As I’m too lazy to write regular music reviews I thought I’d pass the buck to someone else, and so a new feature is born, Parental Advisory. Its an irregular musical “Ask The Family”, where we give the latest singles, mp3s, and just musical curios to a family to give their opinion on. Hopefully we’ll highlight the tunes that span the generations…but most likely it’ll degenerate into a series of “I’m sorry but this just isnt music” type comments.

We need your help!!! Will you, your mum, gran, aunt, dad …. whoever makes up your “family” review some tracks for us? If youre interested then please leave a comment and we’ll send you some music to slag off!

Todays reviewers are:
Ryan, his mother, Elena and father, John all hailing from the picturesque northern English town, Carlisle.


Coldcut – Mr Nichols (Feat. Saul Williams)

The first taste from Coldcuts ‘Sound Mirrors’ LP, their first for 9 years. When Jon More and Matt Black played the melancholic bones of the tune to Saul Williams they could hardly have hoped that they could tease a better lyric from him. Its the story of Mr Nichols, a salaryman left on the edge, fallen apart and utterly empty. Will he jump?

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John: Is it established why Mr Nichols wants to jump? Could it be he had to listen to this rubbish!!??
I hate songs that have a suedo sentimental ‘talkie bit’, so to have the whole song with a suedo sentimental ‘talkie bit’ defies comprehension.

Ryan: I first heard Saul Williams when he was reciting a poem accapella to camera in the middle of a boxing ring. This presentation of his extraordinary talent for words was simple and effective. His solo work is the opposite, it features loud, fast and angry music which can never hope to sound as angry as his voice. They end up sounding weak by comparison. Coldcut seem to have recognised this and have backed his lyrics with quiet, trance-like and beautiful music. In places it sounds like some of the music Vangelis composed for the Blade Runner score (The pieces where he isn’t just ripping off Kraftwerk anyway). The places where they’ve made it sound like electronic bird’s song or the humming of robot crickets are truly wonderful. The use of saxophone two thirds through is also excellent. Perhaps the success of this collaboration would prompt Saul and Coldcut to do a whole album together, fingers crossed.

Elena: This would be better read as poetry……without the machine sound.


Arctic Monkeys – Mardy Bum (Demo)

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What can I say about the Monkeys that hasn’t been said already? If you’ve been living under a rock and havn’t heard them yet check out this link to download demos & videos..including their forthcoming 2nd No.1 Scummy.

Elena: Mardy what!!?? Bum? Well I won’t like this! You know how I feel about the bum word, but actually despite this I quite like the sound. (Even profanities can’t stop Elena falling under the seemingly irrisistable Monkey’s charm!-MLD)

John: Quite like this. Good tight band and nice quirky lyrics. Reminds me a bit of the Kinks.

Ryan: They’ve been called the new Libertines and musically this starts off sounding indistinguishable from them. Unlike other post Libertines bands the Arctic Monkeys have remembered to bring a tune with them, but it’s the lyrics and voice that make them a truly special band.
Like that other great Sheffield son Jarvis Cocker, Alex Turner has a talent for noting the profound and the mundane in the same breath. The way he says “Reet” instead of “Right” is the opposite of the hideous Mid-Atlantic accents adopted by some bands (I’m prepared to forgive Elton John). With most bands having one line on a whole album that stands out is a treat. This song brims over with them, and is just one of many they’ve yet to release. 2006 will be owned by this band and if they can keep it together the rest of the decade as well.


Juan Maclean – Give Me Every Little Thing

Taken from the highly acclaimed debut album ‘Less Than Human’, ‘Give Me Every Little Thing’ rewinds through Underworld and Talking Heads en route to Studio 54, riding roughshod over the most funktified bassline you’ll hear this year. The vocal line comes courtesy of label friend/producer James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.

MP3 sample / MP3 Download

Ryan: I’ve only encountered Juan Maclean once before with a remix of the excellent Chromeo track Needy Girl. This has a similar sound, especially the bass. It’s not quite as simple and not nearly as much fun. The lyrics are pretty non-existent. It repeats “Give me every little thing” and “Don’t stop” about a million times. It’s very well arranged but it’s not the sort of thing that I would keep listening to. Music really needs to say something to me and this says little. However with this much musical invention going on I’m sure with a great guest vocalist or better lyrics this guy’s capable of great things.

