The Dirty Dozen – November 2011

With his debut album finally rearing its cosmic noggin this month, <b>Clean George IV</b> sizes up the competition with bandmate and Aberfeldy frontman <b>Riley Briggs</b> keeping him in check

Feature by Darren Carle | 01 Nov 2011

Gruff Rhys – Whale Trail (Ovni Records, 31 Oct)
George: Aargh, distorted vocal alert. That’s always a no-no.
Riley: It betrays a lack of confidence in the material. This is post-shagging music. It’s what you play whilst you’re making the egg sandwiches.
George: Let’s be generous then ‘cos people have to have sex.
Riley: Yeah, a seven then.

Birdeatsbaby – Feast of Hammers (Dead Round Eyes Records, 7 Nov)
George: I’m very sorry Birdeatsbaby, but you’ve got a terrible name, and I’m sure you’ve got a great record in you, but it’s not this one. I think you should all take heroin for several years...
Riley: You can’t advise people to take heroin. It’s irresponsible.
George: OK, I don’t recommend that. I’m going to give it a five because they got up in the morning and they rehearsed and stuff. That’s commendable.

Kasabian – Re-wired (Columbia, 21 Nov)
Riley: They look like they’ve been styled. They don’t really look like they want to dress like that.
George: One of them loves dressing like that but the rest of them don’t. The singer shouldn’t have cut his hair. I suspect they’re all pillocks but he did look quite good with long hair. To be unfair, this has got a very generic chord sequence... Oh God, I’m not sure I can handle another verse.
Riley: Five for turning up?
George: But they should lose points for the lead singer cutting his hair, so three.

Kid Canaveral and King Creosote – Homerun and a Vow (Fence Records, 31 Oct)
George [before record starts]: I think it’s really important work.
Riley: If I was on Jukebox Jury in the sixties I’d say it wasn’t the most imaginative of melodies but I think it’s a hit.
George: Whatever that is.
Riley: Do you want me to critique it in more of a musical sense? OK, well obviously it’s not as good as... Beethoven. I’m going to give it eight.
George: I don’t mind it being an eight but I’m scared it will mean it’s the one we have to hold up over our heads. We’ll give it an eight, but we have to find a better song.

WU LYF – We Bros (LYF Recordings, 7 Nov)           
George: They’re precocious and cryptic aren’t they?
The Skinny: Well, they used to hide their faces and not do interviews.
George: I think maybe they should have taken things further and not released records. It sounds a bit like Vampire Weekend.
Riley: Yeah, it’s that fucking Graceland influence again!
George [sighs]: I believe that they are sexy, virulent young Mancs but I don’t think they’re at the cutting-edge of British rock music. It’s a six because they rehearsed and they recorded and all that. It keeps them off the streets and stops them impregnating people’s sisters.

Other Lives – Old Statues (TBD Records, 28 Nov)
George: This is 17 year olds pretending to be 75, isn’t it? I think they should take heroin for a couple of years... It’s pretentious teenagers listening to too much Scott Walker and Nick Cave, then thinking they can bypass the whole drug phase and go straight to the angst. You can’t just go straight to the angst; you’ve got to fucking work for it. Fuckers! How old are they? If they’re in their twenties, it’s a three. If they’re in their thirties, it’s a five.

Crushed Beaks – Close-Ups (Too Pure, 21 Nov)
Riley: I like the name but it sounds a bit My Bloody Valentine.
George: Ah, it’s alright but it’s not pushing anything forward. Well, there’s only two of them and a band with two indie boys is less offensive than a band with four indie boys, so they should get extra points. Also, we should give them an extra point just because they’re from London and they’ve got to pay more rent down there and it’s the frontline. Let’s face it, if it was a war, we’d be in the back supplying medical aid and they’d be up the front getting their fucking faces blown off. So we’ll give it eight. But we don’t really like it.

Cass McCombs – Robin Egg Blue (Domino, 21 Nov)
George: Sounds a bit like Fast Car by Tracy Chapman, which is always a good thing.
Riley: Yeah, it’s the same kind of chord structure.
George: Has it changed chords yet?
Riley: No, but that’s Kraut-y.
George [reading press release]: He propels the avant-garde!? Three out of ten! That’s for propelling the avant-garde.
Riley: No, you can’t use the press release to...
George: Oh come on, ‘he propels the avant-garde’!?

My Tiny Robots – Rock Bossa Nova Fourbeat Black (Self-released, 28 Nov)
George: They’re from Edinburgh so they get extra points, just in case we run into them.
Riley: It’s got a good, classic rock ‘n’ roll structure.
George [deadpan]: I think it’s important in that it will act as a buffer to the more interesting records coming out in November.
Riley: I like it. Ten, it’s fantastic.
George: I’m not sure I can hold this up as single of the month so let’s give it eight. Have they got any birds in the band? If they’ve got birds in the band we’ll give it nine.

Snow Patrol – This Isn’t Everything You Are (Polydor, 14 Nov)
George: It’s a bit Deacon Blue, which is a good thing. Snow Patrol are the new Deacon Blue... hang on, here’s the chorus.
Riley: Nah, it’s going all Arcade Fire now.
George: Listen Snow Patrol, stick with the white soul, Deacon Blue shit. It’s fucking terrible, but a five seeing as they rehearsed and stuff.
Riley: Nah, I think a band like Snow Patrol should get less for rehearsing.

SINGLE OF THE MONTH: We Are Augustines – Book of James (Oxcart Records, 7 Nov)
Riley: It says it’s a eulogy for his brother James who suffered from mental illness.
George: That’s nice. We have to make this single of the month then because it’s attempting something very brave, which is sincerity. I think that sincerity, especially coming from this God-forsaken, cynical land, should be rewarded.
Riley: They always say Americans don’t do irony but that’s not the case, they’re just good at sincerity.
George: And we’re cunts.
Riley: Yeah, exactly, so ten for meaning it.

Washed Out – Amor Fati (Weird World, 7 Nov)
George: This is Vice magazine music, this.
Riley: It’s well Jackson!
George: It’s quite good but it’s not sincere. It’s trying to be a weird, 80s shimmery homosexual thing and that’s insincere because I think that they have sex with girls.
Riley: Let’s give it seven. I like it but it’s not going to change the world is it?
George: It’s not going to change my world.
Riley: Nothing’s going to change your world.

God Save the Clean by Clean George IV is released via Tenement Records on 28 Nov