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Buy Or Sell: Monkeys, Grime & Limited Editions

Welcome to Buy or Sell; the place where the Strictly Staff go head to head reviewing the week’s six hottest singles, leaks, remixes and live tracks. If a track is hot our writers will be telling you to buy, buy, buy and if it’s not they’ll be selling like it’s Lehman Brothers stock.

Going head to head this week are Reading and Leeds veteran Danielle Gough and lord of all things Screamo and Hardcore Matt Brunton. If they can’t settle things between them I, your Strictly Editor David Hayter, will step in to break the tie.

Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road, it’s Danielle to go first:

1. Arctic Monkeys – “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I Moved Your Chair”

Danielle Gough: BUY

The first thing that comes to my mind is Oasis – in the video and perhaps the sound a bit too. This is a ‘dark and grimey’ Arctic Monkeys tune. Quite a different sound from their previous songs but I that’s a good move (not that there was anything wrong with their music before). This is a more grown up sound but one with some bizarre lyrics. Arctic Monkeys fans will enjoy this one (even if they aren’t fans of Oasis). This is a definite buy for me!

Matt Brunton: BUY

It feels like forever ago that Arctic Monkeys released their debut album, which became the fastest selling debut album in British Music history. In fact, that was only five years ago but boy do they sound different now. “Don’t sit down cause I’ve moved your chair” still in essence feels like Arctic Monkeys but it definitely sounds different. It sounds darker, more intense. Lyrically it’s fairly simple and is actually a fairly calming influence in what is otherwise a fairly dark feeling song. I would agree with Dan in that Arctic Monkeys fans will like this. I’ve been an Arctic Monkeys fan since that debut album and have followed their evolution with interest. I like this, almost, darker turn in their music. This is a buy from me.

Strictly Our Opinion: BUY

2. Grinderman – “Evil” (Silver Alert Remix featuring Matt Berninger)

Danielle Gough: BUY

Not sure about this one. I think I like it but I’m not sure. My favourite part of the whole song is Matt Berninger’s soft, beautiful voice delicately breathing air on the slow, mellow tone of the music (cheesy!). I’m not very familiar with this type of music but I can’t help but think they’re like a slower sounding Massive Attack (don’t hurt me if I’m wrong) and overall I think I do like it so Buy!

Matt Brunton: SELL

The middle part of this song is ok. That’s about as nice as I can get. I just don’t get it, the vocals are probably the brightest point, Matt Berninger has a nice voice, and it brings a sense of order to what is otherwise just a chaotic mix of sounds and tunes. The underlying bass tune is good, if somewhat simple, but above that it’s like they’ve just thrown a bunch of different samples in without really checking to see if they go. Not a good one for me, sell.

Strictly Our Opinion: With the scores split it’s time for me to step in and make a decision: and it’s definite BUY from me. This special release for Record Store has turned the atonal bluster of Grinderman into a  uneasy chill-wave piece  that contrasts haunting natural sounds, sawing guitars and dubstep clicks with the silky mellifluous vocals of The National’s Matt Berininger: BUY

3. Death From Above 1979 – “Romantic Rights”/”Do It” (@ Coachella)

Danielle Gough: SELL

Not a fan of this song at all. It isn’t awful; just not my cup of tea. ‘Romantic Rights’ seemed like it took at least 3 minutes to properly kick in with the beat and even then it failed to impress. ‘Do It!’ is mildly more entertaining but I’m still not really enjoying it. In fact, the crowd don’t even seem that bothered. Basically if I was at Coachella, I wouldn’t have stuck around for more than 5 minutes. The only part I really enjoyed was the last 30 seconds. If the whole song was like that, I would’ve loved it! Unfortunately, it’s a sell from me.

Matt Brunton: BUY

The re-union of Death from Above 1979 was a joyous moment for a ton of people, the dance-rock duo were an influential and inspirational group back in the day. Their re-union brings them to Reading and Leeds 2011 and I think fans there will be relatively entertained. Dan is right when she says that “Romantic Rights” takes almost three minutes to kick off, which is somewhat of a shame since the song is only about four minutes long. I’d disagree that that last minute still wasn’t very entertaining though, I thought that was exactly what all Death From Above should sound like. “Do It” was just a more lively sounding tune in its entirety, elements of screamo in their giving it a different dimension. I like it, it’s a buy from me, although I’m not sure if people who were just hearing them for the first time at Reading 2011 would stick around for their whole set.

Strictly Our Opinion: I’m torn I agree with both our writers: DFA were rough around the edges and definitely not on top form but their was an energy and urgency to their performance, that being said they’ll have to step their game up for Reading and Leeds so a mild: SELL


It’s Half Time: Time for our reviews to change places, Matt your up…


4. Volbeat – “16 Dollars”

Matt Brunton: BUY

If you’d asked me three months ago whether or not I liked Volbeat; I would have looked at you blankly, absolutely no idea who they were. Now though, I both know of and love Volbeat and “16 dollars” is another track that just blows me away. To be able to so successfully blend old school Elvis Presley styled vocals with a fusion of punk rock, metal and good old rock’n’roll takes skill. Elvis Presley was a hero of rock and roll, but if he was ever to go into metal music this is exactly what I think he’d sound like. The tune is catchy, memorable and at times it even feels like a (metal) cover of an Elvis Presley song – that’s how good Volbeat are at what they do. I challenge anyone to listen to “16 Dollars” more than once through and not want to sing along.  This is a definite, definite, buy for me, and anyone who doesn’t know about the Danish quartet should educate themselves immediately.

