Monday, October 18, 2004

Parallax View Single Of The Week

Today's featurette dedicated to Graybo and his bride, and to a swift recovery for Marc Almond following yesterday's motorcycle crash.

People often stop me in the street (no, really) and say hey, if you put your hand in front of your face you'd be a spitter for that Dead Kenny fella who bombards us on the internet with his strident and occasionally ridiculous views on the latest films, books etc. Despite my boisterous denials and insistence that I'm evidently far too handsome to be Britain's Ugliest Blogger(TM), they persist and their next question is almost always along the line of: how do you go about deciding your choice for Parallax View Single Of The Week? In a week when there are two or three records out of barely distinguishable merit, how do you choose upon which to bestow the ultimate online accolade? Do you rely on industry kickbacks, the toss of a coin or the question of which band member you'd most like to shag?

And before I pay them my hard-earned coinage to leave me the fuck alone and go bug some other blogga, I reply that when such circumstances do indeed align, I select a topical theme and use related criteria to make a logical selection in the absence of objective reasoning. So, for example, after West Ham's untimely defeat to Queen's Park Rangers at the weekend, the dominant feeling in the PV household is summed up by the attitude that the only hoops that are truly super come in the form of crazy pasta shapes smothered in a glutinous mass of tomato sauce. A bad time then for Dominic Masters and The Others to follow up previous PV single of the week 'This Is For The Poor' with another storming song, this time dedicated to West London's very own answer to Johann Cruyff, one Stan Bowles. Better luck next time, Dom.

And following the Hammers defeat at Loftus Road, we've been overtaken in the Coca-Cola Championship by Sunderland, home of The Futureheads. This means thanks but no thanks to their single Meantime which has come the closest yet to persuading me to invest in their debut album. The first twenty seconds of this record are a brilliant interchange of rumbling guitars before it goes off into a tuneful but altogether less interesting direction (they clearly want to be Devo when they grow up, but are still more reminiscent of a Blur b-side) and I tend to drift off before the end, which is a little worrying as it's only two and a half minutes long. My suspicion remains that the Observer Music Monthly pseuds are really getting behind this band because they're the Franz Ferdinand their teenage nieces haven't heard of. This isn't likely to change much soon since the boys resemble those kids at school who were clever at maths but considerably less bright at stuff like washing behind their ears.

So on to The Departure, who come from Northampton, a team that haven't beaten West Ham for a while now, although mainly because they haven't played them. Their biggest Hammers-related gaffe was to appoint as manager Terry Fenwick, who was idiotically selected ahead of Alvin Martin for England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, but this was Bobby Robson's error of judgement rather than Fenners' so Be My Enemy strides combatitively to the tape to take Single Of The Week. This record also gets off to a great start with an explosion of noises akin to wheelie bin lids clanging down in unison before the vocals lead in rather unusually with the chorus, the singer managing to simultaneously sound like Gary Numan and that bloke out of The Psychedelic Furs. Snotty, noisy and tuneful stuff, then: clearly not cobblers. The 7" red vinyl version is the format of choice, of course.


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