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Archive for November, 2004

Chain Reaction

Posted: November 26th, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

Does anyone else find the line in Chain Reaction by Diana Ross where she sings

“I start to tremble when your hand goes lower”

really fucking creepy????

ODB

Posted: November 25th, 2004, by JGRAM

Why did it take until yesterday for me to discover that Ol’ Dirty Bastard had died?

ZOMBINA AND THE SKELETONES – I Was A Human Bomb For The F.B.I.

Posted: November 25th, 2004, by Stuart Fowkes

There are certain song titles you cannot argue with, and ‘Punk Rock Vampires: Destroy!’ is one of them. Yep, Zombina and the Skeletones are one of those bands – y’know, the ones that dress up like SKELLINGTONS and sing about bloodsuckers and Plan 9 From Outer Space and Hammer Horror and A-bomb testing and and and… Anyway, it’s a breakneck sprint through a deserted graveyard of schlocky reference points that certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome – if you’re a fan of Little Hell, Russ Meyer or Evil Dead 2, you’ll find something to get off on here. These tunes clearly take their cue from The Cramps, but with less of the evil Elvis psychobilly melodrama and more on the handclappy pop punk side of things. In places, it’s a little lightweight, but it’s the same difference as watching Ring for the first time and being chilled to your very core, and getting a massive candy floss sugar buzz and going on the ghost train. It ain’t scary, but then it’s not supposed to be, and the whole thing is a bubbling test tube of undead shoxploitation goodness. Now, in the absence of Zombina’s first horror movie, I’m off to dig out me copy of A Date With Elvis

Zombina and the Skeletones

FLEETWOOD MAC – Rumours (WEA)

