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diskant rewind: Asking For Trouble #10

Posted: April 21st, 2009, by Marceline Smith

(Originally posted September 2003)

Asking For Trouble by Marceline Smith

Some albums I have downloaded, loved momentarily and then tossed aside without a second thought, never to be listened to again.

The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium
To begin with, a brilliant sprawling wailing mess of crazy madness, twitching and staggering its way through a solidly pretentious concept. Boredom eventually sets in waiting for the damn songs to just, y’know, START. Someone should cut out all the good bits and stick them together to make the best 20 minute song ever.

The Faint – Danse Macabre
Always a sucker for bouncy keyboards, foghorn effects, bleepy noises and showing off, The Faint were bound to have some attraction for me. Their gigs the other year with Trail of Dead showed them to be boomingly loud eighties disco goth fun and thus, I assumed, tinny and crap on record. Luckily not though, and Agenda Suicide and Glass Danse (those titles!) in particular sound HUGE. Sooner or later though, it all feels so, so empty. Plus it’s EIGHTIES GOTH DISCO. What was I thinking?

The Postal Service – Give Up
Look! It’s the emo guy from Death Cab for Cutie singing his aww-ain’t-it-cute observational lyrics over some blip-blip bumpy electronica! What a fantastic idea! Well, apart from this song which is a bit lame. And, well, this one too. And, well, all of them except the spunky girl/boy duet. That’s pretty neat. Okay, sick of this now.

Biggest Disappointment that I actually spent my hard earned wages on

The American Analog Set – Promise of Love
Know By Heart is the loveliest of albums, one that would probably make the top 100 of everything in the world ever and one I’ve recently rediscovered to my increased joy. So, what better than to buy a NEW Amanset record! And then I can have some new songs. And, yeah, initially it was great just to have some new songs and they’re kinda cute and nice but then slowly I realise that I want this to be exactly the same as Know By Heart and, well, it’s not. And it’s not even half as good. And the warped keyboards that wibble their way annoyingly for the first TWO MINUTES of the first song quickly drive me to the skip button and then it’s only a short hop to the Recycle Bin of my memory. Sigh.

Next in Line? Or songs I am listening to constantly at work now and which I may tire of soon. Or not?

The Rapture – Out of the Races and onto the Tracks
Most likely to fall by the wayside as I didn’t even like them two weeks ago and now I think they’re BRILLIANT!!!!! I always wanted to like them since John from the Yummy Fur enthused about them being his new favourite band or something but I downloaded some stuff and was unimpressed. My flatmate raves about them too and he tried to convince me and my other flatmate that they were indeed THE BOMB etc. by playing us some sub-Cure sounding stuff. Still unimpressed. Then he played Out of the Races and onto the Tracks and we both instantly recognised it. I LOVE this song and I had no idea it was The Rapture. It’s spiky and jerky and repetitive and lotsa fun. I’ve now realised they are the Universal Yummy Furâ„¢, stripping off the Glasgow accents, cynical observation and sheer stupidity to leave the sharpened guitars, ramshackle disco bass and shriek yowling about love and pop and caravans and stuff. They look pretty geeky as well. Yummy Fur revival NOW!

Belle and Sebastian – Stay Loose

I am going to sicken myself on this song until my ears complain, much in the same way as my eyes refuse to let me do overtime. The first time I heard it, my reaction was, “I really like it but I’m not sure I like it being Belle and Sebastian” and I still kind of stand by that. It’s part of a trilogy with Legal Man and I’m Waking Up To Us I think, a trilogy of affected accents and unexpectedness. You can sit for weeks, picking out all the influences and call it a pastiche (well, you can, I’m dumb at noticing influences) but when it comes down to it, this is just such an infectious pop song that I really don’t care. Nearly seven minutes long, this has got everything you need to keep things interesting, namely the cheesiest guitar solo EVER, robotic vocal effects, fairground organ, quiet contemplative interlude and massive singalong chorus. If the rest of the album sounds like this it will be one of the best albums ever but more likely this is a highlight of a solid, return to form Belle and Sebastian album and, to me, that’s much better in the long run.

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


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