Bridgit Mendler - Ready or Not

Satan, we were explicitly warned, comes in many forms...

This Week’s Singles: Neon Neon, Tame Impala, Charlotte Church, Steve Mason, DB Band, Of Monsters and Men, and many more!

Published on March 6th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

Pssst! Wanna see this week’s singles? Betcha do.

Well then, step right this way…

*Sniggers, slams door shut*

Arlissa – “Sticks and Stones”

“…may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Boy, that’s an invitation for a hatchet job if ever there was one. Fortunately for Arlissa, we’ve heard a hell of a lot worse than this – that doesn’t mean it’s not dull as ditch water, mind, but the rumbling percussion’s worth a quail on its own. Then again, the ill-advised yodeling must be graded conversely. At the end of it all…

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

a quailhalf a quail

Bridgit Mendler – “Ready or Not”

“But Bridgit, there’s already a very well-known song called ‘Ready or Not’.”

“Yeah, but like, you know, lots of songs are called the same thing. You can’t, like, own a title. You know?”

“But Bridgit, you haven’t just taken the title, you’ve also stolen the chorus refrain. That’s the most memorable part of the song.”

“Yeah, but like, you know, my producer said that would be okay. It’s, like, postmodern, or something.”

“But Bridgit, it’s horrible. You warble like a strangled cat, and it’s got lyrics like ‘You be my William, I’ll be your Kate’ in it.”

“That’s, like, topical. You know?”

“Bridgit, have a dead quail. Please, take it.”

“Like, whatever. Maybe I could make a handbag out of it, be all like Beyonce, you know?”

“Bridgit, go away and never come back.”

24, 908, 332 YouTube hits and counting, folks! How’s that for a slap in the face to every aspiring musician with even an ounce of talent, and therefore more than Bridgit Mendler? Now, far be it from us to call for a mass cull, but we’re fairly sure civilisation would come on in leaps and bounds without those 24, 908, 331 people (subtracting Rocksucker’s hit, and yes some will have watched it more than once, but shut up).

Rocksucker says: Have a Dead Quail!

a dead quail

Charlotte Church – “Glitterbombed”

It’s not fair to review this straight after Bridgit Mendler – because, straight after Bridgit Mendler, this sounds like Abbey bloody Road. Tell you what, though, it’s not a half bad Bjork impression. Who’d-a thunk it? She does sound like she’s singing “I’ve got glitter in my womb”, which she probably isn’t, but we can’t let that get in the way of our acknowledgement of a genuinely surprising creation from the erstwhile opera child and her evidently wisely chosen collaborators. Hats off, we were primed to give this a right kicking.

Oh, you can find this on her Two EP, by the way.

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

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Clinic – “Seamless Boogie Woogie BBC 10pm (rpt) II”

A different take on an already ace cut from Clinic’s typically excellent Free Reign album of last year, this new mix by Daniel ‘Oneohtrix Point Never’ Lopatin lets loose an array of colourful electronics in a manner that suggests the broader project at hand – namely, Free Reign II – will be worth investigating. And investigate we shall, so stay tuned for a review.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quaila quail

Cloud Boat – “Wanderlust”

Cripes, this is serious. We’re talking close-your-eyes-when-you’re-singing serious. Takes almost two minutes to get going, too, so overall it’s a curious choice of single. We dig the crinkly, choppy percussive elements – it’s a bit like a traumatised Matmos in that regard – but this is, shall we say, very much of a certain mood. No doubt it’s well put together, but if we listen to it one more time we fear collapsing motionless to the ground with a blank, haunted expression, like that guy in the “Just” video.