Posted: November 24th, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

I maintain that this is one of the best albums ever made. I’ve gone on about it before on diskant but now we have this reviews column I can get to do it again. Here is a blow by blow account (no pun intended)…
Not to put too fine a point on things, this album was made in the most fucked up conditions possible. It’s worth reading a biography about the Mac to get the full picture but basically John McVie and Mick Fleetwood represent true survival instincts at work to the nth degree. The Mac had been through all kinds of insane line up changes and had to contend with guitar wiz Peter Green going AWOL on a mental acid induced religous freakout. If I’d recorded Oh Well and then my band broke up I’d probably think I’d done enough to go into the painting and decorating business and forget music.
But no, they recamp to LA, get Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham on board (as well as McVie’s wife Christine who’d been in the band for a while at that point). However, Buckingham and Nicks came as an item but were on the verge of what would be a messy break up that would last years. To make matters worse McVie was a total pisshead and his marriage was falling apart. Then Fleetwood steps in and gets it on with Nicks. Set this carnage to biblical cocaine abuse and it’s a minor miracle no one died making this record.
But what a record.
Second Hand News is such a great understated opener, I don’t think anyone needs too much guesswork to get the topic matter
‘Some one has taken my place’
But already you’ve got to think, he’s writing a song about his relationship breakup and then his ex comes in to sing on it. They must have been fucking mental – or utterly tweaked off their gourds. Look at Fleetwood on the back sleeve and you’ll maybe conclude the latter actually.
The Corrs did their best to shit all over Dreams but the original is a masterpiece. Buckingham’s guitar is the SHIT. I’ve said it before, the man is so under rated. So anyway, you get Buckingham singing his troubles away on the first track and then Nicks is giving it
‘Listen to the sound of your loneliness, like a heartbeat driving you mad/of what you had and what you lost’
It’s absolutely killer and before Nicks began parodying her own voice she had the most lush singing voice imaginable. Stevie – if you’re at home reading this online, let’s do lunch sometime.
Never Going Back Again is proof of Buckingham’s guitar skills if ever any of you total mongs needed them. Instrumentally this could be John Fahey but it’s coupled to – you guessed it – more defiant relationship break up lyrical trauma. I FUCKING LOVE THIS MAN.
OK, Don’t Stop is a little plodding, mainly due to the meat n 2 veg rhythm section. Buckingham’s giving it all though
‘YESTERDAY’S GONE’
he yells. He’s right. It’s a bit of a downer though but I guess it digs a trough just to make the colossal next song seem even greater.
Yep, Go Your Own Way.
They played this on their reunion video The Dance and Buckingham was ripping it. He was earning like a million dollars a nanosecond for that tour and he still had total fire, aiming the words out at Nicks. Imagine it, one week you’re conkers deep in Stevie Nicks, the next you’re not. That is bad. But then you have to see her every day and sing onstage with her. And to make matters worse your drummer is in there in your absence. But God, this song is good. The way it’s on the back foot for the verses and then out of the gate for the choruses. The bassline is amazing. The harmonies are perfect and the big Who style chords (reduced in the mix for maximum AOR effect but present in the live versions) are rousing. Actually, I take it back, Lindsey if YOU’RE reading this, let’s do lunch.
I am listening to Rumours as I write this and I am going to flip the needle back and listen to Go Your Own Way again and when it gets to Buckingham’s solo I am going to pretend I have a guitar and I am going to jump up and down on my bed like Alan Partridge when he sings Jet. Excuse me.
(OK, Songbird I can take or leave. I like Christine’s songs but mainly the rousing ones. It’s nice and all that but when you’ve had Buckingham/Nicks spitting fire, the kind of wistful window gazing approach is a little slight).
Side two. How can it possibly get better?
What the cock is this? Side 2 starts with a southern styled dirge, foot stomps and all. Maaaaan? What’s this?
‘If you don’t love me now, you’ll never love me again. I can still hear you saying, we’ll never break the chain’
Yeah right. I wish someone would break this chain. I mean the song is OK but where’s it going?
And then…
DANG! DA-DA DANG DA-DA DUH-DUH DAH DUUUUURRRRRR!
Woooooooooooooh!
Top Gear and the Formula One Grand Prix have given the ripping coda to this track something of a Jeremy Clarkson feel but that’s not the Mac’s fault. Get it? IT BREAKS THE CHAIN. Genius. I read that James Dean Bradfield likes the Mac. He wants to take some notes. I dare you not to play air guitar to this.
You Make Loving Fun is Christine’s best tune. She has this thing I call the Sleater Kinney Trick: a shit verse that serves only to make the chorus even better. It plods along, Buckingham cops a few guitar bits here and there, you know. But then it hits the chorus and it’s a winner. And of course it is. This is FLEETWOOD MAC. Plus, McVie is laying his bass down knowing that the tune’s about his wife banging the lighting manager.
Harsh.
I Don’t Want To Know is a bit wank. I admit it. I like it in the running order but again the rhythm section is a bit of a slog. Great harmonies. Like the handclaps too.
Oh Daddy starts and it could be Palace, seriously. Then Christine kicks in again. You can probably see I like the Buckingham/Nicks stuff most. It’s interesting to note John McVie always puts the effort in on his wife’s songs though. I guess they’re winding the album down at this point though. Fair play.
This Bible of music ends with the classic Gold Dust Woman. Admittedly it should have been called White Dust Woman as Nicks set about totally destroying her septum to the point where she allegedly employed a roadie to blow coke up her arsehole instead. It’s a corker. Like a mountain there are ups and downs with Rumours. There is a summit and there is a base. And like a mountain it is always glorious.
And there’s lots of snow too.

Update alert!

Posted: November 23rd, 2004, by Simon Minter

Hi, we’re the diskant team and we have some new content for you…

Dave Stockwell’s new column – an obsessive exploration of the work of Davenport.

Interview with SuperFi Records – they’ve released stuff by Trencher, Melt-Banana, Biblical Proof of UFOs and lots more.

Interview with Hookers Green No. 1 – ‘…the quirkiness of Gorkys and The Flaming Lips as well as the lushness and anxieties of Hood.’

Interview with Hex – ‘Stuart Braithwaite used to like us but I don’t know what he thinks of the new stuff.’

ROCK OUT, MY PEOPLES!

