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  • MOGWAI, Atomic - The Final Word
    about it but then it was everywhere like radioactivity invisible untastable but omnipresent at all places and all times at once and I lived in fear of the inevitable Air Attack Warning that ushered in Frankie Goes To Hollywood s biggest hit and my biggest fear Opening with Ether their best individual song in at least a decade the Mogwai template of rising instruments to a crescendo and then a slow gradual disappear into the ether is set It s not exactly music for going out Or staying in It s music for thinking It s music for having a bath to It s music to find yourself and lose yourself to For me it s also in this at least the soundtrack to a permanent state of fear where there s a nagging sense of doubt something that you can never step quite out of the shadow of and here it is everywhere The instrumentation takes a darker tone with subtle electronics pulsing in the background like a John Carpenter soundtrack that offbeat waltz time that you can t quite like but adds a sense of creeping death especially on U 235 In many ways even instrumentally it reminds me of the vague sense of unease the cold unwelcoming metallic threat of Kraftwerk s Radioactivity built on simple instrumental motifs that sound like a child s nursery rhymes on a straightforward but never stupid structure and a vague sense of slow moving grace I m not paid by the word by the way I just think this is a very good record that rewards repeated listening in rooms and on trains Something about it reminds me of clouds Of thoughts Of intimacy and laughter in the face of the inevitable moment of mortality that for many of us of

    Original URL path: http://www.thefinalword.co.uk/content/view/1357/ (2016-04-24)
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  • PET SHOP BOYS, Super - The Final Word
    Shop Boys by numbers In one respect once futuristic disco at the cutting edge of technology has now become somewhat quaint like Kraftwerk who were lapped by the future overtaking them Pet Shop Boys whilst never entering a truly dormant period will never be able to catch the zeitgeist the way they did in their glorious Imperial Phase of 1985 1993 and nor should they The light shines brightly for only a short while and success and popularity is often nothing but mere coincidence and even the most desperate attempts to stay relevant mistake commercial success with artistic relevance It s simply impossible for every artist to remain forever aligned perfectly to the society they live in and even the most desperate attempts to remain big yes Bono I m looking at you look more like a dictator trying to tighten his grasp on a misguided populace than an artistic move Which of course is hinted at in the archaic but witty The Dictator Decides in the middle of the LP As ever there s a chock full of classics Even when the duo hint at perhaps some lesser songwriting Twenty Something and Into Thin Air aren t the best songs they have ever done there s no sense of them trying to be anything less than glorious There s also a fierce knowledge of and demonstration of the best elements of electronic music of tension and release build and explosion of the politics of dancing the idea that even though everything may be falling to pieces there s also a window of rebellion in joy and here fun is itself a statement of individualism The rhetoric of hard working families as if hard work was a virtue and not a tacit admission that you haven t worked out how

    Original URL path: http://www.thefinalword.co.uk/content/view/1356/25/ (2016-04-24)
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  • PET SHOP BOYS, Super - The Final Word
    one respect once futuristic disco at the cutting edge of technology has now become somewhat quaint like Kraftwerk who were lapped by the future overtaking them Pet Shop Boys whilst never entering a truly dormant period will never be able to catch the zeitgeist the way they did in their glorious Imperial Phase of 1985 1993 and nor should they The light shines brightly for only a short while and success and popularity is often nothing but mere coincidence and even the most desperate attempts to stay relevant mistake commercial success with artistic relevance It s simply impossible for every artist to remain forever aligned perfectly to the society they live in and even the most desperate attempts to remain big yes Bono I m looking at you look more like a dictator trying to tighten his grasp on a misguided populace than an artistic move Which of course is hinted at in the archaic but witty The Dictator Decides in the middle of the LP As ever there s a chock full of classics Even when the duo hint at perhaps some lesser songwriting Twenty Something and Into Thin Air aren t the best songs they have ever done there s no sense of them trying to be anything less than glorious There s also a fierce knowledge of and demonstration of the best elements of electronic music of tension and release build and explosion of the politics of dancing the idea that even though everything may be falling to pieces there s also a window of rebellion in joy and here fun is itself a statement of individualism The rhetoric of hard working families as if hard work was a virtue and not a tacit admission that you haven t worked out how to be efficient yet isn

