So while relocating my life from Edinburgh to Dundee and relocating my consciousness from a frontal-lobe frowny worry into a sort of base-of-the-skull miserable smugitude I decided to have a break from the chart rundown in the same way I’d take a couple of weeks off sticking my head down a pub toilet or loading a gun and pointing it at my head while crying and contemplating whether to put myself out of my misery… if people gave me thousands of hits a week for doing such things, which in retrospect they might. But, like putting off the washing up for two weeks, what was a manageable unpleasantness is now more likely to be a crud-stained mountain involving at least one bowl slicked with indestructible Weetabix, and by that I mean a fucking shite song. Oh, and for my sins I will be going through all the old songs that I haven’t heard yet. Yippee. I maintain eternal optimism that a miraculous ex-Melvins power-trio making ur-meditative rock inspired by their extended tenure in the Hindu Kush will have jumped up to at least number five, after a shocking pandemic of good taste.
#15 Demi Lovato – Neon Lights
There’s been precious little of this kind of stuff in the last ten or so weeks. Here I was thinking that at least in the ailing cancer-ridden music industry they’d at least had the triple-heart bypass and got rid of mewling artificial starlets. I know the lyrics aren’t meant to make sense, but instead of just little mumbles to fit the music, the lyrics of this sound like five paragraphs from the back pages of a Kawasaki manual badly translated into English, probably via German. Also all of the ‘instrumentation’ (pronounced in the same tone of voice as one usually pronounces ‘tapeworm’) feels totally lifted, which is bad if it isn’t; and if it is I hope you get done for copyright infringement and beaten up in custody for ruining my Sunday afternoon with your teaspoon shallow meaningless pompous tripe.
#7 Gorgon City featuring Laura Welsh – Here For You
If a track is called ‘Here for You’ I assume it is growled by a burly assassin in response to a question from his target. I’m reminded in all of these songs of all the failed viral plagues of the 21st century so far. Remarkably like H1N1 or swine flu, we all hear about how catchy it’s apparently been, and yet you don’t catch it at all, and if you do you just get a little bit ill and at worst spend an uncomfortable day at work and an uncomfortable night alternating between puking and shitting into your toilet and when you wake up in the morning it’s all gone and you forget you ever had it. I didn’t like this one either.
#6 Tiesto – Wasted
I thought I’d heard this, and in a way I had. Not actually because there was a little bit of my soul that hadn’t been chipped away until now, but in the sense that I’ve heard it all before and I’m not even a fan of this kind of shit. The title presumably refers to the money Tiesto’s parents spent on a sound design degree. I like myself better when I’m wasted, because when I’ve rendered myself apocalyptically hammered, I immediately become a witty swiftian conversationalist, a spectacular dancer, inherently fascinating and many other things. But actually I’m just exactly the same bellend I always was, just with -5 points to coordination for the next five rounds.
#4 George Ezra – Budapest
I’ll ignore his determined repeated mispronunciation of ‘Budapest’ [ˈbuːdəpɛst] because I quite like this. It’s subtle and based on what seems like genuine human talent. It’s thoughtful and fun and doesn’t overstay its welcome. I’d genuinely recommend this because it isn’t gimmicky either. It often seems like chart songs like this are abnormalities, strange mutations that limped off the factory production line but are much more interesting than the proper stamped products.
#2 Five Seconds of Summer – Captain Cunt the Fuck Gargler is My Lonesome Friend, He Stayed With My Love Until Her Untimely End. Although I Was Stoned On His Hee-Hee He Left Me A Stash To Get Me Through Eternity
What a transformation? Previously I’ve indicated that 5 Seconds of Summer represent some kind of ur-state for shit music, like an Al Qaeda recruitment film wiped on a homeless man’s arse and bombed on Palestinian refugees while Fox News heartlessly looks on and if they continued to make music it was just more evidence that I should build up my political portfolio and climb the ladder until I became Prime Minister, and then turn this country’s shamefully massive nuclear stockpiles on our own blighted shores, and also the shores of that wonderful (if slightly squinty and poisonous) ex-colony and hope that something with better musical appreciation grows from the radioactive waste; but their new track is a deeply personal and thought out exploration of melody-as-drone. For almost fifteen minutes of tonal guitar exploration before the track moves into its third and final motion there’s an almost baroque sensation tingling out from between the notes here. After riding the trad-poppunk horse for a while, all their previous unbearable boorishness appears to have been a statement on similar bands. I’m impressed by the breadth of references, Elton John moments come and go and somehow connect with elements of Morbid Angel, and N.W.A.. It’s a shattering, life altering statement, the kind of thing critics need every so often to keep them going. Lou Reed exists as a spectre all the way through, but not a presence hanging like the teetering Sword of Damocles but a welcoming, guiding and assuring Christlike presence over the notes, and the gentle intonations of the keyboard particularly; and as the song winds up the breath of fresh air banishes Lou almost entirely, like a coat of dust blown off an old chest by swinging open the door of the attic. It feels for all the world like Five Seconds of Summer have germinated into genuine comparable creative geniuses, like buddhist idols towering from spires of stone over thick jungle ravines, their scithing guitar chords and booming bass drum notes are Navy A6 Intruders dropping bombs on the Vietcong of their ideas, and it burns together into a strangely uplifting and affirming vision; they’ve discarded the screaming girls and pathetic half-truths of rock and roll, and approached something genuinely transcendent. The young girls will still come, but stand entranced at a 45 minute light and jazz freakout show.
#1 Ella Henderson – Ghost
If search engine optimisation had a face. If waiting in line at the bank on a hot beautiful day had a face. If public transport had grown a collective face out of the sheer weight of tedium and abject misery, it would be stapled onto Ella Henderson. Like a bunch of sleeves-rolled record execs had taken a reasonably talented and lovely young girl and scrubbed away at her vocal chords with carbolic soap and a wire brush until a shredded bleeding mess remains and then leaning back and saying “excellent, now you sound exactly like everyone else.” If boredom had a collective fizzog, it would be this. And I want to punch it until there’s bones in its stool.
If I could kill you, I would. Here's the Spits because you all ought to listen to them.
Written under duress by Steven.