So it seems you subscriber cunts don’t like my earnest explorations of basically righteous underground music, so from now on I’ll scale those back and try something a little different. Because my bile and contempt seem to do a lot better, the Arctic Monkeys Brits speech thing did really well, and after a brutal one-sided argument about chart music, and someone insisting I “just don’t like it” I thought I’d prove them wrong, or right by talking about some every week because I'm nice like that.
So there are missing planes and breakaway provinces under the Russian jackboot. Fear, terror, surveillance, it’s all going down; and right in the middle of this chaos the very nice people at Noisy Bastards Incorporated decide to drop Yellow Mind, under the guise of old faves Workin’ Man Noise Unit. The protopunk of the Stooges crashed into the protopunk of the Midwest seventies bands like the Electric Eels and Rocket From the Tombs, and all bouncing a rubber ball around a tiny hotboxed room, knocking over all the cans of Stella. We said what we wanted to say about the pyramid-building power-trio in our last gushing over this Reading yobbo bunch, and their new 7” is just more brutal, but basically continuing along the charted course.
Historically the Grand Theft Auto series provided reliable visceral thrills. Leaping into a sports car and tearing out of the car park with the alarm blaring, the police on your tail, and expertly chosen sounds pumping from the stereo. The action, like the graphics, was deliberately cartoonish; gunfire crackled and the police helicopter bellowed humorous things as pedestrians made Tom & Jerry *splats* when you misjudged a turn and cartwheeled through a pedestrian precinct. Partly through style, and partly from the limitations of the hardware of the day (GTA3 2001, Vice City 2002, San Andreas 2004) the Grand Theft Auto series of my teens, experienced through the Playstation 2, was a comic-book world of cardboard houses and paper people. There were satirical, South Park-level jabs at American culture, and a wonderfully simulated period soundtrack, but the games were truly ‘sandboxes’; simulating a 3D city full of people which appears real, red lights stop traffic and people flee when you open fire; then the game gives you vehicles and weapons with which to cause chaos, and a police force that will obligingly increase the scale of the chaos. Missions were completed to give you structured chaos, increase your access to the simulated city and your arsenal, and to introduce you to ways of causing chaos you might not have thought of.
All hail the return of the double doomers, motherfuckers denounce and reject the Lord and embrace the Jackal-Headed Guard of the Dead - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #206
So Alex Turner asked, through the arse-trumpet that NME has become, “are you onside?”. Leaving aside that the correct answer is “fuck off before I kick your head in you public schoolboy lookin’ cunt”, you could just play him your tape copy of Exaanum at full blast through the dusty beat-up cobweb-covered speakers sitting at the back of Bannerman’s on any given night. The latest much-delayed full-length from Edinburgh’s master-of-ceremonies-at-large motherfuckers Jackal-Headed Guard of the Dead, set to be released on Saturday, the 22nd of March with a full live festival of monstrous paranoia and Lovercraftian otherworldliness and a playing of the album live, in its entirety. Because if you’re going to talk about rock and roll, and its state of health, you’d be better looking to the grimy basements, the dank stairs and poster-wallpapered low-roof cellars with concrete floors and foot-high stages. The bar doesn’t accept card and you don’t get 4G inside, and from the back room each and every night unholy noise is giving people of all stripes unbelievable kicks. The music is made for passion. Most of the musicians are stone broke, and don’t want and can’t dream of any kind of award or even radio play. Small communities grow around the bands like mould, and they occasionally release albums.
[Alternate opening: It just came out that the famous Stonehenge Bluestones may have been selected for their acoustic properties at that historic rave site. It would make sense, our oh-so-modern forbears were keen on hallucination, and they needed something to groove to, echoing out across the prehistorical landscape and scabby locals boogieing into the night. Just goes to show what critics have been saying for years, this whole rock ‘n roll schtick is nothing new. Please make your own Spinal Tap references.]