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Delirious With Weird

Monday, June 02, 2003  
The Sunday Times yesterday gave away a free ten-track Stereophonics CD, featuring three tracks from their new album (out today luddites!) and an assortment of old 'favourites' in various incarnations (ie; live - as if Kelly could stomach being remixed). The band's 70s-aping faces were also plastered over the cover of the Culture section, and inside there was a two-page article about how much they've grown and how they nearly split up and how they like their mum's cooking and how they're nice down-to-earth valley boys (Eno is a down-to-earth boy who drinks his own piss, try that on for size Kelly). And yet the double-spread music reviews page didn't feature a review of You Gotta Go There To Come Back (so down-to-earth that they eschew grammer), the Cwymaman three-piece's fourth album. Why ever not? Is it because any publication that gives three stars ("unmissable!") to Spring Heel Jack's avant-free-jazz-rock-tech-fusion live document, and two stars ("very good") to Gillian Welch's new LP, and picks Eels as 'album of the week' would have to slag Stereophonic's brand of joinerly down-to-earth valley-rock? Imagine the discussion with the PR prior to the interview;

Sunday Times; "Hiya, we're booked in to talk to the band next week - is everything set?"

PR; "Yeah sure. You, um, got the promo copy of the new album ok then?"

ST; "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, um, sorry, yeah, yeah we did. Went down a storm in the office."

PR; "Look, um, please, if you're gonna go ahead with this whole interview-and-free-CD thing, we'd much rather you didn't give the album a bad review, please."

ST; "But it's shit."

PR; "Look, I know that, you know that, half the music-buying public knows that, but Kelly doesn't. Remember what happened last time? Eh? He started writing fucking songs about being badly reviewed! Do you want another Mr Writer? Eh?"

ST; "Good point. But, look, I know our music coverage is cursory at best, and we're well behind what's cool, but even we can't give this steaming turd a good review."

PR; "I'll have to pull it then. The interview's off."

ST; "No! No, we've already pressed the fuckin' CDs! How about, um... er... How about we review the album next week?"

PR; "Oh, alright then."


Thom Yorke's been telling NME that Hail To The Thief is "OK Computer part 2" and that Radiohead "will be unrecognisable in two years." Now I don't know whether Thom actually believes that, and even if he does I can't imagine for one second that he'd say it, least of all to the NME, so I must conclude that he's taking the piss here. Want another OK Computer, do you? Fucktards. Well, here it is then you fucks, you lapdogs of capitalism, here's your OK Computer part 2, only you're too thick to recognise it aren't you?! You're gonna have to change your tune a bit now aren't you, especially when the kids all lap it up! Double bluff! It's not even OK Computer part 2 anyway, you fools, and now you've changed your mind and said it's great just because I told you so! Double fucktards!

Finally picked up Justified on Saturday, as it's only £8.99 in Woolies (well, it was last week, who knows what's on offer now?). Like I Love You is still the best single of last year. And now, allegedly, Justin's shagged Baby Spice. All this acclaim is going to his knob.

Listened to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Libertines albums last night; both of them strike me as being a serious cut above your average 'new rock revolution' band (The Thrills, The White Stripes, The Hives, The Lice, The Wankers et al). The Libertines LP was recorded live and produced by Mick Jones, and you can tell on both counts. It's as raw and edgy and now as Is This It? was meant to be, and they've got a tight rhythm section to boot. The Yeah Yeah yeahs album, on the other hand, is interesting because of what it smuggles in underneath the new rock radar; the second side moves into strung-out, almost psychedelic territory, after Karen O's Rid Of Me yelps and squeals distract the tight-trousered and greasy-haired rock kids just enough with 2-minute punkers. They're from NYC though, so I guess it was it be expected that they'd have art-rock leanings underneath all that wam-bam-thank-you-ma'am hype. Give 'em another two albums and they'll have gone all Sonic Youth.

6/02/2003 09:03:00 am


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

All material © Nick Southall, 2003/2004/2005