Death to conservative music journalism.
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Worst Albums Of All Time
- The Clash - "Cut The Crap"
- U2 - "All That You Can't Leave Behind"
- MGMT - "Congratulations"
- The Verve - "Urban Hymns"
- Bob Dylan - "Christmas In The Heart"
- Weezer - "Make Believe"
- Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Californication"
- Metallica - "Metallica (The Black Album)"
Check out the full Worst Albums of All Time chart!
- web on Why the fuck do people like Mumford and Sons so much?
- dirty talk to women on Why the fuck do people like Mumford and Sons so much?
- smegulmgmt on Worst Albums Of All Time: MGMT – ‘Congratulations’
- JustAGuyPostingStuff on Why the fuck do people like Mumford and Sons so much?
- amrit on Why the fuck do people like Mumford and Sons so much?
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Posts by Nostars:
It seems to be a common gripe from people my age (early 30s) that music is somehow not as good as it once was. As someone who listens to a lot of new music, this attitude really fucking annoys me.
For a start there is arguably more great music out there today than at any point in popular music’s history, and it’s more readily available than ever. Sure, the music industry as a business may have collapsed in on itself but believe me, that is not a bad thing. If you feel bad about music executives not getting $35 a pop on the music that you’re now getting for free then I’m sorry, you don’t deserve good music anyway. We don’t need your pity.
Some people are quite happy to listen to nothing but old music, and I find that really sad. Have you noticed that it’s almost always from an era that coincides directly with their youth? It’s always “Oh, you were a teenager in the 1980s? Tell me again about how all the music and fashions were fantastic and how it definitely wasn’t a fucking horrible and miserable time to live”.
I had some fuckwit picking a fight on Twitter the other day because I had the nerve to suggest that Aerosmith were a third rate Rolling Stones tribute band. I mean like not even like the classic sixties Stones, but the shitty 1980s having-a-play-at-disco and doing way too much cocaine Rolling Stones. If Aerosmith is your favourite band in 2013 then I can only imagine you spend large amounts of time crying in the shower before work and lamenting what has happened to society since the halcyon days of poorly written glam rock that could only be enjoyed with the aid of needle-administered drugs.
Can you imagine if these same people took a similar backwards looking approach to movies as they do to music. “Inception? No I haven’t seen it. My favourite movies of all time are the early Tarantino films so I haven’t watched a single other film since Pulp Fiction came out in 1994″. See how stupid that sounds?
Another common complaint is that people can’t seem to find any good music via the old means, like music TV and the radio. No shit. I mean really, radio? Fucks sake, put your shitty transistor away and get Spotify or something, there’s loads of great apps on there for discovering new music, plus the artists get paid (albeit quite poorly at the moment) for every listen – so you can stop cry/wanking about the poor executives at EMI while you’re at it. Saying there’s no good music out there because you don’t see any on MTV or mainstream radio is like going into a McDonalds and then complaining that all food these days is shitty gristle burgers and whale-spunk sundaes.
Slagging off hipsters seems to be another easy way of shitting on “youth” culture. So you hate people that are more fashionable and younger than you, we get it. They have silly facial hair and cardigans, but at least they like decent music most of the time. Tell them again about how much better Stone Temple Pilots are than “their music”, I’m sure they’ll be all ears. At least concede that you’ve become a more conservative version of your own parents.
Haven’t heard of the latest indie band? They must be shit then, right, or you would have heard them? I mean I haven’t seen Ben Hur, and despite living in the internet age where all of our cultural history is available to us at all times, it still hasn’t forced itself in front of my eyeballs, so I can only concede that it is a piece of shit. Totally the movie’s fault too. That logic would also make Freddy Got Fingered, which I have seen (*shudder*) a better film than Ben Hur.
Living in the internet age and still not being able to find music that you like is not a sign that music is worse, it’s a sign that you’ve lost touch. You are your own worst enemy. Stop blaming the state of music for your inability to move on.Tweet
Wow. I somehow missed Manchester band The 1975′s Sex EP when it came out late last year, which is a shame cause it’s fucking amazing. I’ve caught up now though, and I have to say that “Sex” is one of the best songs I’ve heard for ages. I just can’t stop listening to it.
