There is no Single of the Week this week - the jury, as they say, is out. It doesn't mean any of the below are out of hot water yet, though. We're expecting Perry, K to report to our offices immediately and explain her behaviour, and for Madonna to... how can I best say this... stop shoving her crotch in our faces. Seriously.
Nothing's catching. It might be because Supersonic has destroyed all of my appreciation for pop music on a Monday. Or it might be because nothing released this week really stands out. Yeah, that. So, like strawberries on a hot summer's day, pick your own.
ALL OF THESE ARE OUT TODAY
Abe Vigoda – ‘Animal Ghosts’ (PPM/Touch & Go)
With the ink of their Bella Union deal still fresh, this seven-inch cut from the band’s Skeleton LP (review) serves as a mouth-watering taster for an album that sees its official UK release next month. If you’re super desperate it’s out on import, but if you’re happy to play the waiting game soak up this slice of tropical juiciness in the meantime – steel-drummed indie playfulness meets lose-yourself limbo dancing, sure to get cockles bouncing.
Annie – ‘I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me’ (Island)
Wasn’t it already meant to have happened for Annie? Wasn’t ‘Heartbeat’ the one to break her into the big leagues? What? Four years ago? Didn’t do a damn thing? Still plucking away? This is the one, proper? Seriously, I’ll be eating my scepticism off a solid-gold plate her riches will buy me? I’ll be tucking into humble pie with a slice of U-R-WRNG on the side? Okay. See you in another four years.
Avenged Sevenfold – ‘Dear God’ (Warners)
I thought Avenged Sevenfold were meant to be a metal band? What the fuck is this? No matter – whatever the Californians touch turns to liquid shit, and ‘Dear God’ can’t get pumped from my ears soon enough.
CSS – ‘Left Behind’ (Sub Pop)
More fizzy synth pop niceness from the Brazilians that’s not quite as catchy as ‘Paris Is Burning’ – which I thought was by CSS until I heard of a New Zealander called Ladyhawke – but serves as a slick-enough sample of their new Donkey album. If you liked the debut you’ll like this equals the best possible take on this perfectly okay single.
The Feeling – ‘Turn It Up’ (Island)
Two albums in and I still can’t grasp the appeal. C’mon, people, really – this is the worst kind of music in the whole world. The Feeling are the worst band in the whole world. The Feeling’s singer Dan Gillespie Sells is the worst lyricist in the world: “I know what you’re after / It’s a rock and roll disaster / Like you see in the papers / That you read on escalators”. This song proves all of these facts, yet dumb pricks still suck it on up inside themselves and toddle off to V Festival and sing along to the most incredibly unbelievably banal horse shit this side of The Kooks’ ‘Shine On’. The second worst band in the whole world, since you asked.
Funeral for a Friend – ‘Waterfront Danceclub’ (Join Us)
What begins pretty promisingly – like, whoa, this intro is actually pretty brutal – shifts down a few gears into the same old same old from the Welsh quintet, namely pop-hooked hard rock that kids in baggy jeans can shout along to. Completely inoffensive, completely without originality, completely average… if it ain’t broke…
Kid Sister feat Kanye West – ‘Pro Nails’ (Asylum)
Chicago’s Kid Sister – super-hot in commercial hip-hop circles ‘cause a) A-Trak is taking her to dinner (and, more pertinently, producing here) and b) Kanye West is well into her rhyme schemes, to the extent he’s dropping verbiage whenever the girl born Melisa Young in 1980 leaves a space to take a breath for herself – introduces herself to the UK with this stateside-success of a standalone from an as-yet-untitled debut album for Downtown. It pulses ugly to a slow, sluggish beat without ever grabbing the listener and screaming: “YOU, YES YOU, YOU WILL BE HEARING A LOT MORE FROM ME”; Young gets squeaky and West blows smoke up his protégé’s tailpipe. World turns, another hip-hopper gets their face on the cover of a few fashion mags, The Cool Kids have nothing to worry about and keep on ridin’. S’alright, basically.
Madonna – ‘Give It 2 Me’ (Maverick)
I’m just pleased I’ve not eaten lunch yet or it’d be all over my keyboard right about now, now being 40 seconds into the accompanying video. I admire your flexibility, Madonna - I can't touch my toes and I'm not even 30. I just don’t want to ever see it.
Neon Neon – ‘I Told Her On Alderaan’ (Lex)
Boom Bip and Gruff Rhys: what a duo on paper, but a comparative letdown on record. Debut album Stainless Style breezed by with little fanfare beyond a handful of half-decent reviews, and this single from it is unlikely to alert as-yet-inert attentions to the pair’s glossy ‘80s sheen – stare in and there’s some fun, Chromeo-ish retro times to be had, but last standalone ‘I Lust U’ was ten times as catchy as this.
One Night Only – ‘You & Me’ (Mercury)
“You and me, equality, that’s how it should be…” So go the words of baby-face One Night Only vocalist George Craig, as his fellow Yorkshire boys batter out another tired indie tune that echoes a million similar compositions before it. Somewhere, a 14-year-old girl with pictures of Lil Wayne on her wall has an epiphany, and the rest of the world wishes some children’s dreams were properly dashed before they could be realised.
Katy Perry – ‘I Kissed A Girl’ (Capitol import)
Big enough news across the Atlantic to warrant a few import copies to float our way – it was only kept from the Billboard top spot by Coldplay – America’s version of Lily Allen ditches our Lil’s subtleties for a “will I, won’t I?” prick-tease of a pop song that, after stroking and tonguing your ear for three minutes, reaches down deep to find nothing but a flaccid rejection of its advances.
Primal Scream – ‘Can’t Go Back’ (B-Unique)
While not as instantaneously middle-finger-up fuck you to their recent past as, say, ‘Kill All Hippies’ or ‘Kowalski’, Primal Scream’s heads-up for their new _Beautiful Future album is an enjoyable holler-along anthem in the making, sure to install itself as a live favourite with immediate effect. They’re not reinventing themselves anymore, but this finds appealing aspects of the band’s catalogue combined with a pop precision that should see it on radio rotation ‘til the month’s out.
Samiyam – ‘Return’ EP (Hyperdub)
Fractured hip-hop beats bleed into squelching mechanical effects and the LA instrumentalist casts a shadow not entirely unlike Flying Lotus. Samiyam’s take on the deconstructing of elements familiar to followers of Stones Throw’s more eclectic end of the rap game’s spectrum has a tendency to drift into background hum, but zoom right in and there’s enough to pick apart anew.
Skream – ‘Midnight Request Line’ (Tempa)
I don’t really know the first thing about dubstep – yeah, I’ve the last Burial record, and just like 99 per cent of those who picked it up after the buzz I’ve failed to rate it particularly highly – but it turns out I’ve heard this number plenty of times already. Throb-throb-throb goes the bass beneath shiny key sounds and atop a low-end rumble that, when filtered through a whopping PA, sounds like the Earth’s crust cracking open. Problem is I’m listening on shitty PC speakers, so peeling an apple is the best comparison.
XX Teens – ‘Only You’ (Mute)
Probably London-based left-of-centre guitar oddities XX Teens’ most straight-faced single to date, ‘Only You’ beats away like a band of a regularly chart-bothering ilk gone a little bendy where once their bodies stood to attention; it's all smash and grab, sticky fingers poking at eyeballs, but wearing dirty gloves; you have to wipe it off as soon as it's teased you. Not bad, but not much of a WAKE UP! call for their Welcome To Goon Island album either. A shrug-it-off whatever of a warm-up for treats forthcoming.