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

a quaila quailhalf a quail

Daniela Brooker – “Heartbreaker”

It might still be the Mendler effect at play, or the sun coming back out, or a bit of both – but this ain’t half bad. Sure, it’s total fluff, but it’s got a delightfully cheesy, Santana-esque guitar line, a classic soul sort of vibe, a luxurious string arrangement and some rather nifty songwriting touches. If the world will insist on having teeny pop idols, far better this than damagingly idiotic guff like Mendler. After Charlie, Daniela is now our second favourite Brooker.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quail

DB Band – “Loosen Up”

Fronted by former Supergrass bassist Mick Quinn, DB (Dirty Bastards, in case you’re wondering) Band share the gleeful predilection for monster riffs and psych-tinged sweetness that made the ‘Grass so utterly wonderful. It was even recorded at Gaz Coombes‘s Oxford studio, so clearly there’s stardust in that particular air because this hearkens back all the way to I Should Coco in terms of mischief, merriment and the subliminal message it seems to transmit urging you to go magic-mushroom-picking in the sunshine. 

Terrific stuff, and proof that – for all his own genius – Gaz was not the sole songwriting force in Supergrass.

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

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DJ Yoda feat. Sway – “Pizza”

It’s a party tune…about pizza.

Like all right-thinking people, Rocksucker loves pizza, and parties aren’t bad either.

Therefore we love this.

Rocksucker says: Five Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quaila quaila quail

Echotape – “Far From Heaven”

This is alright, like. It’s brooding, stirring and all those kinds of things without spilling into over-earnestness thanks to a mercifully light-of-touch vocal, and although we wouldn’t really go out of our way to listen to it we’ve equally got nothing against it.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quail

Emiliana Torrini & Steve Mason – “I Go Out”

This isn’t just a whereabouts-based lovers’ inquisition: this is a whereabouts-based lovers’ inquisition conducted by the respective compelling voices of Gollum’s musical mouthpiece and King Biscuit Time himself. A flurry of fast-picked guitar is let loose over a metronomic drum beat, and the deal is resoundingly sealed before it’s even had the chance to introduce us to its screeching crescendo. That it was recorded in a single day would account for the messiness, but there’s too much to love about this to not look past that.

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

a quaila quaila quailhalf a quail

Fiction – “Museum”

Juddering, energised, rainbow-coloured, ’80s-tinged electro-pop with impaled heads on sticks in the video. 

Yeah, that’ll do us.

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

a quaila quaila quailhalf a quail

Lady – “Money”

Now *this* is how to infuse classic soul into a pop song with class and authenticity – just dig the swinging brass section, those glowing jazz chords of guitar, that cascading piano line, and of course the luscious harmonies of Nicole Wray and Terri Walker. The lightness of touch and playful middle eight is a lesson to all the warbling wannabes out there. Smooched by sunshine, this.

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

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Lapalux featuring Kerry Leatham – “Without You”

Ooh wee, this is seriously monged stuff. Love the quirky percussion and the fiendishly manipulated vocal effects, even if there is the faint whiff of ‘chill-out’ about it. In mitigation, it’s a trippy kind of chill-out, and we suspect that’s acceptable. Right? 

Right.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quail

Neon Neon – “Mid Century Modern Nightmare”

Boom Bip and Super Furry Animals legend Gruff Rhys paired up to such great effect on 2008’s Stainless Style that Rocksucker really is aquiver with anticipation for next month’s follow-up Praxis Makes Perfect. *Quiver* See? At just one second short of two minutes, this is barely enough to tide us over but still reconfirms their stylistic compatibility, as well as Rhys’s long-since-established knack for concealing politicised lyrics in even the sweetest, most playful of melodies. Bring on the album, basically.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quaila quail

Of Monsters and Men – “King and Lionheart”

Wonder-infused video, fairytale-implying song title, pounding drums, washy reverb, big tonal singalong: this is like a seminar in how to tug at the heartstrings of people who are wary of their tastes being too ‘pop’ and therefore want to attach themselves to something they perceive as being ‘credible’ but are scared off by anything too ‘avant garde’ like, I don’t know, a chord progression that hasn’t already featured in about six million songs in this calendar year alone, or anything that involves any kind of imagination whatsoever.

Judging by the success of Of Monsters and Men, there are a lot of those people about. If however Mumford + Florence sounds like your cup of tea, then hey, go nuts!