The band have two EPs out at present – the aforementioned Sex and the more recent Music For Cars, which is also excellent – and a third, IV, on the way later this week. There’s also an album due in September which based on everything else they’ve done could be a contender for album of the year.
“Sex” is admittedly a bit of a departure from the band’s usual sound which is more upbeat dreampop, but all of their tunes are pretty amazing regardless of style. “Sex” sort of reminds me of Glasvegas at their finest (if you can picture Glasvegas without the thick Glaswegian accent – not an easy task) and is great for all the same reasons: epic, life affirming, beautiful pop-rock.
Check it out below (along with an acoustic version which is also pretty special).Tweet
I wasn’t too sure about the hype surrounding Ireland’s The Strypes the first time I heard them.The return of UK
The Strypes first few releases were covers of rhythm and blues standards by the likes of Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters, and although undoubtably brilliant, it wasn’t until I saw a live performance of their first original single “Blue Collar Jane” on the Jools Holland show earlier this week that I really fell in love with this band:
Fucking magic. The fact that they’re only 16 years old and hail from the Irish equivalent of Palmerston North makes them even more special. I can’t wait to hear more from these guys in 2013. Their full recorded output is available for streaming on their Soundcloud.
Hi UK garage rock, it’s great to have you back again.
* OK, ok I know that Ireland isn’t really part of the UK, but just humour me and substitute it for “that collection of islands off the coast of France that has been known for its eclectic guitar-based music in times past”.Tweet
So 2013 is shaping up to be a pretty great year for music all ready. We’ve already had a new Postal Service track after 10 years, not to mention the first new My Bloody Valentine record in 22 years(!). Plus on the horizon we’ve got new albums on the way from old Riot Radio favourites like Wavves, Theophilus and Bad Religion. Plus there’s already been a handful of exciting new acts ripping shit up: Free Energy, Pure Love, Joey Bada$$, and Bleeding Rainbow to name just a few. Check it out:Tweet
If the Mayans were wrong about the apocalypse, then surely the release of a new My Bloody Valentine album is a much more significant sign that the end times are upon us. Their last album – the undeniably classic Loveless – was released in 1991, and despite the band never officially breaking up, the development of a follow up has been in the works since the mid 90s. Just think about all the water under the bridge since then: since Loveless‘s release we’ve had grunge, the entire golden era of hip hop, the rise of electronic music, hell, even the internet wasn’t around to any recognisable extent in 1991. The world is a very different place since My Bloody Valentine last released some original music. That’s a lot of historical baggage to be saddled with.
The trick to enjoying new albums from classic bands is to listen to them for what they are: forget about the legacy and avoid comparisons with the artist’s former work. And the best approach from the artist’s perspective is to not give a shit about any of this, and just go with what you feel. Which, it is a relief to say, is exactly what My Bloody Valentine have done with with their sublimely beautiful, twenty-plus-years-in-the-making m b v. For this reason I’m going to attempt to avoid any direct comparisons to Loveless in the review below.
The album opens with the wonderfully down-tempo “she found now” (all of the song titles are lower case) and instantly we’re surrounded by swirls of feedback and Kevin Shields’ ethereal, distant vocals. It’s not exactly the My Bloody Valentine that we know and love, but that’s sort of what’s great about it. A haunting, beautiful and fitting introduction to the album.
Second track “only tomorrow” is a bit closer to what we’ve come to expect sonically form MBV in the past. Belinda Butcher’s vocals rise and fall over a heavily distorted guitar and mid-tempo beat. An instant classic worthy of anything in MBV’s canon. “who sees you” is more classic MBV (in as much that the wonderfully eccentric My Bloody Valentine could ever do something that was considered typical) with those fantastic bendy guitars and a Kevin Shields vocal buried deep in the mix. It’s about this point you realise how much you’ve missed them in the twenty years that they’ve been in the wilderness and that m b v is a more than worthy addition to their body of work.
If there is a singular weak point of the album, it is track number four, “is this and yes”. A seemingly half formed Belinda Butcher number consisting largely of vocals and keyboards, it doesn’t really seem to go anywhere and overstays its welcome at 5 minutes long. It does provide a nice mid point to the album, however – sort of like an intermission – in as much that an album of nine songs can be considered to have a beginning, middle and end.
