If you didn’t know, Mikey Carr has a lot of opinions. He tends to let most people know about that. Having gotten pretty sick of putting up with him harassing us with them constantly, we’ve decided to get him to focus his rage or adulation on you, so we can have a little peace and quiet. Just so we’re clear though, these are his opinions, not those of the site and any complaints should be made in the comments below, where he will be checking for them.
Pro: Sick Python (link)
Anyone who saw my interview with White Ox ‘money holder, money folder’ Pele a few weeks back may have gotten wind of this, but it seems that the Australian born, Haitian raised rapper put his crew back together to replace White Ox at Mum the other week. Teaming up with producer B. Deep and fellow MC Judge Demus and calling themselves Sick Python, the guys have whipped together two tracks as a bit of a taste of the coming dance hall wave that is soon to overtake Sydney.
Now it’s all very loose, most of the music starting out as free form jams, but new track ‘Bad Boys’ might be one of the best hip hop songs I’ve heard all year in terms of the production and beats. Not to write off Pele’s skill as an MC though (the man is a beast), his flow inimitable and resting somewhere between Shaggy and MF Doom, albeit lacking the clarity of either. This vocal fuzziness though is what really lends these tracks their charm, as Pele is trying to make a point about how important rhythm is in hip hop and how unimportant lyrics can be when it comes to making a musical statement.
Pro: Gayngs (link)
A lot has been said about the 80s revival over the past five years or so. Bands coming out using some classic 80s synth sound to make a lot of mindless electro pop that in my view failed to do justice to a lot of the sheer genius music that came out of that most golden of decades. Gayngs however does the era justice, having appropriated the feel, vibe and expansive sound of artists like 10cc, George Michael and Phil Collins. Rather than just sit back with an album that references the 80s, regardless of how masterfully it does that, Gayngs main man Ryan Olson has weaved in influences from 90s R&B as well as hip hop, dub and even some Pink Floyd-esque spacey guitar madness, with the result being an album that sounds as relevant as it does nostalgic.
Having started out as a studio project (Olson having collaborated with Solid Gold’s Zack Coulter and Adam Hurlburt) the project grew to include over twenty five musicians including Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Rhymesayers rapper P.O.S amongst others.
What makes the album so good is that while it does have some degree of irony to it, it has such a solid grasp of groove and melody you end up liking the album in spite of it’s sense of humour rather than because of it. While some reviewers have written the album off as being nothing more than a gimmick, the fact remains that there aren’t too many other bands that sound like this, and I haven’t heard an album as well produced and put together as this in a while.
The closest contemporary comparison I could give for this would be John Maus or Ariel Pink, and if you haven’t heard of them, keep an eye out for the next Pros & Cons.
Con: Boys, Boys, Boys (link)
This is actually one of the worst bands I have ever heard. Their music is the sonic equivalent of being gang raped by clowns, clowns wearing sandpaper condoms, lubed up with vinegar.
Having received praise such as “Boys Boys Boys! leap on stage as if they all wear capes. The audience is uproarious before they even play a note. And when they do people jump and down like kids under a disco ball. Everyone smiles.” from S.J. Finch, Drum Media Perth, I feel it is my duty as an unexplainably outraged asshole with a superiority complex who places too much importance on music, to point out that these guys suck ass.
What I find so worrying about this band though isn’t that they make terrible, irrelevant, over polished and underwritten indie pop abortions of songs, it’s that they’re not signed to Sony. Seriously, for a while there every bad pop band was singed to Sony, and Amy Meredith still are, but now it seems like the trend has caught on and musicians are starting to make this kind of music not because they’re being run through the music industry machine, but because they actually fucking like it, and more worrying still they’ve found an audience of people who aren’t just pre-teens who’ve been brainwashed by Channel V and the other centres of sonic mind control.
Also worrying is the highly sexualised nature of the lyrics matched with the fact that a lot of the music sounds as if it’s aimed at pre-teens. I’m sure that the band aren’t trying to appeal to fourteen year olds; I think it’s more a reflection of their lacking in musical maturity, but regardless of this lyrics like ‘making out, on the couch, you know where my buttons are, push ’em right and I’ll be yours for the whole night, intergalactic out of sight,” are just bad even when considered outside of the disturbing context of the childlike image this band seems to be presenting. It doesn’t help either that the video clip shows a portly man dressed up like Olivia Newton John dancing alone in his living room only for a few young and spangley indie lasses to come join him in his room for a bit of a dance.
I think what bands like Boys Boys Boys represent in the greater scheme of popular music is the beginning of a new stage in pop music. Mainstream pop has begun to eat itself, but rather than this weakening the genre, its audiences impossibly short memories mean this abundance of homogeneous and mindless material only serves to keep the mentally impaired fans of this kind of music constantly distracted and oblivious to what else the world of music has to offer.
But hey, maybe I’m just to so jaded and cynical I’m just missing the point. Maybe I can’t let go and just see the fun in it. I should just like have a dance you know, like have fun and stop like, being so negative all the time. But fuck that.
This sort of disposable and shallow shit should be laughed at, not applauded. These guys are nothing but a cum stain on the doona of pop music and they deserved to be picked off by an immigrant worker in a dry cleaners. Boys Boys Boys, die, die, die