Danielle Gough: BUY

3 months ago, I knew this band but chose not to listen to them for whatever reason. However since actually taking the time to listen to them, I love them! For a start, I’m tapping my foot to this catchy, familiar tune. Elivis Presley is quite a bizarre comparison but somehow I agree. Love the beat in this rockabily, metal sounding track. This quartet most certainly are talented as they can mix 2 sub-genre’s that work well together but it’s a rare occassion you hear a song that works so well. There’s also a mix of country and punk in there too! Matt is right to say that you can’t listen to it just once. I just listened to this song 4 times! Agreeing with Matt, this is a definite buy for me, Volbeat fans and to those who are unfamiliar with this band.

Strictly Our Opinion: BUY

5. Radiohead – “The Butcher”/“Supercollider”

Matt Brunton: SELL

I’m not a fan of Radiohead. There, I said it – and boy do I feel better getting that off my chest. I know they have a huge fan base, but I do not count myself among them. Every Radiohead song I have ever heard has sounded slow, lacking in passion and feeling and these two are no exception. “The Butcher” and “Supercollider” were released as singles on 12” Vinyl as part of Record Store Day; which took place on the 16th April. Both “The Butcher” and “Supercollider”, to me, sound practically identical. They blend in to each other and the music doesn’t make me feel anything other than boredom as Thom Yorke monotonously groans on. Musically both “The Butcher” and “Supercollider” are slow, with a calm mellow feel and an uncomplicated rhythm, which equals more generic Radiohead music. In my opinion, this is a sell – but if you like Radiohead you’ll almost certainly swallow this right up.

Danielle Gough: BUY

Well I’m a massive Radiohead fan so let’s face it – I’m going to love this track. The opening to “The Butcher” immediately pulls me in with its slow, perhaps even catchy tune. Thom Yorke’s lyrics and voice ingulfs me and as the music goes on, the tension builds. This song never really loses its momentum. I know Radiohead probably have as many fans as they have haters. Even as a fan, I do see why they’re hated yet I love them. “Supercollider” then blends beautifully into a melodious, mellow creative piece of work. The chord sequences throughout are wonderfully pieced together and that’s why these 2 tracks are perfect for each other. Yes Matt, I am certainly swallowing this right up. It’s a buy, buy, buy!

Strictly Our Opinion: King Of Limbs was an awkward and frankly predictable record, but it was also gloriously intricate containing some of Radiohead’s most challenging work. “The Butcher”/”Supercollider” represents the Radiohead of “Packt Like Sardines In A Crshd Tin Box” and that’s cool with me, and these tracks possess a uncomfortable lingering sexiness in their beats. This is lightweight Radiohead, but it’s still good Radiohead: BUY

6. Wiley – “Numb3rs In Action”

Matt Brunton: BUY

My forays into the world of grime are pretty limited. That’s not to say I dislike it, because I don’t. I like and am willing to listen to almost all music. Wiley’s new single “Numb3rs in Action” has a simple feel to it. It’s not over produced, it’s not full of auto tune or any of those other modern methods of making so called ‘good’ music. Wiley is clever, and his lyrics reflect that, often being both witty and catchy, as he at one point compares himself to a tutor, while in the chorus he constantly reminds us that, yes, he is a fan of Michael Jackson. Wiley isn’t my usual cup of tea, and yet he goes down easily enough and has left me hungry for more – so it’s a buy for me.

Danielle Gough: SELL

This isn’t usually what I listen to at all but I’m listening and giving it a chance. I can’t help but think of Dizzee Rascal immediately. His voice but not really the music. To me this song was a bit boring. Sounded like it droned on for 3 minutes 7 seconds too long. I know a catchy song when I hear one and this isn’t one that comes to mind. I don’t even think the lyrics are that clever. I’m trying to understand what he’s rapping about (well obviously he likes numbers) but at least his lyrics aren’t the typical materialistic rubbish (50 Cent comes to mind). The chorus is extremely repetitive as Matt points out and the final chorus loses momentum very quickly and finishes rather suddenly. I enjoyed the video and it was probably the most exciting thing that happened throughout the song. He’s clearly talented and can rap but I don’t think it’s enough for me – so it’s a sell.

Strictly Our Opinion: It seems like I’m buying everything this week, I’m with Matt, this isn’t Wiley’s best materiel but it’s a return to form and is a fun pop song that sounds damn good on a sunny day like today. Another reminder of how much potential Wiley has when he isn’t interminably stoned: BUY

That’s your lot for this week folks, feel free to get involved in the debate by leaving us a comment telling us if your buying or selling this week’s tracks.

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Author: david

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