“if i am” is a return to form swirly/echoey number, and we’re back in business. Following that is the truly wonderful “new you”, arguably the closest the band has ever come to a true pop song. It’s wonderful: built around an upbeat, bouncing bassline, it’s equal parts guitar pop and downbeat electronica. It really is a thing to behold: if m b v has a ‘hit’ single (an admittedly undesirable thought) then this is it. Different enough from their back catalouge to stand out, familiar enough to leave you in no doubt as to the identity of it’s performers, the thought of a song as great as this sitting in a vault for 20-odd years gives me the shivers. Perhaps it is a new song – a thought that will help me sleep at night.
Track seven “in another way” boasts a fantastic drumbeat reminiscent of the Stone Roses at their most danceable (“Begging You”, say), and some incredible guitar work right up the front of the mix. To die for. That said, “nothing is” is the closest to a straight dance anthem on the album – a pure instrumental in 2/4 timing that just grinds into your skull with some wonderful guitar harmonics ringing out over and over until just when you think your skull is going to cave in, it fades out and we’re at the last track of the album.
There were rumours in the mid-90s that Kevin Shields’ work was becoming increasingly influenced by the then-huge UK Jungle music scene. Album closer “wonder 2″ is the embodiment of this. Built around a heavily distorted and warped, but recognisable jungle beat, the rest of the song is then wrapped in Shield’s trademark fuzzy psychedelic sound and the result is extraordinary. A true anthem that builds and builds until the album’s finale.
And that’s why m b v works where so many other “comeback” albums have failed: many of the album’s best moments are those that are atypical of the band’s sound. There is plenty here to keep the purists happy, but the true success of the album is in its ability to transcend and ultimately ignore its lofty expectations. This is the type of album I’d like to see if the Stone Roses or the Pixies ever release new material (a prospect that seems less likely every year in the Pixies’ case): a pure statement of intent with the promise of more to come. Screw expectations, this is what we do, and here it is: take it or leave it. “Fuck the Police” as another equally influential early nineties act was fond of saying.
The album is streaming in it’s entirety (albeit in reverse order) over at My Bloody Valentine’s Youtube channel. I’ve cherry-picked a couple of my favourites below: the wonderful pop gem “new you” and the jungle influenced “wonder 2″.Tweet
Joey Bada$$ is a rapper from Brooklyn who raps in the classic New York style. There’s nothing retro about this – just a simple love of hip hop and hip hop traditions, a focus on lyrics and flow rather than production and pimping. Having said that, the track is produced by DJ Premier so you know you’re in for a treat. Keep an eye out for an album from Joey later this year – fingers crossed for another superb year of hip hop in 2013.
Check it out (and grab a free download) below.Tweet
I had to chuckle when I saw this one on NME.com: “Radio 1 boss, Rough Trade and Paul Weller predict the return of guitar music in 2013″. Well of course they do. This is about as startling a revelation as Snow Patrol predicting piano-driven snore-fests as the next big musical movement, or Nicky Minaj predicting a fashion surge in stupid fucking purple wigs and collagen.
I used to love NME. For a long time they were THE source of all things Indie Rock and UK based. But sadly, in the last few years the UK indie rock scene has been more than a little tired and uninspired, with the cutting edge of new music swinging accross the other side of the Atlantic as it is want to do every decade or so. The last time the NME were on point was with the Klaxons – roughly the same time as the last Bush administration.
But hey it hasn’t been all bad from the UK. The Vaccines were a pretty fun (if lightweight) band, right? And sure, I’d love to see the pendulum of favour swing back to UK rock as much as the next guy. I’m just not sure that looking for the next Libertines is the way to do it.
Paul Weller in the above article cites two bands that have reinvigorated the UK indie scene: Palma Violets and The Strypes (actually Irish). Check out a track for each below. Personally I don’t hear it – they both sound like fun bands in the tried and tested The View / Libertines / Arctic Monkeys vein, but nothing more. I mean, hey, they’re both good bands though – lets see what else they release in 2013 and maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I hope that I’m wrong. I hope that UK rock does return with a vengeance in 2013. But NME predicting its return is roughly equivalent to the CEO of McDonalds urging you to eat more hamburgers. Don’t eat the poison shit-burger, friends.Tweet
We caught up with the guys from The Egonomist for a special end of year musical podcast in which we discuss the best and worst music of 2012.
