Plus points for the evil clown in the video, minus points for everything else. Melodically bereft, rhyming dictionary lyrics, obligatory dubstep cash-in chorus, shoehorned-in rap (sample lyric “me Tarzan, she Jane”), patched-up-sounding vocals, as if a team of scientists spent months editing it together in order for it to be fit for its utterly depressing purpose.

Be comforted to know that somewhere out there, right now, Example is probably getting a blowjob because of toss like this. Graham Coxon’s guitar at the beginning is totally misleading, and it’s to be hoped that such a brilliant musician chooses his collaborators more discerningly in future. Actual fellow musicians would do, for a start, not this genetically modified Never Mind the Buzzcocks contestant/’guest host’.

Rocksucker says: One Quail out of Five!

a quail

Funeral For A Friend – “Best Friends and Hospital Beds”

Bang bang, chug chug, emo shouting emo shouting, yes yes, bye bye.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

a quaila quail

Green Day – “Stray Heart”

Imagine “Lust For Life” being forced to do a pathetically twee dance at knife-point. Or, alternatively, a tale of unrequited teenage lust grafted onto that horrible Jet song and performed by a bunch of middle-aged guys. How very dignified.

This would be great for a Green Day Kids-type spin-off band – think Tiny Toons, or Muppet Babies, albeit each of those have a superior theme tune – but, while this doesn’t quite plumb the depths of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, it does position Billie Joe Armstrong and chums ever further from the realms of ‘punk’, the tenets of which would appear to elude them to a quite comical degree.

At least it’s got melody, giving it half a quail’s worth of edge over Example’s effort.

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

a quailhalf a quail

Justin Bieber feat. Nicki Minaj – “Beauty and a Beat”

The video for this is presented as personal footage stolen from Bieber and uploaded by an anonymous blogger, and of course turns out to be an expensively lit pool party attended by breakdancers, bikini-clad beauties and, of course, the utterly charmless Minaj. Rocksucker’s heard worse than this, believe it or not – at least the Daft Punk-y gurgles of one breakdown section are actually trying to do something worthwhile, if not original – but in the main it’s the kind of identikit, wet ‘n’ warbly drivel you’d expect.

If you are over the age of 14 and you like Justin Bieber, you are an enemy of music and an enemy of evolution. You are perpetuating the cynical commercialism that oppresses us all, you are an Orwellian nightmare, and you should have a damn good look at yourself.

We’re not even joking. You suck, and we resent your very existence.

Rocksucker says: One Quail out of Five!

a quail

The Killers – “Miss Atomic Bomb”

From perhaps this year’s worst album comes another horrifyingly overblown piece of…oh, what’s the point? Let’s get to the quailing…

Rocksucker says: Have a Dead Quail!

a dead quail

Lana Del Rey – “Ride”

What’s this ‘stars and stripes’ nonsense all about? Lana hooks up with a Hell’s Angel in this video, which seems a shame as it’s a graceful, stirring ballad leagues above some of the utter tripe featured above. She winds up dressed as a Native American, so there’s some kind of point being made here after all, maybe. Everyone in the video seems happy enough, so best leave them to it, we suppose.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quail

Linkin Park – “Castle of Glass”

“Castle of arse, more like. Chortle!”

Okay, we came up with that one before the song had really begun in earnest (there’s quite the dramatic build-up, you see). Okay, he’s starting to sing now: “Take me down to the river bend / Take me down to the fighting end / Wash the poison from off my skin / Show me how to be whole again”. Oh, good grief. Castle of arse it is, especially since he proclaims in the chorus to be “only a crack in this castle of glass”. Yeah, a bum crack. LOLZ!!

Alternatively: “Erstwhile nu-metallers go pop in laughably earnest fashion, millions rush out like some inverse Godzilla attack to buy it. Or download it, whatever the kids do these days.” (Okay, that was a wee bit disingenuous…)

Third draft: “Linkin Park still suck, but in a different way.” Yes, that’ll do.

Rocksucker says: One Quail out of Five!

a quail

Little Mix – “DNA”

YES! MORE WATERED-DOWN DUBSTEP!

WOOOO HOOOOOOO!

At least they look good. People seem to like that. And there’s quite a pleasingly bonkers middle eight, which is worth its weight in quail. This is a small step in the right direction but it still comes from a darkly cynical place, one in which phrases like “target market” are lent weight and credence by people who are no doubt proud to contribute to such a “slick product”, when really they should be forced to spend a year dropping powerful hallucinogens and listening to SMiLE. Rocksucker will volunteer to be their Maharishi if that’s what it takes.

Yes, this is better than Bieber, but it still belongs in the same non-biodegradable McDonalds box. Music by committee: it sucks nuggets.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

a quaila quail

McFly – “Love is Easy”

Like most people, Rocksucker has a bit of a soft spot for McFly.

Only joking, we hate McFly. “Love is Easy” is sufficiently light of touch not to appall, but the “we’re a real band” facade  continues to insult, especially as – going by the video, anyway – their guitar-miming technique could scarcely be distinguished from that of a 5-year-old.

A slap in the face to actual musicians everywhere, and nowhere near a strong enough song to get away with it. McFly? McWHYYYYY?, more like!

Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

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

a quailhalf a quail

Melanie C feat. Emma Bunton – “I Know Him So Well”

The eagle-eyed and, er, dolphin-eared amongst you will have noticed that the video embedded is not in fact “I Know Him So Well” by erstwhile Spice Girls Melanie C and Emma Bunton, but “She Knows Me Too Well” by The Beach Boys.

This is for three reasons:

1) The songs have similar titles

2) “She Knows Me Too Well” by The Beach Boys is one of the most beautiful songs ever written

3) “I Know Him So Well” by erstwhile Spice Girls Melanie C and Emma Bunton is absolutely horrific

Enjoy!

Rocksucker says: Five Quails out of Five! (For the Beach Boys song, that is. We’d quail the other but we’ve already given the dead one to The Killers)

a quaila quaila quaila quaila quail

Omega Male – “Testosterone”

In other news, scientists have successfully cloned Alabama 3. 

Okay, that was a bit bitchy; this is a pretty decent daft shuffle from Fujiya & Miyagi man David Best, with pleasing lyrical turns like “Two bald men fighting over a comb / With too much testosterone”. As such, we can’t really complain given the reams of guff populating this week’s bag o’singles. Fuji & Miyagi have some good stuff, so let’s see what the album holds.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quail

Roses Gabor – “Stars”

Gabor’s fairly non-descript, but the Digital Soundboy production is really rather good. So, okay, we can come up with an analogy for this…yeah, okay: this is like ordering a burger, but the chips it comes with are much better.

Hmmm…you might have to come back to us on this one.

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

a quaila quailhalf a quail

Stooshe – “Waterfalls”

Yeah, we put the original by TLC instead. So sue us.

Rocksucker says: Half a Quail out of Five! (For the Stooshe version, that is – go find out for yourself)

half a quail

See you next week, everybody!

Artists: , , , , , , , ,

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.