26 March 2013

26th March - Gorillaz' Gorillaz

Artist – Album: Gorillaz - Gorillaz
Released:  26th March 2001
Sounds Like: A helluva lot cooler than the Archies.

Gorillaz weren’t the first hit cartoon group – Comic book characters The Archies were the sickly sweet one hit wonderers responsible for ‘Sugar, Sugar’ – but they were still something startlingly new when they first landed in the early noughties.

The fantastic, Thriller, Dawn of the Dead AND Braindead referencing music video to ‘Clint Eastwood’ (no, I didn’t pick up on all the cultural nods either), actually served to distract from the cool and refreshing blend of trip hop beats and indie rock sensibilities created by Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett and producer Dan “The Automator” Nakamura. Or 2D, Murdoc, Russel and Noodle, as their fictional representatives are known. ‘Clint Eastwood’ is without a doubt the strongest track on the album, a The Good, The Bad and The Ugly sampling hip hop pastiche, well described by Allmusic as an update of the Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’. But it ain’t the be all and end all as far as the album goes. ‘Re-Hash’ and ‘ 5/4’ are more straightforward but good indie songs, whilst ‘Rock the House’ and ’19-2000’ were enjoyable singles by their own right.

I remember that one of my MTV-less friends went to see Gorillaz soon after the release of this album, and he was so devastated to find that he couldn’t see the real band, as they played behind the screen on to which their animated alter-egos were projected. Having never seen the videos, he had just thought Gorillaz was just the name of Blur singer Damon Albarn’s side project, the title of his dabbling into a variety of genres that his main group wouldn’t touch with a ten foot barge pole (now, a twelve foot barge pole would be a different matter altogether). For the most part, this isn’t just some rock stars wanky meanderings into strange territory, and some of this is great fun. But at times it does descend into for-the-big-fans-only territory, and it’s easy to see how the boy made the mistake. Still, it’s a great debut album from a band that aren’t afraid to do things differently.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       Re-Hash – 3:37
2.       5/4 – 2:39
3.       Tomorrow Comes Today – 3:12
4.       New Genius (Brother) – 3:57
5.       Clint Eastwood – 5:39
6.       Man Research (Clapper) – 4:32
7.       Punk – 1:36
8.       Sound Check (Gravity) – 4:40
9.       Double Bass – 4:44
10.   Rock the House – 4:08
11.   19-2000 – 3:27
12.   Latin Simone (¿Que Pasa Contigo?) – 3:36
13.   Starshine – 3:31
14.   Slow Country – 3:35
15.   M1 A1 – 10:40

Listen to ‘Slow Country’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jO0r1vu5Ek

Also released on the 26th March:
1996: Neutral Milk Hotel – On Avery Island
Also released on the 26th March:
2007: The Bees - Octopus

No comments:

Post a Comment