Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Ambulance/Gun - Conventional Weapons, My Chemical Romance

The second single from Conventional Weapons, ‘Ambulance‘- will it live up to the expectations set by the first?

'Ambulance', on first listen there's mixed impressions, but its worth sticking  with. It’s the song that creeps up and grows on you. more than likely becoming the favorite out of now where.
It opens with the band impersonating a church choir, but are thankfully soon joined by MCR typical, yet still very enjoyable guitars. Not that they don’t all have lovely harmonious voices, but I’m glad it only lasts for 30 seconds. I’m all for progression and experimentation's, but really guys? 
The songs got the ‘Rock Pop’ chorus, think ‘I’m Not Okay’, with thick choppy Punk guitars. They sure do know how to use their two guitars to create that rich full sound. Gerard’s clear strong vocals posses his gorgeous mournful cry. The song even contains very simplistic and brief piano, its a nice little touch. Personally I still prefer ‘Tomorrows Money’ though.

‘Gun’, is a lot more direct and more instantly likable. It opens with pounding drums then a very deep fuzzy synth. It’s a very nice introduction. Gerard’s bold vocals are more frantic, the guitars are more defined, sharper, with some nice subtle feedback. Not a bad song, lively and energetic. The only problem is how repetitive it is.

 The more I hear the more I can understand the scraping of the album, but, having said that also why they have chosen to release it anyway, so far there's hasn't been a bad songs.

In conclusion, good but not great. There was just something more with the first two tracks, they posses a certain spark that these songs miss ever so slightly.

One thing I do really like is the art design. The gritty dull colour's and minimalism works well, really adding to the overall effect and atmosphere being slowly built up.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Boy Division-/Tomorrows Money- new/old single from My Chemical Romance

Boy Division-/Tomorrows Money- new/old single from My Chemical Romance

For the less fanatical fans, or interested passer by, this is a seriously exciting news. Let me explain. The Black Parade came out in 2006, then came the four year void with a scrapped album being the only news. Then in 2010 they graciously give us the treasure trove that was Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys.  Skip to 2012 and being released single by single, so two songs at a time, is the scrapped album that has been christened Conventional Weapons. On hearing the first single ’Boy Division’ with the B-side ’Tomorrows Money’ I can understand why this album was scrapped, for it is technically a step backwards but for the fans, we’re on a our knee’s thanking the band while clutching this tiny peep hole into the lost years of MCR close to our hearts.

There fast, furious and as passionate as ever; its Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge but matured, with a hint of that new twist they perfected and turned into Danger Days.

With ‘Boy Division’ there’s no messing or wasting time, we immediately go into the song, not the slightest hint of a introduction. Its fast powerful and so very Revenge in a great way. Choppy guitars dominate with Gerard back to wailing passionately. Its like Black Parade never happened, the pop of ‘Teenagers’ forgotten, but the fast cynicism of ‘It's Not A Fashion Statement, It's A Deathwish‘ back in full force.

‘Tomorrows Money’ is the fun B-side, it’s dancing in outside in a thunderstorm, the fun in funeral. It’s Revenge with that catchy pop edge that turned into Danger Days. Distorted vocals menacingly croon cynical lyrics, thick scratchy guitars and a fast beat; perfect.

The Cure- Wish

 The Cure- Wish (1992) – Fiction Records

Merely three years on from the infamous Disintegration album and they hand us their ninth studio album, Wish, which in my opinion brings them right back on form. It’s simply stunning.

The album opens with, get this ‘Open’, got to love their wit at times. Guitars swoop in and mop round in circles as Smiths wonderfully dull bored vocals come in. It’s all low key, with irritated guitars circling like a bad thought you can’t get out of your head and eventually takes hold. This is the bored anger that follows the despair of Disintegration. Single, ‘High’ picks up the mood as it shimmers in next, with chunky jangling innocent guitars and wistful vocals, singing lyrics of a lover, for when is he not? You can’t help but smile at this happy little tune, the perfect contract to the ‘Open’.

