PICK OF THE WEEK
Maximum Balloon Feat Theophilus London
Groove Me (DGC/Interscope)
When one Guardian journo wrote something unfavourable about Theophilus London, he got a response song in which the Brooklyn rapper offered to "fist him". Much as I'd welcome my own immortalisation in song I come armed only with gushing praise for this. Maximum Balloon is Dave "TV On The Radio" Sitek's latest, guest-laden side project and Groove Me is the sound of a brainiac wreaking havoc in a science lab, fusing synths, funk guitar and horns straight from Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'. The result is raunchy and robotic, and further proof that Sitek needs to release a stinker so that the rest of the music industry can feel better about themselves.
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK
Manic Street Preachers
(It's Not War) Just The End Of Love (Columbia)
However rewarding the Manics' last project might have been, you get the feeling that having to record, tour and promote an album made up of your dead guitarist's harrowing lyrics probably didn't rank too highly on the LOL-ometer. Hence this lead single from the band's 10th album is all chiming, chunky guitar blasts and a chorus that screams, "What's that Chris Moyles? You didn't really take to Virginia State Epileptic Colony? Well shove this up your boorish, overpaid arse instead, then." I'm paraphrasing here.
The video starts with some guy groping the derrière of a lady who then proceeds to kick the shit out of him while also dry-humping him. Confusing. Maybe it's supposed to represent the pain, confusion and turmoil inherent in the songwriting, although all I'm getting is the same chirpy twat-pop they've been putting out for the last six years.
Round The Moon (Moshi Moshi)
"We danced all night and we held each other tight … till the morning light!" is how this song ends and, really, this is how all songs should end. And start. And fill the bit in the middle with. Like the Ramones and the Beach Boys, boy-girl duo Summer Camp know what it feels like to be a teenager (albeit from an era in which they weren't actually teenagers: the 1980s) and giddy in love. One thing, though: can bands like this stop thinking they're My Bloody Valentine? All those detuned FX just sound like the cassette tape's chewing the song up – one 80s reference we can do without.
Mumford & Sons
Thistles And Weeds (Island)
If this was a song by the Mighty Boosh or Flight Of The Conchords, featured funny lyrics and had a video where they pranced around a forest dressed as pixies, then fair enough, we'd get it. Sadly this is lacking in both amusing wordplay and pointy felt hats; we're left instead with a record that's drawn-out, overblown and boring.