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May 25, 2009 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Desperate Times


They say that desperate times call for desperate measures. And these are most certainly desperate times. That essay on self-reflexive hip-hop mixtapes still needs to get written, nobody but the ever-reliable James has sent anything in this week, and my attempts at reviewing the new (and incredible) Bat for Lashes album keep getting sidetracked by my own tendency for overly obvious Kate Bush references. Sure, I went to a fantastic gig on the weekend, but unfortunately I was far too drunk to take in any of the details. Consequently, I am only able to report the fact that Diana Rozz = Amazing.
But wait!

There is one thing I could do.


At the start of every week I poke my head into the Salient offices, remove my iPod earbuds and collect a stack of free sample CDs that god-knows-who sent in. Granted, there have been a few gems in the rough (DOOM, Melanie Pain and, uhhh, The Game), but generally speaking they’re just a bunch of drum-‘n’-bass mix CDs and the odd badly recorded independent release from somebody’s best mate’s mate’s band. Yup. Exciting stuff! At least the album covers are colourful. In fact, they are so colorful that in my desperation I’ve decided to round out this week’s music section by reviewing a stack of free CDs without even bothering to listen to them.
Never judge a book by its cover?

Fuck that!

I have neither the time, nor the patience, nor the inclination to listen to the absurd amount of mediocre music that arrives in the Arts ‘in-tray’ each week. I figure I might as well just judge this mountain of CDs, which I have been steadily accumulating over the course of the trimester, purely on the basis of their covers, tracklists, band names and album titles.

Savage—Savage Island (Dawn Raid)

Skulls? Savage Island? Bulging forearms? A FUCKING TIKKI TORCH‽ I bought exactly the same one for under $12 from Mitre10 in order to make the entrance to my large orange tent at Camp a Low Hum appear slightly more imposing. It didn’t work. And it doesn’t for Savage either, but fuck it. I love self-parody. The hilarity of this cover is more than enough to earn the man a solid mainstream score.

Mainstream: 4 Stars
Indie: 3.2
Kim: Disposable

The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band—Polkapocalypse (Monkey Recordings)

I would hate to have to try to guess what this sounds like. Thankfully, there’s a song called ‘The Attack of the Desert Sharks’ on the tracklist to help me formulate a clearer mental picture. The cover is downright hideous though. Just look at those brushstrokes! But maybe, just maybe, there’s a hint of self-deprecation, a flicker of irony buried in there somewhere. Hidden where only the most discerning of eyes can find it. My eyes! Perhaps it has something to do with the phallic point of that church spire?

Mainstream: 1 Star
Indie: 5.2
Kim: Genius

3OH!3—Want (Warner)

Fucking godawful name. Wikipedia says it’s pronounced “Three Oh! Three.” Like TB303 (that’s a type of synthesizer). DUDE! THAT’S SO, LIKE, APHEX TWIN, MAN!


Wikipedia says it’s actually a reference to the area code for Boulder, Colorado. That’s still not much better though, is it? I do have to concede that I kind of like the cover. Its clever simplicity pleases my eyes. Still, they’re called 3OH!3. Unacceptable.

P.S. Caustic Window fo lyfe.

Mainstream: 4 Stars
Indie: 5.1
Kim: Disposable

Optimus Gryme—Eclipse LP (Optimus Gryme Recordings)

Oh no you didn’t.

Oh no you didn’t.


Oh yes you did…

Mainstream: 3 Stars
Indie: 2.1
Kim: Disposable

This Theory of Static—Electricity (Creepshow Productions)

1) ‘Set the Controls’
2) ‘Seven is Exploding’
3) ‘In Absentia’
4) ‘Stay Afraid’
5) ‘The God Shaped Hole’
6) ‘Seconds’
7) ‘Resurrection Song’
8) ‘Planets Align’
9) ‘To Ruin’
10) ‘To Walk Beneath Falling Bullets’
11) ‘[d_d.s11]’
12) ‘Oceans of Ashes’

I rest my case.

Mainstream: 1 Star
Indie: 0.0
Kim: Disposable

Cinema 90—Cinema 90 (Monkey Recordings)

I like the mysterious cover; it could easily contain a masterpiece. However, after digging a little deeper I am now of the opinion that the artist’s name is dubious, and that the appearance of the words ‘So Sweet – Feat. T Minus’ on the tracklist all but guarantee mediocrity.

Mainstream: 3 Stars
Indie: 6.2
Kim: Disposable

P.S. If anybody out there wants to rebut my highly uninformed opinions via a review then by all means get in touch, and I’ll hook you up with some free music. Likewise, anyone who wants to review anything new should also get in touch. Your help would be massively appreciated as we don’t have enough people contributing to the music section, which inevitably leads to things getting ugly (ala this week), or to me writing exclusively about my favorite topic: Hip-Hop.

Coming up in next week’s music section:

1) Why Kanye West is the greatest pop artist of our generation.
2) An interview with The Crackhouse 5*
3) An absolute evisceration of Eminem’s new album, Relapse, which I haven’t even heard yet, but is, according to Jackson (AKA god), terrible.
4) An overly hyperbolic review of Jay-Z’s classic album, The Blueprint, written in the style of either:

A) A Haiku
B) Iambic pentameter
C) Ebonics
D) Plain prose, but without using the letter E.

(I haven’t decided which yet. Any preferences?)

* Status of interview provisional, pending their acceptance in writing (I only pitched this idea to them in slurred speech at Mighty the other weekend. They’ve probably forgotten about it by now, and rightly so, but they seemed like nice lads, so I’m sure they’ll come through for me).


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Comments (8)

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  1. Kelvin says:

    hey man i totes remember that, i just forgot about it til now….you have my email address yes? also…..kanye article might be more awesome, but still

  2. Kim Wheatley says:

    Sweet dude. Don’t have your email address though. Perhaps just add me on facebook?

  3. Stephanie says:

    Kim, if you don’t want that to listen to that Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band album, can I have it? They sound pretty interesting. Wellington-based gypsy rockers or something. Hey, I might even review it.

  4. Kim Wheatley says:

    Sure thing. I believe the cd is back at the Salient Office, so just swing by there sometime this week and you should be able to pick it up.

  5. Remind me next time I send CDs through to Salient for review (if there is a next time) that I ask they go to someone who can actually be bothered listening to them.

    Nigel from Monkey Records

  6. Hannah says:

    Hey thanks Kim :-)

  7. samuel jackenbery says:

    “(if there is a next time)”

    hey nigel let’s be honest, you struck gold with an emerald city and you’re gonna be milking them until the cows come home (or they sign on to something better which tbh they prob will because monkey records lmao yeah good one spin another track at camp a low hum for me wouldya) how ’bout signing up some half decent acts to accompany them?

    oh wait no some dude’s review in SALIENT needs to be addressed quick shit where’s that keyboard and mouse at

  8. Hot Fries says:

    fuck, Emerald City review. I knew there was something I couldn’t be fucked doing… and didn’t know… and don’t care about…

    … anyway, everyone knows they’re amazing.

    Yours sincerely,

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