The Hang of Music: Extra Terrestrial Lack of Intelligence

6 months? 6 months! I think it’s (hic) time for a cele-(hic)-elebration!

I’ve now been writing these things for 6 months, and I’M AMAZED i’VE GOT THIS FAR. I hope you’ve not been reading for my journalistic integrity, because this week, I’m reviewing drunk! Thta’s write, every word I write will be a drunken one. (Obviously, all other spelling mistakes will be culled whilst sober. Nothing more.)

So, prepare for some epic solos and a ton of air guitar, as I celebrate my tredecimal, my biannual, and the end of Set Two of my reviews with Blue Oyster Cult’s “Agents of Fortune”. Buckle up, get yourself a drink, and prepare to rock out!

You know what’s coming next!

First, let us play a little game. As this is a classic rock album, how’s this; every time I call “SOLO” on one of the tracks on here, you take a drink… Of tea, obviously: only one of us has to be drunk, and you don’t need to ruin your liver just to have a fun time with me and Blue Oyster Cult*. Or coffee, if you’re weird like that.


And already we’re in with some classic rock, albeit some pretty light stuff. That guitar almost sounds Alice Cooper-esque. What I want to know, though is when exactly was the summer of love? I always hear tonnes of talk about it and how great it was, but never any definitions as to when it was. The next question that I have to ask is “wasn’t there an Undertones song called ‘True Confessions’?”

Inevitably, there was. What kind of confessions aren’t true? Also, where is that piano coming from? I hadn’t really ever associated BOC with instrumental variations.

And this is how the album totally fails to merge carefully into “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”. The first two songs, “This Ain’t the Summer of Love” and “True Confessions”** sound very, very poppy by comparison to Reaper’s relatively heavy sound. Even though I knew it was coming, Reaper actually comes as a bit of a surprise.  It also doesn’t help/hurt that they keep changing singers. Which I love. But it does make it hard to know this is the same band.

Like that moment when you have to ask "So, when is Iggy Pop gonna get on stage?"

[Epic Solo on DFTR] Drink now.

Maybe I’m just used to how DFTR sounds, but the rest hasn’t sounded like that yet. Maybe it was just a one off single.

You know; when a band manages to release a single that people love, but sounds nothing like the rest of their ouvre, and they have to fit it into an album that sounds nothing like it? Or worse, when they realease a single, then McGyver a ton of songs that sound like it – I’m looking at you, “Scouting For Girls”.

Then E.T.I. comes on, sounding like an early Acker-Ducker (AC/DC) song. Sure, it’s a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream, but it sounds awesome. Personally, though, I think the “awful truth” that they speak of would be that we are all alone in the universe. That the universe is empty and lifeless, and we are trapped on this planet by the constraints of the speed of light… No! No getting maudlin; don’t do it! Remeber the good things, like Metal, and Real Ale, and Particle Physics… That’s better.

[E.T.I. Solo]

[Sinful Love opens with a Solo]

“Sinful Love” also opens with some incredibly funny lyrics. “I love you like sin/But I won’t be your pigeon!” I love them! I don’t know what that means, and I don’t care! “Be my sex pigeon!” Wow. Followed closely by the lyric “I got my own falcon”! This is brilliant! I’ve finally found a band with a legitimate bird fetish! Usually, at this point I would look at the lyrics and find out what’s going on. But not now; not for this song. Here, there’s no way that the real lyrics, if different, can be funnier than this! If this is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

[And here’s another solo on Sinful Love]

“Tattoo Vampire” just sounds like a “The Stranglers” song when it opens. I have to say that this album is already more varied than I thought it would be. I think they may have just been messing around with the settings for their guitars, but I’m not complaining! That is a good thing. Experimenting/fucking around, especially with music, is always a good thing, even if it doesn’t “yield positive results”. (I may retract that statement, hoever, and regret making it,when I encounter some “experimenting” that “fails to meet basic standards of repeatability and ‘not-sucking'”.)

[Solo on Morning Final]

But “Morning Final” is just one of those songs that you can turn down, and it still sounds exactly as good. I know, I tried. (And no, I don’t know where the idea came from.) This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but it does mean it is perfect for background music at a party, or at a party in a film.

I think “Morning Final” merges seamlessly into “Tenderloin” (FYI, “Tenderloin” is a stupid title), but I can’t tell, as my copy is corrupted, and plays, in its entirety, in under a second. This is pretty shit. (But it was a bit of a laugh when I first encountered it.) Ah, now it’s fixed.

It’s a shame that my version was originally fucked up (technical term, boys and girls), because the song itself sounds really cool, if incredibly 80s (it’s the synths!). If any of you have heard Jeff Wayne’s “The War of the Worlds” rock-opera-style concept album, you’ll know that this sounds like that, and that sounding like that is a GOOD thing.

This is for songwriter "Buck Dharma". Fap away...

[Oh, and there’s a solo. Drink up.]

Whereas “Debbie Denise” is more of a return to the first two tracks than the middle load. To reiterate; the opening and closing tracks – very poppy; the middle – MUCH more heavy. Much. Optimistically; that must have been done on purpose, and that is a really good thing. The actual songs are a bit light for me, but the way that they did it, and the way that they used the songs that they had to make the album? I approve of that, at least.

Right, time for the round up. I’ve enjoyed this album. Simple enough. BUT I was expecting a much heavier ride, like the lead single and famous hit “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”would lead you to believe you were in for. I was surprised by the relative lightness of the rest of the album. But if you’re up for an album of variance, then the pigeon’s all yours.

See, I’m still attempting to maintain some sort of reviewing credibility. If I made any glaring factual errors in that, then I’m sorry. Until then, remind me never to drink and review again: I kept feeling the urge to suffix what I was saying with “but what do I know; I’m drunk”.

Unless, you know, you thought my inability to write under the influence was funny. In which case, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Prick.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed the last six months, and are looking forward to the next six. Who knows what they may bring… I do, and people who’ve looked at my wall might! I know at least a couple of people have been pestering me to review certain albums sooner. So, ’til next time, I bid you all adieu, and I hope you celebrated with me: by my count, that’s six swigs at least you owe me!

* By the way, I refuse to write their name with the silly little umlaut that their manager recommended from here on in. Deal with it.

** If you hadn’t guessed. Or looked on the wiki.

*** It being the song that everyone knows.


Posted on December 8, 2011, in Music, The Hang of Music and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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