    Original URL path: http://www.thefinalword.co.uk/content/view/1356/ (2016-04-24)
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  • SPACE ORPHAN vs MILLIONAIRE PSYCHO : FIGHTY McFIGHTFACE - The Final Word
    need for it Man Of Steel was by any standard depressingly predictable filled with shallow ruminations on heroism tedious GrimDark mumbling and miserabilism a joyless and unintelligent plot and very little heroics Films reflect the times in which they are made and this day and age is miserable grey and staring meaninglessly at its own navel mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence To cut a short story long being in this film is quite a miserable joyless experience where no sun ever shines and no simple explanation is ever good enough Still this is a kids film which features amputation by skyscraper paedophilia piss jars the murder of a major character given multiple funerals and a tasty lump of incoherent alienosity Because well because the film needs a Bad Guy Punchup Fighty Fight This Well The Batman bits are verging on very good Batfleck is it s like he s been transplanted in from a much better movie Henry Cavill is still no more than a paper mache Superman A one dimensional life size Minifig that glares witlessly at furious reality Or for that matter a huge muscled troll made from cloned Alien DNA and Lex Luthor once again an implausible huge monster than conveniently appears at the appropriate time for a big fight See also Spiderman 3 The Hulk Lord Of The Rings alongside enough casual radiation to turn Metropolis into Chernobyl And we don t need to see the Batman origin story for a third time Let alone be told it again in some kind of allegory that involves some form of levitation Even if Batfleck is transported in from an alternate and far superior film he has yet to actually lead in his own right And am I tired of GrimDark Like a corrision in my soul Witless and humourless people of incredible powers staring endlessly at their own good fortune like it were some kind of curse In the meantime here s another improbable and ridiculous dream sequence of such crazed numbskulledness that it can t be anything other than a fever dream from a billionaire Or can it Most of the problems with this like similar films comes down to the lazy stupid plotting where events leap from one place to another lacking logic or even connective tissue where plot threads are thrown into the air and only some land scenes cut short without explanation other scenes lack sense and logic without these missing parts and there is a wildly inappropriate tone Batman is dark and moody and always has been Superman the eternal optimist from a better land And yet here the roles seem reversed And well this screen is the worst Lex Luthor I have seen on screen Played from the start as a kind of wacky dot com bazillionaire and also at the time as an evil genius Lex s plan lacks motivation I don t believe it What is his plan Why would he do this It s stupid lazy

    Original URL path: http://www.thefinalword.co.uk/content/view/1355/39/ (2016-04-24)
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  • SPACE ORPHAN vs MILLIONAIRE PSYCHO : FIGHTY McFIGHTFACE - The Final Word
    was by any standard depressingly predictable filled with shallow ruminations on heroism tedious GrimDark mumbling and miserabilism a joyless and unintelligent plot and very little heroics Films reflect the times in which they are made and this day and age is miserable grey and staring meaninglessly at its own navel mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence To cut a short story long being in this film is quite a miserable joyless experience where no sun ever shines and no simple explanation is ever good enough Still this is a kids film which features amputation by skyscraper paedophilia piss jars the murder of a major character given multiple funerals and a tasty lump of incoherent alienosity Because well because the film needs a Bad Guy Punchup Fighty Fight This Well The Batman bits are verging on very good Batfleck is it s like he s been transplanted in from a much better movie Henry Cavill is still no more than a paper mache Superman A one dimensional life size Minifig that glares witlessly at furious reality Or for that matter a huge muscled troll made from cloned Alien DNA and Lex Luthor once again an implausible huge monster than conveniently appears at the appropriate time for a big fight See also Spiderman 3 The Hulk Lord Of The Rings alongside enough casual radiation to turn Metropolis into Chernobyl And we don t need to see the Batman origin story for a third time Let alone be told it again in some kind of allegory that involves some form of levitation Even if Batfleck is transported in from an alternate and far superior film he has yet to actually lead in his own right And am I tired of GrimDark Like a corrision in my soul Witless and humourless people of incredible powers staring endlessly at their own good fortune like it were some kind of curse In the meantime here s another improbable and ridiculous dream sequence of such crazed numbskulledness that it can t be anything other than a fever dream from a billionaire Or can it Most of the problems with this like similar films comes down to the lazy stupid plotting where events leap from one place to another lacking logic or even connective tissue where plot threads are thrown into the air and only some land scenes cut short without explanation other scenes lack sense and logic without these missing parts and there is a wildly inappropriate tone Batman is dark and moody and always has been Superman the eternal optimist from a better land And yet here the roles seem reversed And well this screen is the worst Lex Luthor I have seen on screen Played from the start as a kind of wacky dot com bazillionaire and also at the time as an evil genius Lex s plan lacks motivation I don t believe it What is his plan Why would he do this It s stupid lazy plotting It needs to make sense

