The VPME Review-December 2008.

 Well with Christmas almost upon us the new releases have been “patchy” at best. Our team look into the open fire of pop and attempt to discover if there are any musical chestnuts worth roasting, or otherwise…


Dogwood (presenter of Cheambeat Communication Musical Memories)
Modern music gives Dogwood a pain in the crack, but he does like to tell the young folk where they are going wrong. Listen and learn kids.

Paisley & Charlie (Detox Cute and The Beauty Junkies )Purveyors of perfect pop, St Etienne meet Dubstar at the disco at the end of the universe.

William Emms (The Bookhouse Boys) The VPME love The Bookhouse Boys and tip them for big things in 2009.  Pop Trivia factoid: William has the longest beard in the band. So now you know.

Guy Henderson (The Molotovs) Guy plays in The Molotovs, they will be releasing a single soon, and it should do very very well and see them feted as gods … if theres any justice ..

Darren (Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation)Darren oversees   Sheffield  based Indie label Thee SPC which is one of the most influential labels in the Yorkshire  area, and gave early breaks to the likes of Arctic Monkeys and The Long Blondes.

Neal Zetter (Poet)Neal likes to pass the time,
talking to strangers via rhyme.

Reenie Hollis (Long Blondes, Bon-Bon Club) Reenie was a member of  the now defunct Long Blondes and is the  driving force behind the ace  Bon -Bon Club.

Von PipBecause he’s worth it.

Grace Jones – Williams’ Blood

WILLIAM: Great bass line, beautiful strings, cool little rock out section and Grace Jones making no excuses on the top. Like some long lost awesome disco number produced by massive attack. Amazing Grace indeed.

REENIE: I can imagine listening to this on a high-end wireless home entertainment system. Though I actually heard this on Radio 2, on my mini-digi-radio, and thought it was the new Bond Theme. It’s BIG.

DOGWOOD: Let’s get one bloody thing straight – I don’t “do” Grace Jones, I found her a confusing proposition in the eighties not helped that she appeared in one of the worst Bonds of all time.  I don’t know what she’s meant to be, an Amazonian piece of feist – all snarls and classic cheekbones, or a man hating he-she.  I remember she gave Russell Harty a bit of a slapping but then he generally deserved that sort of treatment.  So I come to this song utterly perplexed and I leave this song utterly perplexed.  It left absolutely no impression on me this song, no, honestly it finished not 30 seconds ago and I’ve completely forgotten it.  I’ll play it again…..hang on…, no good I’m thinking of what wallpaper paste I’m going to use to wallpaper the spare room.  I might go for B&Q’s, that’s usually reliable.  Oh sorry, I should be reviewing the song.  Wait there, I’ll play it a third time….yes, it’s started….now what time is Little Dorrit on?  No, I simply can’t do this – it’s like white noise.  Dogwood says this song is neither good or bad, it’s just a vacuous void in which all life and animation seems to have disappeared…..(eight hours late, a dozing Dogwood abruptly awakes)….What?

GUY: This track has grown on me and it has a certain charm you can’t get away from. The overall production and sound puts me in mind of the 90’s Bristol scene from the likes of Massive Attack, particularly the subtle percussive interjections. The track has a lush melody with uplifting backing vocals and this fits well with the lyrical mood. Her vocal quality is the main strength in the track. This is underpinned and complemented well by the hypnotic bassline running through. However I do feel certain elements have spoilt the track. The melange of sweeping synths has a cheap feel to them and the drum groove seems an afterthought, which doesn’t sit well with the track. Although dynamically interesting at times, the overall structure is a little weak and the track is topped and tailed with some very questionable vocal decisions.

DARREN: When I was a kid, I assumed the type of people who listened to Grace Jones worked in advertising, wore black rollneck tops & lived in one of those posh London Flats overlooking the docks. Nothing here changes my assumption.

