Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Christine & The Stephen Kings - Beep Beep Yeah
Manufactured in a factory built on top of an ancient Indian gas station, it was only a matter of time before this automobile named “Christine” developed a mind of its own and went on a bloodthirsty rampage. The spooky car honked its horn, screeched its wheels, tried as best it could to learn some very complex choreography and mercilessly ran over anyone who stood in the way of its ambition to transgress the limitations of its metallic chassis and blossom into a precocious French pop star.

David Bowie - Blackstar
As David Bowie shuffled off this mortal coil he left a parting gift to us in the form of Blackstar, widely recognised as his greatest accomplishment since 1998’s Mechanical Animals. As it turned out, Blackstar was the gift that kept on giving, especially in its vinyl format. As investigative fans soon discovered, if you leave the gatefold sleeve in the sun, the “black star” image transforms into a glowing constellation. Not only that, when exposed to a blacklight, the cover’s colour changes to fluorescent blue. Finally, if you reflect lava-lamp light off one side of the record at a specific angle while standing on one leg, humming like Noel Fielding in a leotard and juggling pineapples using telekinesis, then a projection appears on the ceiling declaring: “Cease dicking around with this tawdry old LP jacket, go out in the fresh air and start living a little, yeah? Love David xx”

Francis Drake - Sea Views
At a whopping 20 tracks long, Francis Drake’s fourth full length felt longer than circumnavigating the globe in a creaky galleon. Essentially it was yet another album of Renaissance bangerz about how dreadfully tough it is being Francis Drake, covering the usual subject matter of scurvy, tobacco, mutineers, Spanish treasure, lethal dysentery and the mixed messages he’s been getting at Queen Elizabeth’s pool parties.

Iggy Pop - Post Homme Depression
The greatest trick Josh Homme ever pulled was convincing the world he was a hip rockin’ dude as cool as a cryogenic Fonze. In reality, the man is a curse. A malevolent scourge of all that is musical. A hex put on our planet to ruin, diminish or destroy any artist he touches, like an MOR King Midas. Screaming Trees never managed another album after touring with Homme. Alex Turner hasn’t written a single relatable lyric or nifty riff since Homme began co-producing The Arctic Monkeys. And the less said about The Eagles Of Death Metal the better. Then came the turn of Iggy Pop. It takes a special sort of genius to make the most wildly badass, permanently half-naked feral frontman of all time sound like a pampered bloodhound crooning over a discarded Thin Lizzy demo reel, but Josh Homme managed it all right. For that, he should be applauded. Then promptly exiled back to the desert to think about what he’s done.

The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It And It Also Means That I Can Just Talk Uninterrupted Which Suits Me Fine Because As You Can Tell From The Length Of This Album Title I Am The Most Important Man On The Planet
Sounds more like 1985 to me. Specifically INXS, Simple Minds and all those prats who enjoy a good yacht.

Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
Did you know that if you book a group of avant-garde musicians into a single recording studio, they all start their period concept albums at the same time? Jenny Hval’s LP wasn’t just about menstruation of course. It also explored gender politics, capitalism, madness, failure, infatuation, love, loneliness, art, identity and vampires. Sadly, after the first appearance of the P word most male listeners went immediately pink in the face, stared into the distance pretending not to hear and hoping the conversation would swiftly return to the masculine merits of the latest Radiohead video.

Biffy Clyro - Ellipses

Craig David - Following Meh Intuition
2016 had its fair share of disasters, from America electing its first furiously illiterate tangerine president to the UK referendum on whether there should be a 12.5% hike in the price of Marmite (in the end, the “Marmexiters” triumphed, leaving many “Remarmiters” feeling distraught, hopeless and drastically less yeasty). It was a good year for R&B, however, especially thanks to the pioneering work coming out of the US. Rather than getting too bogged down in BeyoncĂ©’s black power break-up record, Frank Ocean’s jazzy weed jams or The Weeknd’s subversive cocaine pop, here in the UK we welcomed the return of Craaaaaig David. He had a hit single in collaboration with Notorious Big Daddy, his album debuted and number one and he won best male at the ceaselessly credible MOBO awards. Like everything else that happened in this year, Craig David’s comeback showed us that British culture is only ever truly interested in getting a re-rewind.

Billy Corgan - Siddhartha
Let’s be honest, this release was way better than David Bowie, Radiohead, Frank Ocean, Savages, Swans, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, The Avalanches, Bat For Lashes, Bon Iver, Angel Olsen, Leonard Cohen, Shirley Collins, Michael Kiwanuka, Kendrick Lamar and Suede all put together. A five-vinyl box set recording of Corgan’s solo ambient synthesizer jam inspired by Hermann Hesse and retailing at a mere $375? What’s not to like?