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

a quailhalf a quail

OneRepublic – “If I Lose Myself”

It is to be hoped that these drippingly wet dullards do in fact lose themselves, and if they happen to find themselves again then fingers crossed it’s nowhere near a recording studio. This ticks so many corporate boxes it makes us physically sick.

BLEEEEUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH!

*Splatter*

*Spit*

*Gag* *Spit*

*Splatter*

*Gag*

*Spit*

Look what you did, OneRepublic! You warbling, over-emoting, superbland, sheen-laden, Maroon-5-wanting-to-be-, crossover-imagining-you-are-just-because-some-producer-or-other-stuck-an-identikit-‘dance’-beat-over-the-chorus, vomit-inducing rascals.

You can have a dead quail and all.

Rocksucker says: Have a Dead Quail!

a dead quail

Paul Rudd feat. Amanda Wilson – “Trust In Me”

DOES EVERY DAMN SONG IN THE UNIVERSE HAVE TO START WITH A PAINED WARBLE THESE DAYS?

SERIOUSLY, DID WE MISS A MEETING?

Yes, caps = shouting. In case you haven’t guessed, this is dreadful. Not *quite* as dreadful as OneRepublic or Br*dg*t M*ndl*r, but dreadful all the same, and with a truly cringeworthy video to match. 

Come to think of it, that’s probably what makes it marginally more entertaining than the aforementioned luminaries.

Rocksucker says: Half a Quail out of Five!

half a quail

Peter Coyle Hijacked – “GUN”

Produced by Dave ‘Yorkie’ Palmer of MOONGOOSE, this offering from former The Lotus Eaters and G-Love front man/brainchild Peter Coyle washes over like some splendorous cross between Pale Fountains and Talk Talk before letting rip with an almost “Sweet Child O’Mine”-esque guitar line which in turn gives way to jittery, squelchy electro. 

Then…THEN…it stirs itself into quite the crescendo, yer man Coyle imploring us to “stand up” in amongst it all – and, heck, you’d better stand, ’cause the guy’s got a “GUN” and he sure knows how to use it (although we should stress this is an anti-gun song). It’s fine stuff, it’s out in April and you can find more here on Peter’s SoundCloud. There’s also the promise of a MOONGOOSE album to come soon so watch this space. 

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quaila quail

Riva Starr feat. Rssll – “Absence”

This is the kind of groovy, wry, choice-sample-wielding serving of odd-pop that might have scored a hit back when that kind of thing was allowed – think  “The Beat Goes On” by The All Seeing I, “Daydream in Blue” by I-Monster, or even “Frontier Psychiatrist” by The Avalanches – so how could we not dig this? 

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

a quaila quaila quailhalf a quail

Swim Deep – “The Sea”

“Go down to the sea / And tell me what it is you want to be” – that’s got to be the very definition of lyrical autopilot, but this pleases us with how breezy and carefree it manages to sound over the top of its big fuzz bass and clattering rhythm section, like Kasabian with a degree of humility, or a baggy sort of ‘Beta Band/Primal Scream lite’. We must take issue with the refrain of “got something to say” because it doesn’t particularly seem to, but overall this is good summery fare with a bit of a swagger about it, so we’re inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt.

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

a quaila quaila quailhalf a quail

Tame Impala – “Mind Mischief”

We already know we love Tame Impala, and indeed this particular cut from last year’s Lonerism album, so let’s talk about the video: it’s got a sexy schoolteacher in it, then some crazy animation where she seduces a schoolboy, eats him and then deposits him breathless back on the school fields. Frankly, it had us at ‘sexy schoolteacher’.

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

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We Three and the Death Rattle – “Inpatients”

Cool band name, rockin’ tune, thoughtful lyrics, doesn’t score much for originality but who gives a stuff? Horrors abound on the list of next week’s singles (Mumford, Maroon 5, Robbie…gah!), so let’s enjoy the good ‘uns while we can. 

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Woodpigeon – “Red Rover, Red Rover”

Okay, let’s have one last single. This is like a cross between Aimee Mann and PJ Harvey, and for that we salute it. Winning melodies, unexpected chord sequences and an all-round air of understated class, this is fine stuff indeed.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quaila 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.