Lock up your cliches and hide your stash because this week the Monday Music Review brings you the officially most dangerous band in rock 'n' roll since the last one, the hardest working slacker in pop and two friends from Brixton who thought it would be amusing to scare the crap out of everybody by superimposing human heads on screaming apes. Nice one lads, we're still having nightmares about that.
Just as well then that Queens Of The Stone Age are here to sing us to (permanent) sleep with their Lullabies to Paralyze. Much has been made of what QOTSA would do after the departure of co-captain, naked bass player and serial party behemoth, Nick Oliveri, and Londonist is pleased to report that Josh Homme and co have gone and created the best album of dirt rock (© us) we've heard in ages: the aural equivalent of sitting in your mate's basement getting stoned and watching The Evil Dead.
The Sunday Times take 4 tokes out of 5 describing it as a sequence of choppy, compressed tunes that suggest that this is Homme’s pop album, and that he has streamlined his sound as well as his personnel. Pop album???? Crunching, sluggish guitars yes, pop. No.
NME meanwhile take a full 8 tokes out of a possible 10 to sum proceedings up as
Where ‘Songs For The Deaf’ was about jumping up and down until your eardrums burst, ‘Lullabies To Paralyze’ will use its enigmatic mysticism to lull you into a blissful daze so you don’t at first notice that the riffs have broken your neck. Better. Than. Sex.
With star turns from: Mark Lannegan, Brody Dalle, Shirley Manson and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Queens win the coveted Londonist album of the week award.
The Independent are delighted that Beck has returned to his art-goof blend of world folk rhythms and hip hop beats and reward him with 5 big phat ones for Guero. Just as well because if he'd made another album like Sea Change we would have had to feed him to the Queens.
The Guardian also finds it instantly Beck-like blending junkyard jams with lush misery. 4 phat ones then for what is essentially Odelay part 2.
If you've heard the achingly catchy new single Epro you'll probably also agree. Drowned in Sound certainly did: A big returning beam rather than a wan smile then, for Beck. Hurrah!
Compilation albums tend to be Christmas cop outs rather than satisfying Easter eggs but Basement Jaxx have packaged up a selection of their uniquely idiosynchratic dance tunes: The Singles, from the last 8 years for trendy groovers to shake their thang at over a long bank holiday. And presumably they get to make some money without having to do much work.
The Sunday Times drops 4 pills out of 5 as the album showcases Jaxx’s unmistakable variety — sensual Latin house to electro punk, lush harmonies spiked with discord. whilst the rest of the world's reviewers are still in the chill out room. They'll be sorry when they miss out on that bonus disc of rarities, live tracks and remixes.
Basement Jaxx will also be headlining this year's Eden Project Sessions on August 26.
Finally, and in a completely self-indulgent manner, Londonist couldn't let this column slip by without mentioning the re-release of the first three albums from those Grandfathers of grunge, those Sultans of slack: Dinosaur Jr. Although remastering Dinosaur Jr seems about as logical as removing the stripes from a plaid shirt it's a great reason to get reaquainted with J Mascis, Lou (Sebadoh/Folk Implosion) Barlow and Murph's ear-bleeding country (ok, so we stole that from their best of cd, but it works). Crunching alt. riffs swamp intricate melodies whilst Mascis's voice is so lazy it almost doesn't exist. Always too cool to be cool they pretty much created the lo-fi DYI mentality currently espoused by Graham Coxon et al. So on that note we're off to crank up the stereo and wonder why our parents just don't understand us...