VP: I bet all these folk who bang on about the 80’s being great even though they were still in nappies, will call Ms Jones a “legend,” everyone’s a “ledge” these days.  A big breasted lass in a reality show is a “ledge,Cheryl Cole is a “ledge,” the milkman who delivers milk on time is a “ledge”. Have our expectations of excellence really fallen so low?  That said I must confess I rather like this, it’s like a Toni Morrison or Maya Angelou novel set to music, erm, but shorter.  I  was never  keen on  Ms Jones’ stuff in the 80’s,  her androgynous look just added to my confusion , and  I spent much  of the decade  trying to work out which were the girls and which were the  boys. It was so perplexing in those days, there was a pretty girl called Boy George who,  it transpired was actually a fat, unattractive chap with a heroin habit,  we had a fat bloke dressed in a tent called Alf, who turned out to be a lass called Alison. There was a lass  called Marilyn who was in fact a hod carrier from Stourbridge called Peter , whilst  Annie Lennox looked disturbingly like David Bowie’s anemic little brother, it was a bloody nightmare after a couple of Diamond Whites. ( I never did  work out exactly what Pete Burns is)  But back to Ms Jones, songs like “Slave to the Rhythm” became a source of much irritation and appeared to be the only music played in “River Island” in the 80’s.  It was, I suspect, designed to annoy me into buying an absurd pair of puce Tukka boots, as the shop assistant held me hostage “Yes, yes,  I’ll take them, anything to get away from that bloody song.” I also found the fact that her head appeared to be the exact same shape as a Rubik’s cube a trifle unsettling, and I shudder when I  recall  her “acting” performances. If I tell you that she made Sofia Coppella’s acting appear on a par with Meryl Streep’s, you may get the picture. In summation – I like this.

NEAL: Long time no see. Despite the square suited shoulder padded lady’s rather obvious oddness I’ve always liked her hypno disco sound. Love her or hate her she is an icon, albeit a smaller one than she may think. Er – not sure about the Amazing Grace intro and outro – since the Royal Guardsmen murdered the tune in the 70s I cringe at the strains of it – but the rest of the song rolls on nicely in a style we have come to expect from her Graceness. Not perhaps as memorable as some of her bigger hits but I liked it enough to want to dig out my old GJ tracks and give her new album a spin. Good ‘un.

PAISLEY: I know the wonderful woman behind this song from celebrity chat shows and she seems a bit scary – but this song is really uplifting. It’s not what  I’d have  expected of  the mad Ms Jones from the chat show sofa’s and showing a soft side too. This is a slick song, but maybe not one I’d  particularly want to sing along with or dance to. But don’t tell her or she’ll slap me – ouch!

CHARLIE : Well, she’s completely bonkers, of course, but this is such a fabulous record – big choruses, ballsy production, weirdly wondrous, story-telling lyrics and, naturally, a fantastically scary vocal.  They’ve thrown the kitchen sink at this one, and then chucked in last night’s greasy washing up for good measure – there’s a gospel-esque ending with handclaps, harmonies, melodies and counter-melodies galore.  It’s like the 1990s and 2000s never happened and we’re back in 1985 all over again. Which, aside from ozone-busting hairspray and Phil Collins’ performance at Live Aid, is no bad thing.

Razor@!&te – Hostage of Love

CHARLIE : This, however … oh dear!

WILLIAM: It is all very pleasant while you listen to it but what’s left when it finishes? A feeling that Johnny Borrell’s messiah complex has reached new heights? When you hear Nick Cave getting all biblical you believe him, but as a character in a song. Here you get the feeling Johnny is singing from his heart, as himself and that he believes it. Maybe I don’t credit him with enough imagination. I’m sure it will be massive.

PAISLEY: Guitar – tick. Singing – tick. Singing like you mean it – possibly tick. Do I like it? Cross. Maybe I am biased because I read those free London papers and the front man is often papped looking floppy. Which is how I feel about the song really. Just a bit floppy for me, but sure to be a big hit nonetheless!

VP: Johnny is upset; he says people don’t judge his music on its own merits, he says they are prejudiced against him because of what they read in the press. You see the problem is, the press portray poor Johnny as somebody whose huge ego far outweighs his slim talent. This is rather unfair, I mean you wouldn’t catch Johnny saying things like “I wasn’t always a genius” or presenting himself as a Christ like figure in his songs would you?  He wouldn’t sing lines like “I am salvation” or “like a hero, I forsake my trophies for you” or sing about being “crucified” for his beliefs would he? That would be silly, that would be asking for trouble. In this song he’s rather like a modern day minstrel, a storyteller, relating his tale of woe, informing anybody who will listen just how great he is.  But hang on it reminds me of something…now what is it …. “I’m a storyteller, and my stories must be told/ I have many stories, tales for both the young and old?” In Russia I am Ivan, in England I am John/In Germany I’m Johan, In Sweden I am Jan” . Eureka ! I knew I’d heard this song before, check this  video HERE…
But hey, we should judge his music on its own merits. Before I realised this was Razorlight I merely thought this was sh*t , when I realised it was Johnny I thought it was really sh*t, so I guess  he’s right ….in a way.

