So you want to be my friend, do you?

I spend a lot of time on MySpace – listening to new music, adding as friends new acts I’ve found via other means, messaging a few friends and checking my favourite musicians’ concert listings for news of freshly-announced London shows (although Songkick is making this latter task redundant – more of that in a later post).  The consequence of all this time on MySpace, and of having so many cool acts as ‘friends’, is that a constant stream of musicians friend-request me.

I try and listen to all of these, just because I feel like I should since the artist/band went to the effort of adding me.  On average I like one in five, perhaps, so it’s well worth it.  Anyway, I figured I’d do a regular slot on here, reviewing a bunch of these acts at a time, somewhere close to 100 words per request.  And here’s the first batch:

This Means War
Oooh and we’re off and already it seems war is indeed imminent – some Metallica-like guitars, as epic as a jog around Mars, gives way to the type of thrash guitars I thought had died out ears five years ago on in what Darwin might call natural selection.  I can positively see Linkin Park headbangers swinging their dreadlocks in psychopathic glee as I scramble to close the tab.  “WORTTCCCHHH URRRSSSS BURRRRNNN!!!!!!!”.  No sir I won’t watch you burn.  Why don’t you quit with the pyromania, lose the growly voice and trade in those super-charged amps for, say, a harmonica?  Or maybe a flute?  That would be nice.
Friend request: denied
myspace.com/thismeanswarband

The Nubbish
Despite it’s notable name, ‘Retarded Conficius’ is a dainty lil’ piece of soft-rockabilly, with some jangling guitars and Christopher Cross-style solo sections.  It’s inoffensive, but unremarkable.  What to play next?  Bloody hell, what a load of bollocks – there’s one song called ‘Ronnie Ronnie Red Balls’ and another named ‘Sweet Ball Buster’.  For no particular reason I’m going for the former and… blimey.  It’s like a soft-porn version of Rocky Horror: demented male voices, throbing strings and occasional pantomime screams.  Oh noooo you don’t…
Friend request: denied
myspace.com/thenubbish

Stefan Mac
Instead of the usual please-listen-to-me message, Dutch deejay Stefan has gone with the cryptic “D T F”.  No idea what that means, nor indeed if he’s related to the insanely annoying Annie Mac.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, though, and say no.  In fact this is the sort of thing Annie would like: a charming techno cascade of knob-beats firmly aimed at the MDMA addict or BT-caller-on-hold.  ‘Street Fighter II: Player Select’ is faster and funner than the rest, but like all music designed for computer game interludes, it gets boring and repetitive after, mm, 10 seconds.  Game over, Stefan.
Friend request: denied
myspace.com/stefanmac

The Agency
Pleading for my friendship with this cryptic message – “We are not the agency from kiwiland. We are lying. Not me. But don’t believe them” – French-based, English-speaking The Agency launch into rather hypocritical electro-pop number ‘Significant’, it’s macabre beats sadly undermined by chirpy “whees”.  On a quest for greater consistency, I adopt a time-honoured MySpace tack and load up the band’s most-played song – in this case, ‘Bumpers’.  It’s better: a more subdued, elegant chorus, and a happy-go-lucky melody that lends the same contented feeling brought on by a first walk in newly-bought, impossibly white trainers.  I wake up enough to listen to ‘Red States’, remixed by one Fredo Viola no less, and this really is good stuff, too: imbibed with catchiness, yet still rather hypnotic and boasting distant vocals that curiously make me think of Jon & Vangelis, and a closing, funereal organ sequence.  Weirdsville, Tennesse.  I love it.
Friend request: accepted
myspace.com/theagencyrocks

Phew – male torture, Blade Runner-esque pop and Dutch computer music.  It’s been quite an hour.  Sadly I’ll have to cut it there as I’m due in Clapham tonight.  More soon…

MP3:
The Agency – Bumpers

Purchase Links:
The Agency – Not Similar

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~ by ripamel on 14/06/2009.

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