Tag Archives: Brit-Pop

Blur Is Back With “Go Out”

It’s been over 10 since the last blur album. Think about that for a moment. Ten years is a long time. I never thought the band would return from the land of dead bands–but they have. Apparently Blur recorded a whole album in Hong Kong of all places, out of sheer boredom! Titled THE MAGIC WHIP, this miraculous album comes out at the end of April. The first single, “Go Out” has been released…and it’s pretty damn good!

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“Go Out” is a fairly typical brit-pop rocker with laid on a bed of weird, distorted guitar noise. The band has also released a strange, asian cooking show-themed music video for the song. Weird? You bet. Quintessentially Blur? Of course. Check it out, and try to remember, it’s not 1995.

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Kaiser Chiefs Carry On With “Misery Company”

Brit-rockers The Kaiser Chiefs have released a brand new song off their upcoming album EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION & WAR.  The album, which will be the bands fifth, marks the first since drummer/lead-songwriter Nick Hodgson quit the band in 2012.  The new song, titled “Misery Company,” is pretty good and raises hopes that the band will pull themselves out of their death-spiral-of-mediocrity.

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I loved the first two Kaiser Chief albums and had high hopes for the boys from Leeds. The band combined the best parts of 90’s Brit-pop with punk and a danceable beat.  But public and critical reaction to the band’s second album YOURS TRULY, ANGRY MOB was the beginning of a decline for the band. Their third album, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS was the last one I sought out and listened to.  I haven’t been able to get the courage up to listen to their fourth album, THE FUTURE IS MEDIEVAL.  The law of diminishing returns now haunts the band.

“Misery Company” is pretty good.  It has the hallmarks of classic Kaiser Chiefs with it’s chugging beat and droning guitars.  The keyboards and maniacal laughing are nice touches, too.  I do wish the song had more memorable/catchy lyrics and was a little more aggressive.  The song’s good, but feels more like a second or third string single. Had the band been on a tremendous roll, I’d say they were just holding back the good stuff–but at this point I think “Misery Company” probably is the good stuff.

I guess it’s true what they once said: Everything is average nowadays.

EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION & WAR comes out on March 31, 2014.

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BE by Beady Eye

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Beady Eye, the gutted remains of what used to be the Brit-Pop band Oasis, put out their second album this week.  Beady Eye’s first record, DIFFERENT GEAR, STILL SPEEDING was Liam Gallagher’s confident blast of bravado and proof that he could hold his own without his brother Noel.   Back in 2012 I proclaimed 2011 to be “The Year of The Battling Gallagher Brothers.”  Liam was the first of the Gallagher brothers to release a post-Oasis record and ultimately I felt his Beady Eye record was better than Noel’s strangely titled High Flying Birds record.

Fast forward to 2013, and my expectations were high as I fired up BE.  Would Liam be able to deliver another stellar album or would Noel’s absence be more fully felt?  My first impression was that BE was closer to the denser, mid-period Oasis albums like HEATHEN CHEMISTRY and STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS.   I love both of those records, but they took a couple of listens before I found myself singing along.  Similarly, BE lacks the big hooks of early Oasis.  Also toned-down is the usual Beatles-influence.

BE has a spacey, almost distant quality that frankly took me by surprise.  There are definite tempo changes throughout the record, but everything sounds quieter and more subdued that DIFFERENT GEAR , STILL SPEEDING.  Standout tracks include the Lennon-esque “Iz Rite” and the quiet, dare I say introspective “Soon Come Tomorrow.”

The album has songs that should be rockers, like the third track “Face The Crowd,” but nothing on BE takes off like on Beady Eye’s first album.  So initially I was a bit underwhelmed by BE’s low-key shift, but after a few spins I warmed to the album. BE feels like a transitional album for Beady Eye.  On one hand, I’m a little sad Liam isn’t just doing Oasis 2.0 music…but on the other hand I’m glad he’s branching out into new territory—even if he that means we don’t get a few less raucous rockers.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t address BE’s most interesting song: “Don’t Brother Me.”  This is the song all of us Oasis fans have been waiting for—the one in which one of the Gallagher brother’s waves a white flag.  With lyrics like, “In the morning/I’ve been calling, I’m hoping you understand/All and nothing, I’ll keep pushing/Come on now, give peace a chance, take my hand, be a man” this is song is 100% aimed at Noel.  I know what it’s like to have a tempestuous relationship with a sibling, someone who you can both deeply love and feel tremendous anger towards.  “Don’t Brother Me” probably isn’t going to mend any Gallagher family fences (Liam sings about being sick of  “your lying, skimming, and you crying”) but it’s a start.

The worst thing I could say about BE (and actually I did this during much of Noel’s HIGH FLYING BIRDS) is that during most of the songs I found myself singing the chorus of “Fade Away” that ultimate-classic of an Oasis song: “While we’re living, the dreams we had as children fade away…”

BE gets an (un-ironic) “B”.

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