 ‘Apart’ drops the mood again and gives up all hope. Guitars are shy and simplistic as the dominant sound is the solemn, church like keyboard. Robert heart brokenly whispers sadly of a lost love. This slow minimalistic six minute song represents perfectly the emotions you would be inescapably feeling.  This general sound and mood continues with ‘From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea’ while staying low key, is bolder, catcher almost with its faster pace, Roberts voice more demanding, begging for attention or forgiveness.

This all changes with ‘Wendy Time’, the perfectly placed Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me throw back. Its upbeat, fast paced and funky with its squelching guitars and prominent drums. It really highlights The Cure talent for pulling off complete style and mood changes, but to be honest, it isn’t the best song on the album. The mood is not only continued but gets happier and brighter with ‘Doing The Unstuck’ and the famous pop hit ‘Friday I’m In Love’.  ‘Doing The Unstuck’ is witty, cheeky and ever so positive, simply makes you want to dance giddily as it shimmers round you like the warmth of summers sun. ‘Friday I’m In Love’ is the typical Cure pop love song, but my oh my do they pull it off once again! It’s everything you’d want, simplistic, memorable, silly happy lyrics and lovely little hooks. If they didn’t have at least one song like this on all their albums, you’d think it to be a parody, even the videos silly and fun. 

‘Trust’ brings everything back down to Earth again. It’s slow, with lamentable piano to open, soon joined by a soft church organ like keyboard, which continues to build up with timid acoustic guitar joining. All these gentle lowly layers of instruments are perfect; Smiths remorseful voice fits perfectly as always. It’s a truly beautiful song. ‘ A Letter To Elise’, despite being a single, I believe isn’t the best song on the album. Musically or lyrically it’s not bad or missing anything, I just don’t connect to it at all. Personally I find it whiney after a few minutes. ‘Cut’ picks up the mood and sound of the first half but much more aggressive. Its furious electric guitars dominating over a fast beat with Smith almost shouting at you. It’s a hopelessly passionate song.

‘To Wish Impossible Things’ is a stunningly beautiful sombre song. It builds throughout the long introduction with delicate layers of slow acoustic guitar, echoed soft bongo drums and violins. The occasional muffled clash of a gong and tambourine adds to the general atmosphere and grant landscape of the piece. I could repeatedly listen to this song without it becoming boring or would it lose its great emotional effect. Roberts voice is as beautiful as he tenderly whispers of lose wishes.

 ‘End’, the closing track, is more symbolic of a title then it first appears to be, as the band were, yet again, at breaking point and Robert wanted to end it all, get away from The Cure, its fans, everything the band had become and had ended up representing. The fans did have a scare as the next album, Wild Mood Swings, didn’t appear till 1996, and was, in my eyes, a disappointment. Thank god for the following album Bloodflowers from 2000.
Back to ‘End’, the song’s resentful, bitter in tone as irate guitars coil menacingly round and round, getting increasingly darker. It’s a very sour way to end such a diverse album but it’s very much a Cure way to do things. It links nicely to the ‘Open’-ing track, rounding it all off with no loose ends, like life or the final goodbye? The album certainly does include most of what The Cure does best.  The song even had a harshly sarcastic ‘Du du du’ in the middle, most famously found in their happy-go-lucky pop songs, further adding to the atmosphere. It all finishes with the repeated bitter phrase “Please stop loving me, I am none of these things”, a direct message to the adoring fans?

Wish is a love affair, or maybe even their view on life. It reflects all the real emotions; the love and fun, the mistrust and betrayal, the loneliness and remorse. Then finally nothing but bitterness. The album switches emotions almost randomly to reflect the reality of it, we have joyous moments and downcast moments, but we always round back to anger and bitterness. I believe it to be a brilliant album, a shining example of The Cures endless musical and lyrical talents. - High - To Wish Impossible Things