REENIE: Christ! Nauseating. I feel like I’m losing blood listening to this. The lyrics are pretty funny, Johnny B must have been watching a low budget costume drama when he got his pen out.

DOGWOOD: In my meanderings with the young folk I often come across the word ‘Razorlight’, it seems that amongst a certain type of 28 year old – career minded, HR professional, newly married, no kids, newly bought flat, crippling mortgage etc – that buying a Razorlight CD is making a statement of sorts.  It says: “Hey look, yes, I maybe a Corporate whore but I can still shake my fist at the ‘man’, look I’ve got a Razorlight album, and a Coldplay album and a Snore Patrol album etc, I’m a bloody bohemian, me, and it has pride of place on my coffee table”.  Well that maybe the case but Razorlight being considered revolutionary is as likely as me being invited to that mansion where Take This and the M&S crumpet are seemingly spending Christmas Day.  As if.  I found all this guff about ‘Hostage of Love’ mildly insipid, the tune listless and Johnny Bovril a kind of Matt Monroe for the O2 generation.  I then became mildly distressed to discover that the songs are invariably written by the drummer feller, y’know the one who looks like Lance Percival, or a beatnik version of him.  I don’t really care if Razorlight exist or not, they’re fairly endemic of the general anaemia that currently infests the UK music scene.  Suffice to say the song is a load of pointless tosh but against the notion of Simon Cowell swiping Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ to use it as the X Factor single and thus make it the property of chavopolis, there are lesser crimes.  I say let Razorlight pontificate in the same cosmos of Bonio and Gordon Sumner and just turn the volume down and quietly ignore them.   You’ll only encourage them to further exaltations if they think your paying attention. Dogwood pointedly looking away and humming a tuneless tune to block out the racket.

DARREN: Good god. This just makes me feel incredibly alienated. It’s like a visit to Matalan.

NEAL: Damn Razorlight! I really want to hate them as I generally hate this kinda overblown pseudo-US middle of the road rock but I can’t deny that they do what they do well. Catchy stuff and well put together. I will no doubt be tapping my foot to it and humming it during my Christmas dinner and beyond but – please – it’s not on my list for Santa.

GUY: A very simple ditty, which relies on a strong melody and lyrics to hold our interest. Sadly, neither can be found here. It seems Borrell is trying to recount some profound experience of inner feeling to us and I’m not sure whose ears this will fall upon that can relate. The whole thing feels very contrived and unoriginal.

Ladyhawke – My Delirium

DOGWOOD: This song stars Kevin Bacon, has large hair, the maintenance of which has cost the planet 0.002% of its ozone layer and naffs me off ‘big time’ as the yoof of Preston might utter.  “My Delirium?” My Aunt Sandra, this certainly makes me delirious and light headed because it’s a disco clutch bag full of nothingness, not because it moves me.  Like the man-eating he-she Jones, this girl is quite content to knock up another 3 minutes of eighties footloose preposterousness.  I can visualise Tom Cruise in Top Gun gadding about in a disco whilst chatting up some big haired crumpet whilst rustling up a cocktail in the Breakfast Club admiring the St Elmos Fire in the car park where his Delorean is parked.  Back to the eighties – again – you weren’t even born then girl, or certainly not old enough to remember anything other than John Leslie in Blue Peter.  I’ll say this again – the eighties were only enjoyed by those who didn’t live through them.  Dogwood tuts and sighs because we’ve been here before.

DARREN: Hmm.. I’m told Ladyhawke are quite fashionable. I dunno, it’s hardly cutting edge is it? I just sounds like average chart music, really…forgettable.

REENIE: Ladyhawke’s got hugs for you if you were born in the 80’s. I like this one the best, very Josie and the Pussycats! It’s pretty tightly-wound, production wise, though I did read that the girl has Aspergers, which might explain that.

VP: I take my hat off to Mrs Hawke, after her last single my interest in her became limp, but like musical vi*gra “My Delirium” has put lead in the pencil of  my enthusiasm, rendering my interest vigorously aroused and  standing proud once more. It’s a cracking good pop song, slickly produced and as catchy as that there virus in BBC’s “Survivors “series, but without the mucous and vomit. Why I’ll wager this would even get my Uncle Dave dancing, which is some feat, as he hasn’t got any.

