Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Bruce Banner Del Rey - Born to Dye
This time last year you couldn’t move without hearing Banner Del Rey’s massively successful reimagining of Gary Jules’ massively successful reimagining of Tears for Fears’ ‘Mad World’. Yet the triumph of ‘Video Games’ created a monster, as in the face of unprecedented media attention and intense public fascination cracks soon appeared in Del Rey’s comatose-cool exterior. The pressure became too much during a BBC filming when Del Rey finally snapped, exploded into a violent anti-social rage, covered her body in green pigment and tore Jools Holland’s face off. The popular television icon, known for his musical talents, love of old-fashioned big-band era swing tunes and dithering presenting style, was just 84 years old. As a consequence, Bruce Banner Del Rey’s follow-up single Ripped Blue Jeans squeezed into the UK Singles Chart at Number 32.

The Weeknd at Bernie’s - Trilogy
Abel Tesfaye’s promising career was thrown into doubt when the owner of his recording studio suddenly keeled over and died. Unwilling to let this minor setback stand in the way of success, Tesfaye failed to inform the authorities, choosing instead to carry on as usual by sticking a pair of sunglasses on the studio owner’s face and propping him up on the sofa. This hilarious Edgar Allan Poe-meets-‘80s Yuppie Comedy dilemma led Tesfaye towards the dark, morally-troubled sound of The Weeknd’s unsettling take on R&B. If only the likes of R. Kelly or Michael Jackson had been forced to conceal similarly sinister aspects of their private lives, they might have been inspired to create material of substance instead of such generically insipid chart barf.

Seth MacFarlane - Music is Better than Words

Rihanna - Unapologetic
Unfortunately, the music on this record was overshadowed by the controversy over its duet featuring the cupboard door that Rihanna accidentally walked into back in 2009. The album’s lyrics were also interpreted as addressing Rihanna’s ongoing dysfunctional relationship with the cupboard door she accidentally walked into. Many have condemned the cupboard door, believing that Rihanna should strictly and permanently disassociate herself from the door and that consumers should boycott the door’s solo records. Others have expressed concern that while the seemingly unforgivable cupboard door that Rihanna walked into continues to be the target of hostile condemnation, white cupboard doors that have been involved in similar incidents (Sean Connery, Charlie Sheen, Geoffrey Boycott) have not attracted the same sustained levels of public and press disdain.

Lame Impata - Groanerism
If you’re a broadsheet music critic who thinks that The xx are the spookiest band you’ve ever heard, white boys with long hair are in some way exotic, and The Rolling Stones are still worth writing about, you might describe this album as ‘psychedelic’. If you’ve actually spent any proportion of your life listening to psychedelic music recorded by anyone else in the past forty years, it might seem a little... tame.

Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man
2012 saw Natasha Khan drop the hipster headdresses, and all other clothes for that matter. When Lana Del Rey poses naked in GQ it reeks of seedy, misogynistic exploitation but when Khan does it on the front of her album cover it’s a forceful image of female empowerment. In fact, this image of female empowerment was so forceful that most listeners immediately forgot what the actual music was like. “LAAAAAURAAAA / SUPERSTAAAAR / LAAAAAAURAAAA / SUPERSTAAAAAR” or something.

Pat Cower - Sun
On which Chan Marshall overcame adversity to peddle more cheese than Bradley Wiggins on a cheddar BMX.

Swans - The Lazier
“Well guys, this is gonna be the best goddam motherf***ing double album this degenerate, stinking goddam Earth ever f***ing witnessed.”
“It sure is Michael, we’ve really hit our stride, I mean... hold up, did you say double album?”
“You heard goddam right there, son.”
“But Michael...”
“Call me sir. I’d prefer it if you called me sir. Keep you in your place, you goddam worm.”
“Sorry sir. I mean, the idea of a double album sounds great. It’s just that, you know, we’ve not got a lot of studio time left and it looks to me like we’ve only got eleven songs. I’m not sure that’s really enough for a double album.”
“You goddam pigshit asshole. Do I have to think of everything? Only eleven songs? Big f***ing deal. Just drag three or four songs out to the twenty or thirty minute mark and hey c***ing presto, we got ourselves a goddam f***ing double album and I can go put my feet up and you can go suck a f***ing chicken dick.”
“Sure sir, sounds great. Erm... how?”
“HOW? HOW!? Jesus, you’re even c***ing dumber than I thought. It’s f***ing easier than getting your **** ****ed at a goddam nympho whorehouse, you insect. You pick a chord at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the song. You play that chord. Then you play it again. Then you play it again. Then you play it and again and again and again, like six hundred times or whatever, and you’ve gone and got yourself a goddam awe-inspiring Swans epic right there, lapped up by greedy fans and insatiable critics alike.”
“Sure Mr Gira...”
“Sure sir, it’s just we’ve already done that on at least two tracks. Is there any other way we could...”
“You got goddam horseshit in your ears, kid? Chimes. F***ing chimes. Stick in a f***ing extended, repetitive f***ing chimes bit. It’ll sound like a f***ing evil church or something. God, I hate established religion. Have I mentioned that I hate established religion? I goddam hate all established systems of f***ing religion.”
“What about all established systems of Swans songs?”
“Do you want this amplifier shoved so far up your ass I can power my Gibson by punching you in the face, you goddam sticking piece of buffalo spunk?”
“No sir. Sorry sir. One other thing, now that you’re our only vocalist, are you at all worried that the album might be a little samey? I mean your monotonously authoritative baritone is great and all but it can get a little tedious without the balancing femininity of Jarboe, and over the course of not just a single album but a whole double album...”
“F*** off. We’ll stick Karen O and that f***ing Mormon couple off Low on it. And Jarboe. Get me Jarboe.”
“Yes sir!”
“And some bagpipes.”

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