The Dirty Dozen – November 2012
Ahead of this month's Scottish tour with Bill Wells, noted no-nonsense 2am Twitter pop critic Aidan Moffat pops by to give the November singles the long-form review treatment. Yes: we take requests...
Dead Sea Souls – Trendsetter (Big Rock Candy Records, 5 Nov)
Aidan: Well first off, this is far too chirpy for my frame of mind. I’m glad the boy’s singing in his own accent but it’s not the sort of music that excites me at all. I don’t want to disparage local bands because I wish them all the luck, but… it’s not something I would listen to at home, shall we say. Can I abstain from marking anything Scottish? Anything Scottish automatically starts at 5 out of 10, and this gets a 6 for the guy’s voice.
The Staves – Tongue Behind My Teeth (Atlantic Records, 5 Nov)
Aidan: I think we can write this off as pretty bland. I can’t really say anything nice about that. It’s very, very dull isn’t it? This sort of music makes me angry, quite frankly. I find nice music most offensive. Just hurt me, I’d rather be hurt. Everything about this was so pleasant. It can have a 2.
Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards (Modular, 19 Nov)
Aidan: My girlfriend hates this band solely because of the stupid name. I’m actually quite surprised I like this, because it is a silly name, it’s a ridiculous name. I think the song lacks a strong chorus, but coming from someone who doesn’t bother with choruses when they write music, that isn’t really much of a criticism. I’m not blown away, but it’s good aye – 7.
Swim Deep – Honey (Chess Club Records, 5 Nov)
Aidan: I must admit, I like the look of this disgraceful cover, with the girl with honey dripping out her mouth. It’s piqued my curiosity, because if you’re going to have a bold cover like that, you’ve got to have a bold sound.
[Approximately 10 seconds in...] No, I’m bored already. My curiosity ends after the first bar, so we can safely say we willnae bother with that one.
[Chorus starts...] Nah, ‘ooh ooh baby’ is not allowed in this day and age I’m afraid. That is a cardinal offence – 1 out of 10, let’s move on…
Two Door Cinema Club – Sun (Kitsuné, 19 Nov)
Aidan: I’ve definitely heard this band before, and there’s a reason I don’t listen to them. I think the best thing I can say about this is I like that girl in the video’s hair. This just bores me completely. What is the point? I can guarantee you he’s a brilliant guy though – everybody I’ve met who makes records I can’t stand have been amazing people, then you meet people who make records you really love and they’re fucking wankers. It just seems to be a rule in music, so I bet he’s a brilliant laugh down the pub – though I imagine he gets ID’d a lot.
The Skinny: Marks?
Aidan: I’ll give the girl’s hair 3. Actually, 4 – she was wearing nice shorts as well.
Damn Vandals – This Amazing (Sexy Beast, 5 Nov)
Aidan: I don’t like his voice, it sounds like he’s trying too hard. I quite like the sound of the band though. If Damn Vandals ever fall out with their singer, if they contact me then I might be into it. That’s not to say that they would be, but at least I’m willing to leave my ego at the door and turn my vocals down in the mix, if nothing else. An instrumental version of this would get 7.
[skips to B-side] Actually, having heard another song from their repertoire I’d like to retract that. They’re doing one thing on the A-side and something entirely different on the B-side, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but unfortunately it seems to be at odds to me. That was a shame. I’ll bring that down to a 5.
Heaven’s Basement – Fire, Fire (Red Bull Records, 5 Nov)
Aidan: I don’t understand this at all. Originality isn’t important in all walks, but I’ve heard these noises so many times before that they’re wholly meaningless. It’s like they don’t care. I wonder why the uncensored version is longer – does he just scream ‘fuck you’ at the start or something? Can we hear it? Actually, no, I take that back – I’ve just realised we’d have to listen to it again. I’d rather we just end this torture now. I presume Heaven’s Basement is a reference to Hell, so rightly named: hellish indeed. Fucking zero – they don’t even merit a score, they’re not worth talking about.
The Ramona Flowers – Dismantle and Rebuild (Distiller Records, 18 Nov)
Aidan: This is horrible. Sorry, I must sound like a right curmudgeon. Will we listen to the D/R/U/G/S remix? You never know... [Still unimpressed] See, this remix has just highlighted what was annoying about the first version: that rhythm. That rhythm’s so prevalent in songs today, it fucking annoys me. Me and Hubby [RM Hubbert] were on a wee tour and we sat in a Travel Lodge one night watching the music channels with a carry out, and all the pop songs had the same shitty trance rhythm. If you watch any sort of pop thing, it’s such a limited palette of sound that people seem to be using.
The Skinny: Even Girls Aloud, judging by their comeback single…
Aidan: Oh, I haven’t heard the new Girls Aloud song, but after the Nicola Roberts album I don’t see how they can come back, 'cause that’s a fucking brilliant record. But [returning attention to Ramona Flowers] I’m afraid we have to ascertain from this remix that the old adage is true: you can’t polish a turd. They get 2, and only cause I quite like D/R/U/G/S. Can we hear the Girls Aloud song next? Is that allowed?
The Skinny: Aye, why not…
Girls Aloud – Something New (Polydor, 18 Nov)
Aidan: Oh for fuck's sake! What’s going on there? Is that Cheryl Cole’s influence? The title must be ironic because it sounds exactly like everything else that they’ll be competing against in the charts. Well, at least Kimberley will be in the video – that’s something to look forward to. But this is awful. And the bad news is I’m going to have to listen to that because I am undoubtedly going to go and see them when they play, and they’ll insist on playing their new record. I wish Girls Aloud had just stayed dead and let Nicola go on, but [shrugs] it didnae happen…
Jack White – I’m Shakin’ (Third Man Records, 30 Oct)
Aidan: It’s like a Sesame Street version of Tom Waits. Turn it off, I can’t be fucked with this. I liked a few of the early White Stripes records but lost interest pretty quick cause they basically made the same record about 5 times – which is rich coming from me but, you know… Zero.
Animal Collective – Applesauce (Domino, 12 Nov)
Aidan: I don’t quite know where I stand with Animal Collective. They’re the sort of band where I’ll hear a song like this one and like it, but find it difficult to get through their albums. I think I admire their inventiveness more than I enjoy their sounds – they make interesting sounds, but it lacks an emotional feel to me… I’ll give that 6.
SINGLE OF THE MONTH: Stubborn Heart – Starting Block (One Little Indian, 26 Nov)
Aidan: This is far and away the best thing I’ve heard so far. I’m a sucker for anything that has a frantic rhythm and a very calm vocal. Yes, I’m very fond of this actually, this is the sort of thing I’ll seek out and listen to at home. There’s a mystery about them that I quite like. I’ll give that 8.