    Original URL path: http://www.thefinalword.co.uk/content/view/1355/ (2016-04-24)
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  • UNDERWORLD Camden Roundhouse 24-25 March 2016 - The Final Word
    body fades and changes when the world makes us no longer what we were or who we think we are but what we actually are Yeah I can dance all night but I m going to sleep for a thousand years afterwards The new stuff then isn t the stupendously pacy nosebleed dance music of old because Underworld have done that perfected that and having conquered it have no need to prove that anymore but have new lands to explore And so they will In tonights set though there is a problem and that of pacing The crowd are willing Underworld tonight to be something they aren t willing them wanting them to be a breathless race to the chords of heaven that is Born Slippy For example slotting the brain frying 10 minute euphoria of Two Months Off between respectively a ten minute medley of Ova Nova Nylon Strung and three slower tracks just makes it feel like a sense of dancus interruptus where the songs and the night want to take off and yet we became squashed by the more relaxed groove Brilliant and intimate as the stream of consciousness and understated British repressed grooves 8 Ball and Jumbo are maybe it s not what the night needs at this point Maybe an opening solvo of fast pacy numbers old and new a down point before a final run to the climax whereas at this night the momentum of Two Months off tails off and great and fun as the rarely played 8 Ball and Ring Road Minnaepolis are the audience watch not experience this and it trails a little It s only when Push Upstairs kicks in and then when the venue wakes up with all the lights on and a walking stick gets brandished in the air in euphoria during the midst of a euphoric piano breakdown that somehow it clicks Older tracks such as Juanita Rowla and Dark Train roar like the past 2 decades didn t happen and then we re collectively pulled out of the groove Ultimately the set is constructed in a way that doesn t quite work The pacing is erratic fast slow fast slow slow fast fast fast But then when the faster stuff kicks in everyone forgets it s 10 12 on a Thursday and suddenly it becomes 3 30am on a Sunday 20 summers ago And then the lights come on again and rampaging skull thudding bass is replaced by another sound this time the relentless repetitive whoop of fire alarms emanating from someone presumably having a crafty fag in the toilet The venue is out into the rain and there s a casual sense of keeping calm and carrying on It s wonderfully British Our gang of eight or so shrinks by a couple who feel its late enough and not unreasonably so With about a third of the audience having migrated away by 10 40 the venue reopens the tickets are no longer checked and the