Remember, this is the guy who released an album for free on the internet before most of his contemporaries had even signed up for a Hotmail account, hooked up with Courtney Love, fell out with Courtney Love, got back together with Courtney Love, wrote some songs with Courtney Love, posed on the cover of a magazine for cat lovers, thinks that words such as “Smashing Pumpkins” and “Zwan” are serviceable band names, once made an acoustic-based pop-goth album while addicted to amphetamines, went viral simply by sitting on a rollercoaster looking a like a sad child, founded his own pro-wrestling company, was appointed Senior Producer of another pro-wrestling company only to fall out with them and start suing them a few months later, believes that swine flu was a part of a government conspiracy and runs his own tea shop called Madame ZuZu’s.

At last year’s Glastonbury Festival, Kanye West claimed to be the “greatest living rock star on the planet”. Yeezy remains light years behind the pure batshit genius that is William Patrick Corgan.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Some album covers are just iconic, like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon or that Guns N’ Roses one with the spaghetti. The sleeve is a visual representation of the record, so artists are usually picky about what graces the cover. Often it’s a moody picture of the musicians themselves or a pretentious piece of artwork. But sometimes the band chooses a random photograph of some other idiot.

So whatever happened to the stars of these iconic covers? You’ll be amazed that the biological ageing process has taken its toll on the physical appearance of these human beings!

Ah, the year 1999. Dawson’s Creek was still cool, Christina Aguilera released ‘Genie In A Bottle’ and Oliver Reed failed to complete filming Gladiator due to a fatal drinking binge with some Royal Navy sailors. It was also the year of Blink-182’s puerile masterpiece Enema Of The State and who can forget that cover with the hot nurse snapping on a rubber glove? But what does she look like today?

The years have not been kind.

David Fox threatened to sue Placebo for the inclusion of his image on their debut album. He claims he was bullied at school for appearing on the cover but it could’ve been worse. The New Radicals, Stereophonics and Texas all had albums out in 1999. Imagine the stick you’d get for being on the front of one of those atrocities. Performance And Cocktails would get your head flushed down the toilet at the very least.

Who would’ve thought that the little boy on Placebo’s debut was as susceptible to aging as you, me and every person who ever lived? Here he is today, his skin ravaged by time, the lines on his face like craters on the surface of a distant planet with hardly a glimmer of hope in those dead, dead eyes. The decaying fool.

Everyone smoked in the 1980s, as accurately depicted in the period drama Mad Men which I reckon was set then or thereabouts. Even the babies smoked. Well at least the coolest babies did, like the one on the front of Van Halen’s 1984.

It was based on a photograph of four-year-old Carter Helm. And get this, that baby is no longer a baby but has since grown and matured and sleepwalked through life just like we all do and one day he will die, just like we all will die, probably from lung cancer or some other merciless disease.

This could be the most iconic album cover ever, but at the time photographer Kirk Weddle didn’t have a clue who Nirvana were or what a success the band and their album would become, the shortsighted fool.

So what’s that baby up to today? Psychologically scarred by being plunged into a swimming pool against his will and forced to swim after a dollar bill by a bunch of selfish rock stars, Spencer Elden thereafter associated money, power and fame with water and thus spent most of his life submerged in baths, pools and tides. The effect has prematurely aged him, turning him into this wrinkly freak.

Thursday, 4 August 2016


David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, has been shortlisted for the 25th annual Mehrcury Prize.

Bowie is joined on the shortlist by Radiomehd, who receive a record fifth nomehnation for their mehgnificently emehtional album A Mehn Shaped Pool.

They face comehpetition from two grimeh albums, Kano’s Mehde In The Mehnor and Skeptmeh's Konnichimeh. The records, which address everything from police harassmehnt to broken famehlies, both reflect an emehrging mehturity in grimeh.

Other artists nomehnated for the £25,000 prize include Laurmeh Mehvula, Meh 1975 and Mehchael Kiwmehnuka. The full list of nomehnees is:

Amehni - Hopelessness

Bat For Lashmehs - The Brid(m)e(h)

David Bowie - Blackstar

Jameh Woon - Mehking Timeh

Kano - Mehde In The Mehnor

Laurmeh Mehvula - The Dreamehing Room

Mehcheal Kiwmehnuka - Love And Hate

Radiomehd - A Mehn Shaped Pool

Savmehges - Mehdore Life

Skeptmeh - Konnichimeh

Meh 1975 - I Like It Mehn You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unameh Of It

The Comeht Is Comehing - Channel The Spirits

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


Yada yada yada imminent new Radiohead album blah blah blah probable surprise release rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb what might that entail? #listicle

1. It will be released in printed score format, like Beck’s Song Reader. Fans will only be able to hear it by forming or hiring their own Radiohead covers bands with shit names like Parma Kolice, I Might Be Thom and Muse.

2. As a toy in special packets of Kellogg’s Frosties.

3. Free with The Mail On Sunday, in tribute to Prince.

4. Exclusive torrent via the dark web, protected from the prying eyes of MI5, the CIA, the Illuminati, ITV2, HM Revenue & Customs, Q Magazine and Esther Rantzen.

