Timothy van Sas
Timothy van Sas

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

To see our names are written on the wreck of '86

Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen

When listening to Ellie Goulding’s music, there are two important steps you need to take to get yourself into the right frame of mind:

1.) Disengage brain - Just give yourself five minutes to not criticise, over think or worry if it’s OK to like something so uncool. Just treat Goulding’s dewy eyed pop like National Geographic. Well made, entertaining but ultimately throwaway.

2.) Regress to a the emotional state of a teenager - For those of you still in your teens you’re already there. For those of you born the wrong side of 1993 just remember how watching Ross and Rachel finally kissing in the second series of Friends made you punch the air with joy.

Done both? Then you’re ready to enjoy Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen.” As the standout track from her new album of the same name it’s packed full of sun soaked synths and giddying rhythms which rain down one of the choruses of 2012. One which washes you with wave after wave of ecstasy that allows you to escape the confines of day to day life. Something we all need to do from time to time.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Rising Talent #3 - Peers

Apart from it’s Festival, the town of Reading isn’t normally considered a hotbed for new music. It certainly is never mentioned in the same breath as it’s more illustrious neighbours of Oxford and London. However over the last decade a bands like Dry The River, Dan Le Sac, Pete and The Pirates and Does it Offend You Yeah! have broken through onto the national airwaves.

The next band which looks set to breakout of the local scene are indie rcokers, PEERS. The quartet, led by Matthew (guitars and vocals), have managed to garner a mass of local support, including high praise from BBC Introducing’s Linda Serck and are the darlings of legendary local promoter Sid Siddle. In 2010 despite all being aged less than 18 and only formed for 6 months, they were asked to play the introducing stage at Reading and Leeds.

Since then their sound has evolved and recent demos show significant promise. On ‘Guilt’ there’s more than a hint of the subtle song structures used by The Maccabees on their latest album, Given To The Wild. All that’s missing is the gut wrenching oomph that working with a full blown producer would add.

On ‘Midnight,’ the bands other major influence, Bombay Bicycle Club can be heard. Here PEERS marry the deftly sweet but never quite sickly pop of Steadman with a slightly more straightforward rock sound. With the catchy as all hell ‘Nightdriving’ (free download below) PEERS shoot straight for the airwaves of Radio 1, with an ear-worm of a chorus that fosters moments of involuntarily singing for days on end.

It’s probably a little too early to tell just how far they’ll go, but PEERS, who share managers with Alt-J, look to have the talent to become the next band to go nationwide from Berkshires famous festival town.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

At Least Harry Potter Has A Proper Story

Future Of The Left - Robocop 4 - Fuck Off Robocop

Andrew Falkous has always been a likable asshole. A Charles Bukowski of music, retaining an unhealthy distaste for everything and (nearly) everyone. Delivering compelling insights into the paradoxes of human nature, politics and opinions of the wider public.

On ‘Robocop 4 - Fuck Off Robocop,’ he’s at his vitriolic best, dissecting the cause of Hollywoods obsession with sequels. Like Bukowski, he puts forward an exaggerated character to his audience. A hyper macho lunkhead, full of vitriol but intelligent and engaging. A vessel through which he delivers visceral, darkly humorous and thought provoking lyrics.

The first half of the track is deliberately obtuse. Awkwardly lurching from verse to verse of anger directed at the movie going public, “Middle aged men on a movie date, committed to mortal shame, Hey! Relax! No-one died - in fact, they left improved! If Michael Bay wants a bigger house, let's help him.” In the hands of another songwriter, the subject matter would’ve ended in a four letter tirade at Hollywood movie for pandering to the masses, but that just isn’t Falkous style.

At the fulcrum of the track, Falkous highlights the real problem. Hitting out at those who complain about Hollywood only making sequels, but then perpetuate the problem by going to watch Taken 2, “1 becomes 2, 2 becomes 3.” Describing how our desire to seem interesting extends to lying (to ourselves) about the diminishing returns that most sequels offer. Then lampoons his own point by launching into absurd tirade about the potential plot for “Pirates of the Caribbean 47” that if distilled to a movie trailer would entice with it’s promises of entertainment.

Like any piece of effective social commentary, the track lifts the mirror on an ugly symmetry. That our actions as a collective consumer group are to blame to the state of Hollywoods output. It’s a disquieting thought, the sort that only a particular kind of bastard has the balls to articulate.

Future Of The Left - Robocop 4 (Fuck Off Robocop) by ....andeveryonesadj