NEAL: I am chuffed to be reviewing My Delirium by Ladyhawke as it’s an amazing track that I have already danced around the living room to many times in the last few weeks. It’s not just because they come from New Zealand and have the same initials as me but the throbbing rhythm, splendidly sassy vocal and a chorus that’s as catchy as Chlamydia in a Thai brothel makes this everything a pop song should be. Yes, `pop’ – nothing to be ashamed of as a label when it’s done as well as this. Fab.

WILLIAM: I’ve heard this song a few times now and I can’t work out where the yeah yeah yeah bit is nicked from? For some reason Roxette keeps popping into my head. Oh, pre-teen, innocent, small town days. Also an opening montage from Hollyoaks forms in my imagination as I hear it, centred around some argument at a student union, followed by tears in front of a dressing table. That guitar line too. Where does that come from? Man I wish I’d patented the use of that keyboard sound. I’d be a rich man.

GUY: Ladyhawke has have gone straight for the jugular with unashamedly poptastic single material here. Its simplicity is commendable and makes it a very accessible and instant dancefloor filler yet it still has a full and dense quality to it. The verse melody is a little weak and doesn’t seem to go anywhere but the chorus has one of those instant hooks that’ll be buzzing round your head endlessly after inevitable over-play on the radio. The drum sound packs a lot of punch and has a very similar sound to that used by Drum & Bass collective Pendulum from the same corner of the world, as do the rising synth sounds. I wonder if they’ve been comparing notes.

CHARLIE: Wow! How good is this! Hey, it’s okay everyone, Simon Cowell hasn’t yet destroyed pop music. Quick, someone ring up Cowell and play this to him down the phone – his sadly demented brain won’t be able to cope and maybe his head will explode. Ladyhawke may just well be the antidote needed to the poison Cowell is inflicting into the ears of the public. Did I mention how good this is? Wow!

PAISLEY: Wowzer – can I be like Lady H when I grow up? Lovely vocals – music is boss, love it! Well done to her, and all who sail in her!

Kings Of Leon – Use Somebody

DARREN: If this is what passes for grand emotion these days, then I must be an extremely cold fish. I expect this’ll be heard over a lot of sports montages on Sky.

REENIE: I can see why people like this. Did you see the cross-dressing dude from Hollyoaks do this acoustic on ‘Oaks Later? Now that was emotional!

CHARLIE: The lead singer sounds like he needs the toilet but apart from that, this is a pretty, if innocuous tune that all the Camden Leisure Pirates and devoted disciples of Noel Fielding will love.  I’m not sure if Kings Of Leon fans will be happy with how ‘commercial’ it sounds but god forbid someone makes a record that people actually want to buy!

DOGWOOD: Continuing this month’s theme of non-tunes.  Listless, apathetic, a bunch of hillbillies playing rock somewhere in the Appalachians I imagine to a crowd of 8 in the Dew Drop Inn.  However, a sort of curious frontier charm pervades and I can’t despise it too much, after all I remember this lot when they looked like a load of lecturers from the Open University circa 1973.  But then again I can’t really exercise any excitement on this one either, it’s there and that’s the best you can say for it really.  The trouble with Americans these days is that they watch too much Extreme Makeover and think that all the solutions lie in the TV.  With that credo, they can’t move their arses to do anything meaningful.  God knows how Barak Obama got in.   This song has that kind of hopeless acceptance about it.  I think the Kings of Leon are less regal than of yore and wherever Leon is ( Mexico ?), the palaces are crumbling, the peasants are revolting and the corgis have turned into Chihuahuas .   Their crown has slipped to reveal a bit of a bald patch I’m afraid.  Dogwood offers a flat cap to cover up the follicle embarrassment.

PAISLEY: Ooowayoooowwaayoooooo – and then his great voice kicks in! Yes, I reckon this is singing like you mean it. I mean Charlie thinks the KoL singer needs the toilet, which could well be true. But maybe that is the trick, and I should try this in the future. I like it and might want to fall asleep to it, which is no bad thing. I mean I can’t really dance to this kind of song but I could lazily nod off….in a nice way….zzzzz.

