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The Singles Monkey 11th August (Audioscribbler)

The Singles Monkey #3

August 10, 2008 by The Singles Monkey

Not since Apollo Creed decided that incensing an Iron Curtain programmed steroid-packed Ivan Drago with cheap street dancing and creaking James Brown crotch thrusting was a sure fire psychological advantage ahead of a fight has there been anything looking as battered and bruised as the UK singles chart. Never fear though because like the Beijing smog engulfing the Olympiad (why didn’t we just send athletes from the Middlesbrough region? They’d be sure to thrive in the conditions,) so we have some heavyweights about to drift in an all encompassing manner upon the charts. I may be high from smoking coconut powder (in fact I’m pretty sure I am) but that’s not stopping me from hopping up and down with excitement about this week’s bag; or in fact endlessly salivating out the corner of my mouth…

Fresh from being down-sized in Cardiff, R.E.M try to regain their stock by throwing a two and a half minute pop assault at the charts (‘Man Sized Wreath’, Warner). Don’t worry lads the Millenium Stadium may be ten times the size of the Cardiff International Arena but at least you’ve got a roof now in case of the inevitable Welsh torrents, take that Millenium Stadium!…oh, wait…it could be worse though Stipey; wipe your beady eyes, mop that beady head. I’d cover your ears though because that repeatedly convulsing cat over there in the corner is in fact The Cure’s Robert Smith (‘Perfect Boy’, Geffen).

Maybe it’s my golden African tan, maybe it’s my four grams of coconut powder, but I’ve never been enamoured with Smith and his pasty bunch of band mates, lurching around the place like a load of Pirates Of The Caribbean extras. Please Robert, have a throat lozenge, hire a builder in to take all that plaster off your face and settle yourself down for a lifetime of hearing ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ sung drunkenly and poorly by a load of pissed up students down any number of our good and green country’s indie nightclubs.

Talking of which, remember that band from Wigan? They had that song about symphonies and being a slave to the sterling all your life; (I should know, the sheer number of times people have tried to train me into a butler, for less than minimum wage too I might add; it’s all good fun until you accidentally drop the tiramisu and then its straight back to Chester Zoo!) yeah, I though that song was overrated too, but pressing on like Jason Manford through a Peter Kay routine they’re back with a new single (‘Love Is Noise’, Parlophone) which incidentally features my 2nd cousin Herman on backing vocals; he always was a chancer.

Stepping away from all things major label funded and mammoth for a minute, your trusted fur ball of filth has trained his dilated and bloodshot peepers onto Edinburgh’s Broken Records (Slow Parade, Fandango), who throw a huge, hairy blanket of luscious sweeping choruses over my head, interspersed with some soaring impassioned vocals and well placed piano. Good on you chaps, good on you. For Pete’s sake, like not mentioning the war to the Germans, never mention ‘Welcome To The North’ to The Music; they continue to actively wipe away the oozing puss of their second album with a return to their hi-hat/snare thumping, disco rocking ways of old (The Spike, Polydor). With sexy results.

Talking of which, the power trio of sex, Nelly, Akon and Ashanti, will be voice modulating their way into the charts this week (‘Body On Me’, Island). Maybe it’s just me, but the way Nelly incessantly raps on about doing the horizontal shuffle seems to be rather akin to that one kid in your class at school who claimed he was having sex five times a week even though he was only 12.

Now then, what’s that mosquito buzzing around my ears? Oh sorry! It’s merely the helium-voiced Delays brothers desperately trying to attract the general public’s attention with their honest-to-god good 80’s throwback pop songs (‘Keep It Simple’, Polydor). This time they’ve even enlisted Keith from The Office to give them that last sweat-ravaged push over the mainstream line; trouble is guys the Mystery Jets have simply hop-skipped and jumped over what you’ve been trying to do since the release of ‘You See Colours’. Sorry about that. They’re much better however than the cock-posturing (or make that just cocks) Ok Tokyo, who wear sunglasses, display wanton exposure of tacky synths and throw a tacky falsetto around like it were a crudely hewn, handmade Frisbee (‘Sums’, Split). So why’s it so fucking catchy!? Oooh I’m mad; where’s my pipe?

Santogold was tipped by the mighty Drowned In Sound no less as being a one to watch this year (‘Lights Out’, Atlantic). In the ensuing months she’s gone on to prove just this, not that her champions would notice, what with them discussing the apparently inevitable musical apocalypse and generally ripping each other so many new arseholes that sewing equipment companies worldwide are announcing massive profits thus levering themselves above any current global economical downturn. Well done sewing companies and well done Santogold! What with all these hyped huge and hung artists knocking about, Kids In Glass Houses no doubt thought that their tepid brand of five years past its sell-by-date American teeny punk metal had escaped the senses of your increasingly brainstormed Singles Monkey (‘Saturday’, Roadrunner). Little did they know that I’ve a keen eye for shit, lord knows I’ve thrown enough of it in my time (isn’t that right editor?) and the Kids have unfortunately been found out.

Nothing this week however can prepare you for the sheer baffling absurdity of Bloc Party’s new “effort” (‘Mercury’, Witchita). When historians look back on the first decade of this millennium they may to decide to christen it as ‘the decade of shit, second rate, primary school Casio (other brands are available) keyboard brass’, what with all the Ronson-esque horrorshows floating about the place at the moment like particularly unwanted floaters. I wouldn’t be surprised if the scrawny gimp had got his double-neck guitar wielding hands on this effort, such are the terrible trumpet sounds emanating from this unholy stench; quite frankly I’d be surprised if the other three members of Bloc Party even bothered turning up to record this. Sorry Kele, this record really does make me feel ‘like eating glass’ (I’m sorry but I had to get just one in readers.) With all this flotsam now drifting pleasingly behind me there’s nothing left for me to do other than crack out the pipe, winch my moderately-priced office chair back and pop in an episode of ‘Human’s Do The Funniest Things’ (The 10 o’clock news.) Bonjour!

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