    Original URL path: http://www.thefinalword.co.uk/content/view/1354/35/ (2016-04-24)
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  • UNDERWORLD Camden Roundhouse 24-25 March 2016 - The Final Word
    makes us no longer what we were or who we think we are but what we actually are Yeah I can dance all night but I m going to sleep for a thousand years afterwards The new stuff then isn t the stupendously pacy nosebleed dance music of old because Underworld have done that perfected that and having conquered it have no need to prove that anymore but have new lands to explore And so they will In tonights set though there is a problem and that of pacing The crowd are willing Underworld tonight to be something they aren t willing them wanting them to be a breathless race to the chords of heaven that is Born Slippy For example slotting the brain frying 10 minute euphoria of Two Months Off between respectively a ten minute medley of Ova Nova Nylon Strung and three slower tracks just makes it feel like a sense of dancus interruptus where the songs and the night want to take off and yet we became squashed by the more relaxed groove Brilliant and intimate as the stream of consciousness and understated British repressed grooves 8 Ball and Jumbo are maybe it s not what the night needs at this point Maybe an opening solvo of fast pacy numbers old and new a down point before a final run to the climax whereas at this night the momentum of Two Months off tails off and great and fun as the rarely played 8 Ball and Ring Road Minnaepolis are the audience watch not experience this and it trails a little It s only when Push Upstairs kicks in and then when the venue wakes up with all the lights on and a walking stick gets brandished in the air in euphoria during the midst of a euphoric piano breakdown that somehow it clicks Older tracks such as Juanita Rowla and Dark Train roar like the past 2 decades didn t happen and then we re collectively pulled out of the groove Ultimately the set is constructed in a way that doesn t quite work The pacing is erratic fast slow fast slow slow fast fast fast But then when the faster stuff kicks in everyone forgets it s 10 12 on a Thursday and suddenly it becomes 3 30am on a Sunday 20 summers ago And then the lights come on again and rampaging skull thudding bass is replaced by another sound this time the relentless repetitive whoop of fire alarms emanating from someone presumably having a crafty fag in the toilet The venue is out into the rain and there s a casual sense of keeping calm and carrying on It s wonderfully British Our gang of eight or so shrinks by a couple who feel its late enough and not unreasonably so With about a third of the audience having migrated away by 10 40 the venue reopens the tickets are no longer checked and the balcony is open with hardly anyone in

    Original URL path: http://www.thefinalword.co.uk/content/view/1354/ (2016-04-24)
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  • THE WONDER STUFF / THE WEDDING PRESENT : London Forum 18 March 2016 / Birmingham O2 Academy 19 March - The Final Word
    themselves from their peers was the combination of drama of tension and release of control of the moment where everything stopped for a second and then roared and it all started again Tonight they perform two of their finest songs Dalliance which for a six minute growl without a chorus is as ever possibly the most gorgeous cacophony that sounds like a heartbroken Spectoresque wall of sound made of angry chainsaws and the rarely performed but absolutely yearning Interstate 5 which is the sound of impossible wishes Now this sounds all flowery but both those songs trade in what The Wedding Present are best at the sound of longing of not being able to be with the one you love and at the same time not being able to not be with them There are new songs and old ones a handful three or four from the coming soon album due in the autumn and a huge number of older songs alongside the aforementioned sit Blue Eyes Click Click Brassneck Kennedy and what is wonderful frustrating and fantabulous at the same time is that The Wedding Present change their set with regularity and the band can seemingly play any song in the bands body of work at the drop of a hat and frequently do I can t recall one song I ve seen at every show they ve played and that in itself is a rarity amongst modern touring bands every band I know of has 5 6 must have songs they play every night The Wedding Present have no such thing but the seeming ability to play anyone of their 201 songs at any time which is wonderful And frustrating when the band play a song like Skin Diving nobody knows it They play like a headline band with an hour that is worth more than most main shows They re not for everyone being near enough musical Marmite but the band they are now the one that they ve evolved into is one they always promised becoming You Should Always Keep in Touch With Your Friends Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now Kennedy 56 Corduroy Click Click Rachel Skin Diving Interstate 5 My Favourite Dress Broken Bow Dalliance Blue Eyes Brassneck Half an hour later and it s The Wonder Stuff I ve seen them many times before and I ve seen good shows and bad ones and this one ranks as at least as good as any other version of the band To the casual observer it isn t The Wonder Stuff but the old line up of the band stopped working together twenty two years ago and so this version of the band is the only one that can be anymore With the newest album 30 Goes Around The Sun out yesterday it s no surprise they don t play several songs from that as hardly anyone knows it And on the 30th anniversary of their first rehearsal The Wonder Stuff release their eighth

    Original URL path: http://www.thefinalword.co.uk/content/view/1353/35/ (2016-04-24)
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