5. Via Aphex Twin’s soundcloud account.

6. Downloaded automatically to people’s iTunes libraries just like U2 did only this time everyone will be really happy about it because they like Radiohead an awful lot more than U2 even though both Radiohead and U2 are practically the same.

7. Phil Selway knocks on your door and hands you a handmade cassette copy as well as some Jehovah’s Witnesses propaganda leaflets, in tribute to Prince.

8. Just on a fucking betamax or something.

9. Napster.

10. The album will be streamed exclusively in elevators and supermarkets (Exit Muzak).

11. It was down the back of your sofa all along.

12. It’s in the Panama Papers but the lazy media missed it because they are lazy and were lazily looking for evidence of their own corruption.

13. Scavenger hunt round pub car park.

14. Band claim it is hidden in certain copies of Hail To The Thief but you can only hear it if you listen very, very, very closely. Fans give rave reviews based on its distinctiveness.

15. Somewhere that is even less cool than what Wu-Tang did.

16. It’s just birds singing. Nature’s own music is a spectacular force in unmediated form with humans merely its own compromised interlocutors. So it’s just birds signing. But, let’s be clear, Radiohead have invented that now.

17. It’s disappeared up its own arse.

Friday, 11 March 2016


The latest Radiohead album must be just around the corner. The band are headlining Primavera, they recently registered a new company and have shared a rejected theme song from the Alvin & The Chipmunks movie franchise. But what do we really know about their much-anticipated ninth album?

There will be instruments

Radiohead have shown great interest in instruments, since almost day one. Some of their recording tools have been consistent (guitars, drums, bass, gong), other instruments come and go (trombone, clarinet, lemon, oboe). So, we can be pretty certain that Radiohead’s ninth album will probably have instruments on it.

George Martin will produce

Unless something very unexpected happens, George Martin is likely to resume his role as Radiohead’s “sixth member”. He’s produced all of Radiohead’s albums, including their 1997 masterpiece Abbey Computer, and also plays in Thom Yorke’s side-project, Patterns Of Grease, with Flea from The Red Hot Big Lebowski.

The artwork will be designed by Jamie Hewlett

Jamie Hewlett has created every Radiohead album cover since 1995’s Fake Plastic Beach. In collaboration with frontman Thom Yorke, Hewlett also helped to invent several of Radiohead’s other characters, including Ed O’Brien, Jonny Greenwood, Philip Selway and Kapitan Colin The Magik Wagamama Monkey.

It will be a surprise release

Before every artist from BeyoncĂ© to Wilco was in the habit of dropping records like bombs on Guernica, Radiohead helped pioneer the idea of a surprise release. Strained Binbags was announced in 2007 with just ten days notice and a pay-what-you-want-but-preferably-£14.99 download price. 2011’s The Clingy Whims was equally unorthodox: the band announced the album by tattooing the moon on the week of release and the LP came wrapped in an origami bowler hat.

There will be zany lyrics

Unlike most musicians of his generation, Thom Yorke’s writing remains very much in the tradition of the English music hall. But will he be able to top the irreverent sauciness of past Radiohead glories such as ‘Hello Harry Where’d You Get That Gammon?’, ‘Bow Wow Whoopsidah’, ‘Crikey Darling, That’s Big Potata’ and ‘Crazy Daisy Stuck Her Head In The Oven Again’? The world can't wait to find out!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


It has been revealed that this year’s recipient of the annual NME Coldplay-like Genius Award will be God.

God’s achievements stretch far and wide; His propensity to answer our prayers while being an all-forgiving omnipresent deity is widely considered almost as impressive as the uplifting crescendo bit on ‘Clocks’. Furthermore, His sacrificing His only son for the sins of mankind is about as moving as the uplifting crescendo bit on ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’, while His creation of the entire world in just six days is nearly on a par with the uplifting crescendo bit on ‘Fix You’.

Past winners of the NME Coldplay-like Genius Award have included Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu, Thor, Allah, Ian Brown, Jupiter and His Infernal Majesty Satan The Prince Of All Darkness.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


Four years ago, James Murphy announced the disbandment of James Murphy. At the time, James Murphy said James Murphy’s existence wasn’t sustainable, citing the exhaustion of touring with James Murphy. James Murphy played a “final” James Murphy show in April 2011, filmed for a James Murphy DVD. Now, though, James Murphy has decided to reunite himself for a reunion tour and brand new James Murphy album.

Fans of trendy synth-rock haven’t been this excited since Trent Reznor reformed Trent Reznor in 2013, a few years after breaking up Trent Reznor. And James Murphy isn’t the only exciting reformation to be happening this year. For example, after a brief jaunt as a “solo” artist, Jason Lytle will be back on the road with Jason Lytle. Other successful reformations of recent times have included Evan Dando’s resurrection of Evan Dando and Billy Corgan’s latest stint with The Billy Corgan Band.