13 Jun 2015

You Don't Need To Listen To The Album To Review / Vol.1 - punk classics?

The next of our new writers, writing their first piece is Ben Willis, who's a left-leaning satirist lending his first piece to the idea that you don't actually have to listen to an album to review it. This post is basically Ben's analysis of two albums that could potentially be punk classics - question is, are they?

I like to think of myself as a sensible kinda person. I don't do anything particularly stupid apart from kill all those people back in ’04, but I've put that behind me. I've become quite civilised, quite American. A sophisticated gentleman etc etc tip fedora etc.

And I write reviews now, apparently, against my better judgement. The only review I've written was a ‘review’ of Boyhood on my personal blog, which is probably being used to construct my psychological profile for the days the murders begin again. I say ‘review’ because I never actually watched Boyhood, I am nothing if not lazy git with a short attention…

Where was I? Oh yes, I am going to ‘review’ some music here. All without ever having to leave the comfort of my current krautrock induced stupor to listen to it. (Krautrock – like LSD but more efficient.)

Anyway here goes...

The Queen Is Dead – The Smiths 

Bit of a retro classic to begin with, nothing like a bit of ritualistic monarchy bashing with your favourite neo-fascist vegan crusader for justice Mr Morrissey Esquire. You suspect they are talking  he is talking about Queen Anne or something, because ole Lizzie is still alive and kicking, much to the likely despair of Charles.

The musics alright I suppose, if you like that kinda thing. Not quite sure on the secret track at the end, which consists of Morrissey just reading the New Years Honours list of 1975 while rolling his eyes and tutting, but I'm sure some hipster a few miles away in Shoreditch would insist ‘Societal Decline As Encapsulated By The Advancement Of Power By A Privileged Bourgeois’ is a lost classic.

Me? I'm not so sure. I think it could be improved with more jangly guitar lines, which feature prominently in the rest of the album. I suspect Marr wrote the cheery jangle lines as a coping mechanism for Morrissey's bullshit. That or he was stoned.

All in all, meh. Listen to Laibach.

1989 – Taylor Swift

Interesting one this. At first glance, a pretty run of the mill pop album.

But in closer inspection, by god, it's incredible. A superb concept album that charts life after the fall of Big Brother, after 1984. 5 years after in fact. The photo album cover is clearly a reference to how so many people in the past, and many tribes today, believe that photos capture a part of the soul.

Clearly this is a nod to the way that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Freezing your soul in contorted pose like a demonically possessed camera. And the music. If you play it backwards, and at half speed, and move a few words around. The true message of the album is revealed. It isn't a generic pop album about relationships and all that drivel. No. It is a call to arms. A call a bloody revolution against the forces of corruption. We must fight the 1984 we are living in, we must reach 1989. It's like nirvana but with better music. It's the truth. The end is Nigh.

(WRITTEN BY BEN WILLIS)