The Singles Monkey #4
Britain’s had more Gold than I’ve had sweet monkey loving these past few days (Mrs. Singles is on the menopause); but that doesn’t mean your trusted, now slightly erotically charged, Singles Monkey isn’t going to be running the rule over this week’s motley selection of singles; truly this ragtag mix is enough to de-erect any sort of animalistic excitement from mine throbbing loins. Drop the sail!
First into the firing line, swooning and preening like a bunch of rather over-zealous cockatiels, are Magistrates (‘Make This Work’, XL Recordingds) whose recent bout of NME coverage and appearance at dull-as-Dermot O’Leary festival V will no doubt push them into a nicely bloated crevice with all the other bland, indie-by-numbers pop groups. Look at them all in there, arguing over jean waist sizes and whose turn it is to score the ching. It’s poor form I tell thee and not for me, so instead I’ll turn my mangy head over to canny mackems The Week That Was, if only to momentarily rise gasping and wheezing from the cesspit of derivative guitar-based slurry circling my ears (‘The Airport Line’, Memphis Industries). The Week That Was have done well for a group hailing from a city that apparently stands ‘beyond re-generation’ (clearly none of the taskforce have visited Ipswich of late; now that’s irretrievable), and it’s a pleasant return from ex-Field Music man Peter Brewis. Good show!
Sticking with musicians from the North East for a minute, it’s with a heavy heart that ex-Yourcodenameis:Milo man Paul Mullens defection to one-hit wonders The Automatic is giving hitherto diminishing returns (‘Steve McQueen’, B-Unique); like Paul’s native Gregg’s pasties, The Automatic’s new single still lacks enough meat to really be digestible; ho hum. I’ll tell you what though oh grizzled readers of the interweb, compared to lad-crowd gathering shitboxes The Fratellis they sound like the ruddy Beatles (‘Look Out Sunshine’, Island). Managing to do worse than their debut album clearly takes some doing and for this dubious achievement brothers Fratelli I tip my hat to you. A band who are far more worth your most valued and treasured attention are the cutesy but irresistible Thomas Tantrum (‘Work It’, Sindy Stroker’s); if they’re not one of the success stories of this year’s In The City unsigned convention then I’ll design myself a large hat with a theme depicting the Boer wars of the 19th century and devour it whole (I will as well).
There are a couple of heavy hitters flanking the sides of this ramshackle group of past-it before they made it indie bands and small fish-in-large-ocean type groups; Basement Jaxx are back with an extremely limited vinyl (‘Planet 1 EP’, XL Recordings) whilst Black Eyed Pea Will.I.Am still doesn’t realise that the only reason he made it in the industry in the first place was because no one could take their eyes off Fergie (‘One More Chance’, Interscope). Strange that. Stranger still is that it takes The Shapeshifters to resuscitate this dying week of singles; you know the fellas, ‘Lola’s Theme’? Little kids milling about on a rollercoaster? Yup, that’s the ones. Well they’ve come back sounding like something straight out of late 1980’s Manchester and you know what? It’s pretty good (‘Chime’, Nocturnal Groove) and so as long as you can zone out the brain cell defyingly poor Faint (‘The Geeks Were Right’, blank.wav) then this week really isn’t looking too bad for you at all. Congratulations on that!