Wild Frontier

The new album from The Prodigy – The Day Is My Enemy – is out, and it’s unapologetically bleepy, shouty, loud and beautiful. Already at number 1 in the UK, it seems that Keith et al. have been sorely missed.

Here’s the mad video for Wild Frontier. And yes, that’s a stuffed moose on a motorbike.

Somewhere deep in the past of this blog, I wished for the renaissance of 90’s bands, just as we have enjoyed (or endured, I suppose, depending on your point of view), something of a revival of 80’s bands touring and re-releasing once again. If this album is part of that (and yes, I know that there’s the argument here that The Prodigy never really went away), then I, for one, cannot wait. It’s brilliant. This is one of those albums that will certainly be up there, vying for second place in the coveted 6000 miles… Album of the Year award 2015.

If you want to go even deeper, head for the excellent KillSonik remix (set to Youtube to HD and phasers to stunning).

Vintage Muse

Perhaps because they announced that they will have a new album out this time next year, or perhaps just because Steve Jobs’ spinny touchy wheel thing on my iPod looks really nice but doesn’t actually work every time, I ended up doing an Artists – Muse – All Songs – Random on my way into work this morning.

“I’m going to blog some vintage Muse this morning,” I thought. “People need some vintage Muse today.”
But which song to choose from the 106 that I have on my device?

Muse in Cape Town, 2008

At first, it seemed easy: Unintended was on, and as the orange sun rose over the mountains, that seemed perfect. But then there was suddenly New Born and that was great too. And then Map Of The Problematique, arguably my favourite Muse song, but quite dangerous in an overly-energetic way.

Basically, each song seemed better than the last, which is no bad way for things to be going, but which wasn’t helping with any sort of decision making. So I made a plan: whichever song was playing when I arrived at work would be the one I would share. And that was Falling Away With You.

Sadly, the only version I could find of Falling Away With You was this rather dodgy live piano cover. Complete with a lot of coughing and other audience noise. Ugh.

You deserve better. And so you get this one, with its salutary-message-shock-twist-in-the-tail ending:

According to that link at the top, Matt Bellamy has said that the new album:

…should be something that really does strip away the additional things that we’ve experimented with on the last two albums, which is electronics, symphonics and orchestral work and all that kind of stuff.

That disappoints me a little. Not because I don’t enjoy a bit of vintage Muse (see this post, for example), but because I thought that the last couple of albums were ground-breaking in the way that they dragged in all sorts of drama and showmanship on top of their rocky foundation. It was all so new, so adventurous, so different.

Not everyone liked it. But not everyone likes One Direction and they seem to do ok!!!!

I will, of course, get the new album when it comes out. It will, of course, be brilliant. But it won’t be unique. And that seems like a bit of a step backwards for me.

New Apparatjik album in February

Incoming from the boys of Apparatjik (previously seen here on 6000 miles…) – their new album Square Peg In A Round Hole is due to be released on the 21st February 2012. Which is as good a reason as any to give you another taste of their first album – this is the melancholic desperation of Electric Eye:

In a nod to their music/art fusion, the band have pre-released certain parts of the album for fans to “premix” before the official launch next year:

More bassification.
Newer songings?
More Magne A vocalings?
Synthesizer soloings by Jonas A?
Bedtime story by Martin A?
Falsetto tunings by Guy A?
You want to re-mix? apparatjik lets you premix

But you need to have an iPad to be able to partake and I don’t have one of them.

The Perfect Setlist

It’s always a toughie when a band is touring. They’re out there promoting their new material, but the fans turn up wanting to have a good night listening to their classics. Finding a suitable balance is always going to be difficult, but apparently, there is some thought that goes into it.
Here’s how my hometown boys and recent 6000 miles… featurees work it out, their strategy revealed by lead guitarist Jamie Cook to NYMag.com.

“The View From the Afternoon”
“When I saw the Strokes at Madison Square Garden, they started with the first song on their first album, and it was great. I thought we should do the same.”

“Brianstorm”
“To start off the set, we play stuff people can dance to.”

And then, that awkward moment discussed above:

“Don’t Sit Down ’Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”
“This is the first new one, five songs in. Some people are waiting to hear it, and some people are going to be like, F*** this! Why can’t they play an old one?

Before he demonstrates that he’s been to gigs as an audience member as well:

“I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”
“I imagine a fan bringing a date to our show who doesn’t know us that well. We play loads of new stuff, and when we get to ‘Dancefloor,’ he turns to her and says, ‘You’ll definitely know this one.’ If she says, ‘I don’t know this one either,’ that’s when maybe you shouldn’t see much of her again. We’re helping our fans: If they pass this test, it must be love!”

Acknowledging the difficulties of introducing new music on tour:

“She’s Thunderstorms”
“We’d love to go out and be able to play twelve new songs, but that’s not really fair, so there are five new ones on here — this one opens the new album. At the first few gigs, the idea is to test them out and see how they go.”

And ending on the right note:

“Fluorescent Adolescent”
“It’s good for singing along. For the last song, that’s what you need. That’s it! Let’s hope the sun shines, but just in case, bring an umbrella.”

And I agree with most of what he says, but let’s be honest, his hands (and those of every other band on tour promoting a new album) are tied. That might account for the “interesting” guitar work on the new album, incidentally. The fans are not there to hear the new stuff – even when it becomes a hit some way down the line, they won’t remember seeing it live.
There’s no familiarity with a  favourite lyric, no personal link to an event or events in one’s life; there’s no emotion attached to it.

But  – against what the Arctic Monkeys told us “There’s only music so that there’s new ringtones” – without new music, there would be no tours and the whole argument would be rendered invalid anyway. Thus, it looks like the age old recipe of the 70:30 split of old to new. And working on a set of about 20 songs, that still means that you’re going to get 14 of your favourites in.

It’s probably still worth the price of a ticket.

Suck It and See is the fourth studio album from the Arctic Monkeys and is released on 6th June.

The band recently announced two hometown gigs at the Don Valley Bowl on June 10 and 11. They will be headlining the annual V festival occurring August 20-21 with Eminem, Rhianna and Plan B and will also be headlining the T in the Park festival with Coldplay and the Foo Fighters which runs from July 8-10.