Plus we’ve chucked together an epic “Best of 2012″ Spotify playlist for you here.Tweet
Sometimes bands should just quit while they’re ahead. Weezer probably should’ve quit after The Green Album, Green Day should’ve stopped after American Idiot, and Snoop Dogg probably should’ve just recorded Doggystyle then hung up his afro pick for good, save the odd Dre collab or two. And The Clash, well, The Clash absolutely, definitely, without a doubt should’ve quit before they got to Cut The Crap.
Some Clash documentaries would actually have you believe that this was the case. In 1982, following the recording of Combat Rock, drummer Topper Headon was given the boot due to a growing heroin dependency. The loss of a long time member placed further strain on the growing division between core members Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, eventually resulting in Jones’ dismissal in late 1983. And that’s where it should’ve ended. Combat Rock was by no means the band’s finest work – a title fairly decisively reserved for 1979′s London Calling – but it did contain two of the band’s best known singles: “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” (written and sung by Jones) and “Rock the Casbah” (written by Headon). A fitting swansong, then, for a band inarguably past their prime, but still capable of great singles and live performances.
Sadly and regrettably, the band decided to forge on, with Cut The Crap emerging as a result. Without the two key members responsible for the two previous hits, for some reason it was decided that the band’s manager, Bernard Rhodes – a man with no previous musical talent or experience – would aid Joe Strummer in songwriting duties. The result is a bit of a mess.
The whole album comes across as a horrible mish-mash of styles. Sort of eighties bongo-driven disco-pop with fuzzy guitars and football chant choruses hastily strewn over the top. The single “This Is England” is one of the album’s worst, yet perhaps one of its most representative moments:
Those shitty eighties handclaps are something of a constant throughout the album too. Opener “Dictator” gets it about as right as anything on the album does but chucks in an unnecessary horn section for good measure, just to make sure it’s still as unlikeable as possible. “Dirty Punk” sounds like what “Safe European Home” would if you stripped it of it’s urgency and passed it through the Pet Shop Boys’ mixing desk while spilling warm British ale on the controls. “We Are The Clash” is about as misleading a song title as you’ll find on any album, while the awfully-titled “Fingerpoppin” actually features the great Paul Simonon resorting to slap bass, arguably the worst sound anyone can make with four strings and an amplifier. When was the last time you listened to The Clash’s debut and thought “this would be vastly improved by some disco breaks and hilariously white-sounding funk bass”?
In hindsight, perhaps the album’s reputation as one of the worst of all time is somewhat overstated. There’s plenty on here that wouldn’t have been too out of place on Combat Rock, which, despite the great singles, wasn’t a particularly good album either. Perhaps it was the presence of strong singles on earlier albums – hell, even Sandanista (a possible future “Worst Album of All Time”) had “The Magnificent Seven” on it – that allowed people to overlook their shortcomings, Cut the Crap being the first to contain no standout tracks. Maybe if it had been marketed as a Joe Strummer solo album it might have fared better – not brilliant, but not too bad a start either. Hell, everyone put out shite in the eighties, right? When was the last time you wrote something as good as “Complete Control”?
See where The Clash’s “Cut the Crap” ranks in our Worst Albums Of All Time Chart.Tweet
Green Day revealed their cover art for their forthcoming album Uno today, the first of three albums to be released at the end of this year and the start of next (to be named Uno, Dos and Tre and released September 25th, November 13 and January 15 respectively).
I’m an old Green Day fan from way back but I’ve sort of lost interest over the last few years as they disappeared up their own arseholes. First impressions of this new material isn’t great either – the band have debuted a few tracks live – but hey, don’t count your eggs until they’re hatched, right? I’m hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised upon its release – some of 21st Century Breakdown‘s album tracks were pretty good, even if the singles were a bit silly.
The cover is the most encouraging part of all of this – a clear sign that the band don’t take themselves quite as seriously as their recent political earnestness would attest. Given that the cover features just Billie Joe, I’m gonna guess that each album will feature a different band member (makes sense for Tre, right?) with poor old Jason White left out in the cold once again.
Fingers crossed that this one is a return to form.Tweet