Featuring Arcade Fire, James Blake and... Miley Cyrus?

Singles eh? Gotta love 'em.

Or, at least, Itch does. Real name Jonny Fox, the former King Blues frontman turned solo artist recently released 'Homeless Romantic' - his latest spear thrown headlong towards the heart of the mainstream.

Adam Lazzarra drops by on vocals, with 'Hopeless Romantic' managing to fuse the unrelenting rhymes of Itch with a subtle pop touch. Who better, then, to review this week's new releases...

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Arcade Fire - Reflektor

This is Arcade Fire? I think I had them confused with a whole other, maybe exciting band this whole time. It’s awesome how the singer sounds like a girl. Then, they have a girl singer to add to his femininity. It’s like one loooong Guinness advertisement. Seven minutes and forty seconds? Wow, that’s a bit self indulgent for a single. If Peter Gabriel were a young man nowadays, this might be what he sounds like…and that’s far from a compliment. According to the hook, “this is a reflector” which begs the question of what kind of pussy ass shit were they looking at in the first place? I’m sorry. I really can’t make it past the three-minute mark. This whole “I’m so sensitive I’ll whisper the vocals” thing has just made me really aggressive. I don’t think that was the point.

James Blake - Life Round Here

The first 25 seconds of this video were the best: total silence. A wonderful take on John Cage. This guy sounds like he’s just been sent away from the dinner table for not eating his peas and is now clutching himself in a fetal position rocking back and forth in his room while he increases the volume of his wails as his parents walk by to try to grab their attention. Chance does his best to try to sound deep, which is a shame because he’s much better when he’s just being fun. I don’t really need to listen past three minutes, do I? I just can’t.

Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball

I must be the last person in the world to actually hear this song. Lucky me. It sounds like it was written by a committee of middle aged men trying to tap into what they believe teenage girls will relate to. It has all the elements, but somewhat misses the mark of anything resembling an actual emotion. My open letter to Miley would read: “Dear Miley, please cover your dad’s one hit ten times and make an awesome album. Lots of love, Itch.”

Franz Ferdinand - Evil Eye

I like the idea of Franz Ferdinand mainly because I love the idea of Talking Heads. That thing that makes David Byrne so wonderful is his uniqueness. The problem with copying that is that you’re always going to fall short. This song has all the elements of the Franz formula: choppy guitars, college funk drums, warbling “I’m so artsy” vocals. It just leaves me cold and unmoved mainly. Is this supposed to be danceable? These guys are in a massive band and I’d bet they don’t even get laid. Someone somewhere clearly has a lot of belief that they are going to write “Take Me Out” again and keeps giving them the chance to do so. In fairness, they’re trying and failing.

Janelle Monae - We Were Rock & Roll

Man, Disco sucks. What is this? Nu-disco? It is truly irritating. If they were going for irritating, they’ve hit the nail right on the head. So, congratulations for that. Are these really supposed to be lyrics? Janelle, you are leaving me with a lot of questions. It’s like she didn’t turn up for the session and the producer had to throw together a whole bunch of loops of throwaway lines and outtakes. Then, he got some awesome musicians to play a truly awful song. I just can’t make it past the second chorus. Sorry.

Nick Mulvey - Nitrous

This guy must have family in the industry, right? He’s so incredibly dull. I’d genuinely rather listen to a monotone lecture about the process of reapplying wallpaper. Great. Now, he’s humming. Humming?! Write some damn lyrics! Oh no. He wrote some and he’s addressing someone as 'Shorty' which really doesn’t fly coming from this guy. I take it back. Go hum!

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'Homeless Romantic' is out now - check out the video below, then some Itch tour dates after the jump.

18 Leeds Cockpit
19 Glasgow King Tuts
20 Manchester Roadhouse
21 Cardiff Ifor Bach
22 London The Underworld

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