Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mercury Music Prize: Monumental Shit-Fest

The Mercury Music Prize nominations were released this week to the sound of utter, utter indifference. This laughable exercise in the art of arse-licking was established in 1992 as an alternative to the mainstream, more industry dominated BRIT awards. Now before you dismiss me as some kind of bitter, twisted old misanthrope who doesn't understand the "kids" and their music these days just hear me out. I know what nu-rave is thank you very much. Music so bad it will make you want to puke blood in the artists face. The Mercury nominations are particularly woeful this year so let's just take a step back and have a closer look at some of the artists, shall we.

Out of the twelve acts nominated two are previous winners, eights have just released debut albums and the remaining two have one studio album under their belt. All with the possible exception of Klaxons and Bat For Lashes are utterly dismal. A few in particular stick out as fine examples of the sorry state of British music.

Watching post-op transvestite lookalike Amy Winehouse going spectacularly and very publicly mental since she first entered the limelight in 2003 has been a constant source of amusement here at Office Gimcrack. Frank, her debut album had the British Music press falling over themselves to proclaim her the saviour of British Soul music and other such nonsense. Frankly (no pun intended), I think its unlistenable dross. Her most recent effort Back to Black follows in the same vein. All over-produced beats, strangulated cat vocals and "oh-pity-me" lyrics. I found myself bored almost to tears by such self-indulgant tripe. Winehouse is not doing herself any favours by combining a predictable, pedestrian musical output with a downright obnoxious public persona. Missed gigs, incoherent performances, public screaming matches with her creepy husband, this kind of bollocks is getting really tired at this point. The sight of her seemingly pissed, spitting on the studio floor during a guest spot on Never Mind The Buzzcocks will stand, in my mind, as one of the most charming of 2006. I couldn't find that particular clip on YouTube so instead here's some footage of Amy legless, mumbling her way through a performence at the BBC Sessions. What was that Amy? Didn't quite catch you there.

There are certain bands that are so monumentally witless, unimaginative and dull that cynics like myself derive a sadistic sort of pleasure from their utterly banal music. The View are such a band. Here is a group of tousle-haired Pete Doherty wannabes who produce music so arse-clenchingly awful its enough to make you seriously consider jabbing knitting needles directly into your brain through the ear canal. Joyless shite. Music as a fashion statement and possibly the worst band to come in the wake of The Libertines. It's hard to imagine anyone over the age of fourteen with a functioning brain finding this rubbish anything other than laughable. With any luck they'll have all developed debilitating crack habits by the time the winner is announced forcing them to sell their instruments so they can never poison my ears again. I was going to post some footage of these cheeky chappies but decided that nobody should ever be subjected to such nonsense so here's a clip of Animal Collective's new single, Fireworks, off their forthcoming Strawberry Jam album. Enjoy!

As for the rest of the nominations, well there's nobody here that really stands out as doing anything new or exciing. The Arctic Monkey's second album My Favoutite Wrst Nightmare was a clumsy retread of their first lacking anything in the way of wit or originality. The overall impression was that these lads don't really give a shit. Dizee Rascall has failed to live up to the potential of Boy In The Corner. Listening to Jamie T is an experience akin to watching a cat being sick while trying to eat a sandwich. Basically shit. Fionn Regan is a Dublin based singer/songwriter with shit hair still clinging to the coattails of Damien-Fucking-Rice. For god's sake man! Your the last thing we fucking need. Put down your guitar, shut your yap and go find a proper job and do rest of us a fucking favour.

Still its not all drunken fag-hags and brainless yelping. Kalxons are doing something genuinely interesting. The NME's psychotic mission to hype every new band into oblivion may prove their downfall so here's hoping they don't fall into that trap. Bat For Lashes does a nice line in pysch/folk but might be considered to strange for some tastes. They would be the tastes of utter cunts though. It has been said that the Mercury Music Prize is the kiss of death for the winner and it is true that certain past winners' careers have hit a wall after scooping the prize and they haven't produced anything of note since. If that is the case let's hope they all win this year.

- S.B.

1 comment:

Mick said...

Good stuff SB. This is the type of opinions I want to read on my lunch break in front of the computer.