John: Song doesn’t go anywhere, just repeats and repeats. At the end singer keeps on saying ‘don’t stop’, ….. is he a masochist? (keyboard player has obviously given a 70’s synth for his birthday, but does he have to practise it in my time?) Gets better after 3min 57sec.

Elena: Sorry can’t even finish this, horrid Noise! Does this even count as music?? (Thanks Elena, You win the “I’m sorry but that just isnt music” prize for the first “thats just noise” comment of many to come!- MLD)


Kate Bush – King Of The Mountain

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Elena: I like her voice, but not her, which puts me off a bit. The drums are also very over powering.

Ryan: As with any artist returning after such a long silence they find other people have taken what they started and ran off with it. Artists like Bjork and Arcade Fire have done things more successful than this. I find this track starts off sounding like one of Rosin Murphy new tracks. The way the drums kick in about a third way through is great, but then the guitar that crops up just after seems too heavy-handed against the subdued background for my taste. This comes from a double album so even if this sounds a bit average I wouldn’t write her off just yet.

John: Good song, I like the way it builds, shame it hasn’t got a hook so that you could remember it.


R.L Burnside – The Criminal Inside

For more on the late great R.L visit the “Diddy Wah” MP3 blog …. actually even if you don’t want to know more about R.L. visit it anyway…it’s a musical education!
You’ll also find three more R.L tracks to download and enjoy.

MP3 Download

Ryan: “Mum, Mum I want some milk”…great opening line. Thought this sounded like the Soledad Brothers on one of their better days, but apparently it’s Jon Spencer, which I can see. It’s a bit spoilt by the repetitive nature of most of the song (The guitar riff just isn’t strong enough to sustain it). Two thirds through it really kicks up a gear. Jon Spencer (I guess, doing his best Elvis/Iggy impression) starts trading words with R.L. Burnside. Jon asks R.L. for 40 Nickels and lots of shouting and swearing ensues. This part would be mind blowing live.

Elena: Quite like this. Sounds like good soul, but its a shame about the f words!

John: Way way too long, and not very good blues at that.


The Fall – I Can Hear The Grass Grow

Elena: This would be very good to dance to, after a few glasses of cider (although I think i’d need the cider to make me actually want to dance to it!)

Ryan: I’d been aware of the Fall for a while but had only really got into them when BBC4 screened a brilliant documentary about the band. I next saw them on ‘Later’ where Mark E Smith left a microphone feeding back to annoy Jools. That night they played new material from the now released album “Fall Heads Roll” (Perhaps they even played this). I was struck by the vicious and yet still pop sound of the band. So I was very excited by the new album. It’s fantastic and this track is definitely a highlight (Early Days Of Channel F is also great).

John: The music is good and even an improvement on the original(1967, The Move), however the singing lets it down badly, incoherent mumbling.


Ironweed – Down To My Grave (Audio Suspects Remix)

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John: Why doesn’t he just get on and ‘ride his train down to the graveyard’ sooner without mowping about it. However I can relate to the three people doing the lethargic hand clapping in the middle of the song. (Do they have branch-lines into graveyards in America??) (I believe its whats known as a metaphor. Just as the girl in the Beatles song wasn’t really getting a train to a Welsh seaside town, and Led Zepp didnt really use their stana stairlift to the gods! – MLD)

Ryan: I love the croaky sound that ‘Blind Dog Magoo’ has on this song. This isn’t his real name but he can hardly open the song with “Now, I moved from Mississippi about 1943” if he doesnít assume a character because he’s actually from Manchester. It sounds similar to the conversational style of William Shatners amazing “That’s Me Trying” (One of my all time favourite songs). The EP that this comes from contains other remixes that brilliantly funky but this one is the best because it’s quiet enough to leave the voice room to breathe. It has that deliciously cheesy yet soulful quality of Barry White. Surely this is one of the singles of the year.

Elena: Reminds me of ‘Paint Your Wagon’, so I like this.