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April 3, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Albums for All Occasions: Pull Your Socks Up and Keep On Keeping On

A- Hi Fi Serious

In general, I’m not a fan of those people who thrive on cheer. You know, the ones who in the face of calamity will tell you in the chirpiest of tones, to get out of bed, “put a smile on your dial,” “keep your chin up,” or some other such cliché. I prefer staying in bed, sulking, crying, and all-round wallowing. In the long term it’s better to embrace your blues rather than supress them, I find. Sometimes, though, you have to get out of bed. You have to go to work, write an essay, or fake a cheerful phone call to Mum. When events conspire against me and I have get up and function like a normal human, it’s the same album I reach for each time to induce that false sense of clear-headedness and happiness. It’s a guilty pleasure for me, this album. On the pop extreme of the pop punk scale, these “Sarf Lunnin” scallies are all cheesy keys, ridiculous solos and lyrics like “don’t want your job in Starbucks” and “it’s OK to beat the living shit from your drum kit.” Mock if you must, you who know this album, but few other albums have the ability to put an inane smile on my face and make me believe, for thirty minutes, that life is a joyful romp of slagging off Pop Idol and having humorous fights about mismatched underwear and football with a partner. This album soundtracked a stormy London year for me, and I’m unwilling to let it go, no matter how naff it sounds. Songs about being paranoid in the tube at night, plane crashes and L.A. never sounded so damn catchy. Everyone needs an album like this – something that, like cheap chocolate and coffee with too much sugar, is guaranteed to provide that unhealthy rush to get you through the day. Hi-Fi Serious, along with a latte, two cans of Red Bull, a KitKat and a pack of cigarettes, is an essential part of my emergency supplies kit.


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