Hello

Posted: November 22nd, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

On Saturday I had my first experience of being a best man at a wedding. It was my Dad’s wedding which made it a little weird. Not blowing my trumpet but I have played to literally millions of adoring fans around the world as the rock star I am but I’ve never known nerves like waiting to give a best man’s speech. Fortunately I was drunk enough to pull it off.

We all stayed in the hotel where the wedding was. I flaked out early being the total lightweight I am but my Dad raged hard till 3 or so.

Next morning I came down to meet him and Anne for breakfast and noted early on that he was looking sheepish and she was talking for him. Weird. I immediately sized it up as being a case of him getting spannered and doing something stupid.

However, I didn’t bank on it being this good.

Anne informed us that he got in bed, felt a bit “rum” and then went to be sick in the toilet. Fair play, I thought, no shame in that.

Turns out though that in the morning Dad woke up feeling a little odd in the mouth and then realised that not only had he flushed several litres of prime chunder away when he pulled the chain, he’d also flushed away his false teeth.

YEAH!

Posted: November 19th, 2004, by Simon Minter

www.nwobhm.com

DIDDLYDIDDLYWEEEEEEEEE BABABA KLANG ROCKANDROLL!!!!!

Posters

Posted: November 19th, 2004, by Dave Stockwell

Maybe that last post was too weighty for anyone to dare post anything afterwards. Which is fair enough, because that week in December should be amazing. So the only fair thing to do would be to point out the gorgeous posters that some beautiful man is producing for these shows, miniscule versions of which are available to peruse at the Damn You! website. I am especially gratified by the splendour of the Jackie O Motherfucker poster. Now if only there were larger versions available for viewing or download somewhere on the ‘net…

THE SOMATICS – Did You Ever Love Me? (Misc Records)

Posted: November 16th, 2004, by Stuart Fowkes

It was our grumpy pals in Six By Seven who wearily trawled on about ‘another love song’, I believe, and here are two more to add to the list, as the Somatics offer us a quickfire one-two with ‘Did You Ever Love Me?’ backed with ‘We Never Loved You’. The Somatics featured Richard Green of Ultrasound, but there’s little of that band’s epic pomposity in The Somatics’ slimmed-down, taut arrangements – the lead track here is nicely composed but ultimately unremarkable frippery. You’d probably hum along to it if it found its way onto daytime radio, but it’s too insubstantial to hold up to too much repeated listening. Angel Delight rock.

Perversely, the tracks get better from here – trebly guitars bolt out of the traps on ‘We Never Loved You’, and the song as a whole is powered by an urgency that puts the opener to shame. And over the six minutes of ‘Waiting’, the band open themselves up to exploring what they can do at leisure. Onerous pre-delay on the vocals thankfully sits low enough in the mix to avoid intruding too much, allowing guitar and keyboard drones gradually engulf the track until we’re in early nineties dream-pop territory. Can’t help the feeling that the band are reining themselves in throughout the three tracks, though, and are capable of much more interesting stuff. Here’s hoping.

The Somatics

ALAMOS – Kill Baby Kill/Small Ships (Pet Piranha 7")

Posted: November 15th, 2004, by Stuart Fowkes

Now this is more like it. The 7″ from top Scottish art-rock types Alamos comes with a nice hand-written letter musing about everything from what they’ve been up to recently to the rise of Franz Ferdinand and how this here record came to be in the first place. Charming, and not a hint of wanting to rub the human race’s face in its own vomit. It’s enough to make me want to be their penpals, but I should probably limit myself to listening to the single. ‘Kill Baby Kill’ is a sharp-edged little beast, coming over like a less embittered McLusky: overdriven basslines and Magazine-like guitar figures tumbling over each other in a race to the middle eight, where they replace what lesser bands might fill with a feeble solo by cranking up the Angular-o-meter to, ooh, eight (which makes it less jagged than Nation of Ulysses, but more all over the place than GVSB on the scale I’ve just made up). Imagine Franz Ferdinand playing Jawbreaker songs, and if that sounds like your bag, then my notes tell me the single’s out today, so check it out.

Alamos
Pet Piranha Records