July 1, 2007

Now That, I Do Like…

Filed under: music, reviews, authors, PhoeniX Phil, Topics, Dr T. — drt @ 3:12 pm



 (Hi, This is PhoeniX PhiL. While watching Mtv2 drunk & bored at my mums a few weeks ago i wondered what my ex-housemate Dr.T would make of it all. He has always been a grumpy old so and so and I missed his barbed citicisms and confusion of how the kids would pay £12.99 for a Datsuns album while cruelly ignoring the Todd Rundgren cd’s in the sale section. I sent him 4 videos to look at and these were his “findings”.. enjoy. )


In the hectic self conscious city of London, everyone is looking at everyone else. What are the new bands?
Should I like what I think I like, or like what I think that fit girl likes, even though she WAS reading the NME on the bus. Sometimes it’s easier to just says ‘Yes’ to hipness, but at what cost? Just what kind of faustian pact are the young people of today making?

Perhaps what the youth of today needs is guidance.
Dispassionate advice from someone far away, removed from the pressures of fashion and of peers.

So, let me peruse these selections made for me by Phoenix Phil, and give you my thoughts:

First up with have CSS with ‘Let’s Make Love To Death from Above’
The youtube info says that they are from Sao Paulo. And they’re probably very proud of that, but I’m confused, because I thought Brazil was meant to be chocka with bronzed beauties. Of course looks aren’t everything (that’s why I rely on books), but in these days of saturated hip-hop video clips, there’s no reason not to throw in at least a couple of lovely ladies. People have expectations you know.

Are ‘Death From Above’ another band I’ve never heard of? Do I want to make love to them? Do I even want to make love with them playing concurrently on the stereo? Does Brazil still have those death squads that Sepultura used to sing about? Are the band named after the online shooter CounterStrike Source? Big questions one and all. Answers on a postcard.

As for the video and the song… Well, some ‘Mid Standard Distribution Curve’ girls and a moustachioed guy miming in various urban locations is your standard lo-budget indie clip. The song is unremarkable, lacks hooks, and perfect for the less discerning hormone addled p!ssed up booty shakers, who will love this song by the vague associated memories it conjures of flickering lights and blurred boobs.

Next, Editors with ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’.
First, lets quickly deal with the musical content of this offering:
Five piss poor minutes of Coldplay bumming Interpol.

Now, this video director knows his stuff, because it stars a pretty girl. Thank you Mr Director for sparing us 300 merciless seconds of some scruffs emoting in a warehouse. The plot (such as it is) of this promotional clip is as follows: ‘Girl escapes from loonie bin, is helped by prossies, pikeys and the littlest hobo, gets into a boat, walks on water, runs away from scruffy singer of the band, into forest and freedom’.

I suppose the message of the clip is that even beautiful crazy people want to be free, and hey, we’re all a bit beautiful and crazy, and you’re free to buy this record! Also, Jesus was a nutter (thus solving the ‘mad, bad, or messiah’ conundrum).

Well Editors, my definite article has come to this conclusion: You can stick your sepia toned, Eastern European clip up where the customs people look. Thanks to youtube, I can watch Alizee’s ‘Moi Lolita’ clip as many times as my wife will let me, and that piece of seedy French pop says all there is to say about beautiful crazy girls on the run.

Thirdly, we have The Klaxons and their ’song’ - ‘It’s Not Over Yet’ So these are The Klaxons. If this quiet loud quiet loud dirge is representative of their output, then their monicker is well chosen. I was expecting better production. I suppose the whole ‘how can this music be called rave?’ discussion has long since worn itself out. And I suppose a promo video pitch called ‘Band ‘x’ are New Romantic Ninjas Fighting Geometric Shapes In Superman’s Fortress Of Solitude’ can’t fail to be commissioned. Bravo. One very strange man’s vision has become reality.

This fuzzy nothing of a song has no redeeming features, and is just mildly objectionable noise.

Style over substance by definition never goes out of fashion, more’s the pity.

Now, I do like…
Biffy Clyro and their song ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies’ I didn’t quite catch all the lyrics to this song, but I’m pretty confident that Biffy Clyro haven’t fully explored the philosophical implications of their song title (does ‘everything’ die? Even rocks? Define your terms etc etc). But, as Douglas Adams admirably points out, sometimes just knowing the question is important.

It’s clever move by Biffy Clyro, going for the niche market of ‘Doom Indie’, especially given that this track can be best described as ‘emo-Fear Factory for boys (as opposed to Men)’. Half time changes, punctuated drumkit sections, the spoonful of sugar in the hint of synth. It’s all there. But not quite as shouty and fast. And the intro had me hoping for something more along Pet Shop Boys lines, but twas not to be…

The promo video takes in a few staples of the metal genre, low light, underground, water on the drumkit for lovely sprays in slow motion for the camera. Tattoos and guitars in close up, and plenty of silhouettes and shouting. In other words, just about every Morbid Angel, Carcass and Prong video clip rolled into one (Prong? I hear you ask… Look up ‘Snap Your Fingers Snap your Neck’ on youtube). I suppose this track gets my thumbs up because it reminds me of staying up til the early hours waiting to watch ‘Raw Power’ on ITV.

In the land of the arseholes, the half arsed is king.

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