VP: KOL or AOR ?  The Kings Of Leon are walking a thin line between commercial rock and  an embarrassing REO Speedwagon cheese fest, but they just about get away with it, due to the fact that this is a solid, if rather clichéd song.  Peter Cetera wishes he’d written it, so does  Klaus Meine, meanwhile Robbie Williams is beside himself as he can see this one making inroads into his royalties for “Angels” .  It’s not so much a song as a pension plan and is a million miles away from “Molly’s Chamber.” It would probably be right at home on your local radio stations  “Peaceful Hour For Lovers -Request Show” presented by some syrupy voiced chap called Alan  Thirkettle,  or  something.  Eagle’s fans will love it.  Still in these uncertain times  every band needs to plan for the future and release their very own “Angels” don’t they ?………..Ooooooh look a UFO ………..

GUY: One of the better tracks from a disappointing 4th album and still far short of the brilliance they’ve produced from earlier work. This song seems to reveal itself within the first 30 seconds and goes nowhere of any interest from there – the dropped down middle 8 section of particular pointlessness. Production-wise it is beautiful; everything sits tightly in place and serves the song well, adding to the strong dynamics, which are a great feature. They seem to have had a big shift with the material on this album – they’ve gone for an arena filling sound from a band that you’d always have found most delight from seeing in a barn in Tennessee. Frustratingly they get away with this weaker material as Caleb’s voice is just too damn sexy.

NEAL: Didn’t like them with long hair, Don’t like them with short. Two dimensional rock circa 1974 USA. Shoot me please Mum.

WILLIAM: I really want to hear the vocal of this put over the outro to Layla, the piano bit. I’ve really loved the last two Kings of Leon records but haven’t felt the need to get my mitts on this one yet. It seems they’ve gone stadium rock. I heard somewhere that they wrote the songs for this new album so they’d have some new material to play at Glastonbury last year. You can almost feel the size of the arena this is supposed to be played to. Maybe it’s the whoas in the back there in the reverb. This number is a fairly classic Kings of Leon number though, catchy non-chorus chorus, fists punching the air material. Had me humming it to myself.

Metronomy – A Thing For Me

REENIE: Ugh, messy. More than one person has told me they think I’d like Metronomy, but I guess they don’t know me AT ALL.

GUY: An enchanting little duet, this track has a sense of fun that really draws you in to the Metronomy world. Its intense and jumpy grove is a little hard to get your head around at first but reveals a lot of poly-rhythmical layers to be enjoyed. The stripped back male vocal verse parts are really rather pretty and flow into the female vocal chorus sections well. They are strong yet simple melodies with some lovely harmony lines and some are left as almost acapella which works well. I feel they may have gone a little overboard on the cyberspace bass sound but the drums are mapped well and the snare breakdown sections are particularly interesting in giving the grove a jolt and adding great dynamics. A very original and English sound.

VP: Oh dear GOD!  No, no and thrice no! This reminds me of  the TV show  “Prison Break”, a  good idea, which went horribly wrong.  Metronomy play the role of oafish, thuggish prison guard Brad Bellick and the tune takes on the part of Michael Schofield. The very second you think the melody is about to escape and spring forth  blinking into the sun, the  Metronomy boys pounce and  ruthlessly  batter it into submission, before dragging it  back to the solitary darkness of “tuneless dirge.” As if to mirror the TV show, the song starts well, but rapidly descends into farce and within no time you stop caring where this song is going  (which, like the TV show, is precisely nowhere.)  Is the singer pretending to be a female at times here? What’s all that about? Whoever it is they sound like a strangled parrot with a nasty bout of tonsillitis who’s been gargling razorblades and eating sandpaper drizzled in lemon….I saw this lot supporting CRASS, no wait it may have been The Slits, or The Au-Pairs, no hang on my mistake, it was The Pipettes, they were rubbish then too. It’s a bit crap isn’t it ? There was probably a good idea in there at one time, but Metronomy come across as fancying themselves as a bit of a gang of  Nob twiddling clever clogs. Adhering to the rules of pop by doing the straightforward such as writing a song that actually contains something as simplistic as a  tune???…Well that just isn’t clever enough is it ? … All in all this pushes the boundaries of pop about as much as Les Dennis has pushed the boundaries of comedy. Cobblers

PAISLEY : You’ve got a thing for me, I’ve got a thing for you……ouch! It hurt my eyes a bit (induced a bit of a migraine) but I like the words very much! In fact I like it all…one to wake up with after Kings of Leon.

CHARLIE : Sounding like the b*stard children of John Foxx, (one for the teenage readers, there), this could easily have been made circa 1979. And if I’d been a geeky, floppy-fringed kid with huge baggy trousers and a penchant for wearing my older sister’s eyeliner I’d have definitely ‘thrown some shapes’ at this down the youth club disco.  Kids today will probably do the same. Apart from the ones wearing hats. Who are probably still listening to Johnny Borrell and The Razorlite. Sadly.!

DOGWOOD : I’ve seen this lot you know, saw them playing with my favourite band Make Model in Camden Town of all places.  The curious thing is that they’ve all got light bulbs attached to their chests, a kind of low budget alien from early seventies Dr Who.  They sound robotic and repetitive which I suppose is in keeping with their lo-fi ET image.  Now, you know me, I like things kept simple and I suppose that Metronomy do have a Play School kind of plinkety-plonk simplicity to them.  It’s like a load of 5 year olds having been let loose in the BBC Radiophonic workshop and they’ve recorded bits of it, looped it and released it.  This is Thomas Dolby recorded on a Fisher Price keyboard that is programmed to play nursery rhymes for stressed out executives who once had a fleeting notion of possessing a Flock of Seagulls haircut.  I don’t know what that means really, but that’s because I don’t really understand Metronomy but then again I didn’t really understand Ker-plunk and yet I didn’t picket the local Woolies because of it.  I’m going to let this one go, given the choice between sitting through a Metronomy set and flicking through a Hattie Jacques lace brassiere gazetteer from 1957, I’d probably prefer eyeing up Hattie’s ample dumplings.  Nothing personal Metronomy, you just confuse me and don’t look as fulsome in a lace brassiere.

WILLIAM: Someone please make a version of this song with a Japanese marching band. I’ve seen them practicing out in East London . It would be brilliant, especially the snare and accordion breakdown section. It’s a bit of a grower I’d say. I can even forgive the southern Human League thing and the Jamie T/Reverend and the Makers type lyrics. Just.

DARREN: Best of a bad bunch, I reckon, yet lacking a spark somehow. The arrangement’s pretty exciting, but melodically and vocally it feels disconnected.

NEAL: Now I saw Metronomy live supporting the ay-maze-zing Kate Nash some months ago and I know they are the big tip for many people for 09. They didn’t sing when I saw them – just played their electostruments and bopped around the stage looking like Kryton from Red Dwarf. Despite a bright and finger poppy opening to the song and melodic verse the chorus grates more than the Birdie Song. I actually thought the track was stuck when listening to it for the first time and only on checking my computer did I realise this sadly was how it was supposed to sound. Sorry guys – stick to the music.

Kaiser Chiefs – Good Days Bad Days (video)

VP: I quite liked “I Predict A  Diet ” it was daft, but fun, but I’m afraid  Ricky and I only ever got to first base, it was over before it began. I guess most bands love to prove their critics wrong, and I must confess the Kaiser Chiefs have certainly proved me wrong.  Just when I think they’ve extracted all the irritation it is humanly possible for a person to feel towards a band they go and release a song that defies logic.  It took me a full five minutes to collect my jaw from the ground after viewing this load of  bulls semen. Then I thought ah, it’s a novelty single, or for charity or something? Was it written as some sort of student prank to see if the label would actually release it?  Or maybe to prove how daft Kaiser Chief fans are perhaps?( normally geography teachers and social workers.)  If not then I simply can’t believe a band  could of submitted this without feeling a deep sense of shame and embarrassment, which may explain Ricky’s florid complexion. Then again I can’t believe the label could actually say, “you know what lads –that’s a single is that.” The only saving grace is it hasn’t got the KC’s trademark “Wooooooooooooooaah”  chant,  which normally gives the impression they’ve recorded the vocals whilst aboard the roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure beach.  I suppose The Kaiser Chiefs are the musical version of “My Family” bland, puerile, and just inoffensive enough to be popular. (Although both offend me!)  As Linda Hollywood of Rock City Sixteen said in a review FATTY KAISERlast year “Every single one of them looks like a scary ventriloquist’s dummy” and she’s right, they do, the video looks like someday with  no fingers at a Day Centre has carved puppet versions of the Kaiser Chiefs. If any band were asked to write a follow up to Hale and Paces “hilarious” Comic Relief single “The Stonk” that band would  of course be, The Kaiser Chiefs. In short, utterly horrible.

REENIE: This vid is pretty tossed off. And the tune sounds like a kidz TV theme… not figuratively: specifically “Bob the Builder.” Funny how the keyboard has a little sign hanging on it saying ‘Gone to Hospital’. Poor Peanut!

CHARLIE : The first thing that struck me was that I’d heard this tune before. One of those niggly things that keep you awake at night. Was it ‘Frog Chorus’ by Paul McCartney? No. Was it ‘Sultans of Swing’ by Dire Straits? No, of course, the verse melody sounds just like ‘I Am The Chosen One’ from The Mighty Boosh. Oh well, I suppose that’s no bad thing. I mean, it could have been Razorlite, a baffling popular band for no apparent reason whom Noel Fielding seems to be quite fond of.   The video looks as if it was supposed to be a fun shoot – it’s a pity the band appeared to be thoroughly bored, staring at the floor, concentrating hard on the chord changes, still wearing their moody, indie-kid faces instead of enjoying themselves for once. Come on chaps – smile! It won’t kill you!

PAISLEY : Ooooh – feeling a bit sea sick, but I think that is just me and not cos of the vid which I like a lot! The colours are fab, but I felt a bit cheated. For such a colourful vid which took lots of effort, a few more smiles would have been good. Just one or two, maybe from Ricky. Go on, show us your gnashers! Anyway, I liked the bit where they knock his block off at the end, as long as that isn’t real of course. If it’s real then that’s the worst bit.

DOGWOOD: I found this as irritating as those relentless ‘Here Come The Girls’ Boots Christmas adverts where some harridan from accounts buys a willy warmer for Jeff in IT for the Secret Santa.  Yes, that bloody irritating.  The Kaiser Chiefs turn up on what appears to be a giant Twister board dressed all in white.  Now, I don’t do ‘all in white’, that’s a fashion charge of the light brigade best left to the Man from Del Monte and other ex-Nazi War Criminals in hiding working for the South American tropical cordial beverage industry.  Good days and bad days, eh?  This lot give me a bit of both if truth be told.  On some days I’m in the mood for their art school gadding about, yes everything is average nowadays and yes sometimes I predict a riot but too much of a good thing expands the waistline – ask Ricky Wilson.  I notice that he appears to be wearing an elasticated waist pair of white slacks with white plimsolls.  A man of his rotundetry should think twice about white short sleeved shirts, even I know that’s a parking space you don’t reverse into.  Oh, the video, yes, well it meanders into a sub Peter ‘Sledgehammer’ Gabriel affair involving the old Wigan Mexican hat trick and general gurning at the screen.  I suppose some might find that mildly quirky, I myself find it a symptom of Brown’s Britain where people in general think that Girls Aloud are a good idea and that decent TV is a procession of inane idiots doing something that requires you to pick up a phone and vote.  Some of us know different, I suppose the Geezer Chefs do too, but they’re not letting on with this load of sub-Leslie Crowther guff.

NEAL: As a poet I could never forgive a band that rhymed     `policeman’ with `Smeaton’. And – at the risk of being an Xmas Scrooge – certainly cannot forgive them for this dreadful video that looks like Art Attack meets a 1980s Persil ad either. I would have thought the band have enough money in the bank to spend a wee bit more on their videos – sorry guys but after a few good tunes on an average debut album everyday I love you less and less.

WILLIAM: It’s a kind of fun performance video. Nice stop motion stuff. A pinch of Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animation, a sniff of clockwork orange, a dash of the 60s Adam West Batman series, a touch of Tim Burton, well, a skeleton.. Nice to see the drummer singing. He probably wrote the song eh? The guitar player comes across as a bit dull and I didn’t miss the keyboard player. They’ve sure got their formula down though.

DARREN: It’s an OK video, not as terrible as I assumed it’d be, ha! The visual quirkiness goes with the song, I guess. In typical Kaiser’s fashion, the song is devoid of originality and sounds like a Blur/XTC/Taking Head mash-up. But it’s alright, in a throwaway sense. Nice bongos in the background.

GUY: *has fallen asleep*

So which single came out on top? Buggered if I know! Thanks to the panel for their input.  Go and vist their websites and myspaces, say hello!



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0 thoughts on “The VPME Review-December 2008.”

  1. This month’s review basically says ‘girl power’ (in a good, non Spice Girls way). Hooray for Mrs Jones and Ms Brown!


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