Friday, 1 July 2011

Cover Art Reviews



Lady Gaga
Born This Way

Rob: So...is she a man, a woman or a motorcycle? Is that the question I'm supposed to be asking myself?
Brad: Are you a Lady Gaga fan?
Rob: I don't really know. Occasionally I hear a song on the radio and think "I can understand the appeal", but I don't think it's for me. I would fucking ruin her though.
Brad: I think that, as an artist, she puts an awful lot of work into her image - both onstage and in the artwork. That's undeniable, right?
Rob: Of course. Anyone who wears a meat dress is image-conscious.
Brad: So why use such a shitty Photoshop job? Incidentally, I'd probably ruin her, too, but I am also aware that you never see her and Marilyn Manson in the same place at the same time.
Rob: True, but then I've never really been looking.
Brad: It's not just me, is it? That image looks really flat. The more I look at the front half of the bike, the stupider it looks, and then I notice how cock-eyed the back wheel is.
Rob: It's probably the closest to a bike that I'd fuck. That's the power of Gaga, I guess.
Brad: Yeah, I can't think of an bike that I'd like to fuck more. What position's easiest when fucking a half-bike, half-Gaga. A Biga. Gake.
Rob: Well, you want to open the exhaust, I guess...
Brad: Score?
Rob: I doubt it, she's famous. Oh, right...7/10.
Brad: 1/10
Rob: Wow, you must hate bikes.
Brad: Even ignoring how shitty that Photoshopping is, that's what the dice rolled. Sometimes Loki gets it right.


Bon Iver
Bon Iver

Rob: Hmmm...Right...Okay...Interesting. I've looked at it from four angles, and it looks pretentious from all of them.
Brad: I suspect that the artist just spilled their water jar over the painting and sent it off anyway.
Rob: "Fuck! Wait, it's for an indie artist."
Brad: It looks like a very prog The Wind in the Willows.
Rob: "Trapped inside this Amphibivarium!"
Brad: There's the house from The Evil Dead in the middle. You think this is indie, then?
Rob: Oh, of course it is! The signs are all there.
Brad: Enlighten me. What should I be looking for? The brownish beige?
Rob: The colour scheme, in general. The fact that there's no mention of the band or the album name.
Brad: So...by that criteria The Beatles were an indie band.
Rob: The fact that his previous albums include "For Emma, Forever" and "Helplessness Blues". White people can't do blues. It's not allowed.
Brad: I'm pretty sure they can, dude. Edgar Winter is the whitest man, ever. Literally. I suspect that this is part of a walkthrough map for one of the Uncharted games.
Rob: I've just previewed some of the tracks on iTunes. Indie. I rest my fucking case.
Brad: I just made a video game joke before you did. Indie's a wide genre. This does look like dreary, brown wank, though. Indie's a beige genre.
Rob: Very much so. Ahhhh, I put Boston on as the antidote.
Brad: Seriously, I was a teenager during the height of the Oasis/Blur thing. And even then I thought that if Indie was weather, it would be drizzle. I don't know who buys that shit. Who goes into a record store and says "Hi, there. Could you recommend me something. I want to rock...but not too much."
Rob: I have a few albums by bands you would consider amongst dreary Indie, but I'd argue against their inclusion in that category.
Brad: Try me. I, too, own a few albums by bands that could be broadly labelled Indie, but they don't smell of wet dog.
Rob: Manic Street Preachers.
Brad: They're too heavy, rocky, prog and good to be dreary indie.
Rob: I think the distinction needs to be made between "Soft Rock" and "Indie".
Brad: Okay, make your distinction.
Rob: "Soft Rock" is bands like Oasis, Blur, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers. They've got the full band, but maybe don't always use all of them in every song (hence the odd acoustic number). They will combine for a good majority of their albums, though.
Brad: Okay.
Rob: I reckon about 70%+ of the songs on an album will have the full band going.
"Dreary Indie" has a full band, but generally the drummer would be happier with some rice krispies in a fucking plastic bag that he can either shake or eat while he suffocates on his own mediocrity. It's easier to spot a Dreary Indie band soundchecking.
Brad: See, the albums I had that I was going to call Indie were ones by James, Ocean Colour Scene and Kasabian. All of which, under this definition, I would have to class as Soft Rock.
Rob: I'd say Kasabian are more in the soft rock category.
Brad: I'm breaking the rules, and I'm going to listen to a track.
Rob: Morningrunner would illustrate it best.
Brad: Yeah, but we want something off this album.



Brad: It sounds like Genesis crashing their car into 10cc.
Rob: It sounds like Peter Gabriel, twenty-five years after Peter Gabriel was cool, and devoid of the musical talent.
Brad: Yeah, we call that 'Genesis, Post Peter Gabriel'.
Rob: Ah, yeah.
Brad: It really, really, really, really sounds like...and I do not use this adjective lightly...a shit Phil Collins.
Rob: I didn't even know you could put those words together.
Brad: Who buys this?
Rob: Pretentious twats, I'd wager. Or wet ponces.
Brad: I would have more respect for a Take That than I would for a Bon Iver fan.
Rob: Old Take That or new Take That?
Brad: New. Or, both.
Rob: See, I'm a bit of a fan of New Take That, not a huge fan.
Brad: I don't think there's anyone who likes old Take That, but doesn't much rate their new stuff, dude.
Rob: Good point.
Brad: My girlfriend's really into New Take That. I've found some stuff I like, but I don't like it enough to actually buy any.
Rob: That's one of the few reasons I like iTunes, I can get the odd track.
Brad: If she brought this home, I'd have to wonder where I went wrong. You know what's a bigger bullet in the head that "This song is shit"?
Rob: Go on.
Brad: I totally just tuned out tha last three minutes of it. Boring is worse than bad.
Rob: I stopped playing it after thirty seconds, now I'm listening to Take That. Stupid liminal advertising.
Brad: By a weird coincidence, I'm listening to Lady Gaga.
Rob: Hunh.
Brad: Score? 1/10
Rob: 2/10. From all 4 angles, it's still shit.


Limp Bizkit
Gold Cobra

Rob: See, this is more like it. Snakes and women.
Brad: See, I'm not a Limp Bizkit fan - not by a long shot, but yeah, this is at least in the right ball park as to what album artwork should be like.
Rob: Granted, the woman at the front looks like she's melting, but still...
Brad: Dude! Gollum's in the background!
Rob: Sniffing his finger for some reason...Reckon he had it up the girl on the right's arse? Actually, the one at the back. She looks pained. And Gollum seems to have a fairly long finger as well.
Brad: Is that The Black Pearl on the horizon?
Rob: You know, I think it is.
Brad: I don't like the execution, but at least the ideas are there. It's better than "Appetite For A Quite Milky Tea", or whatever the hell Bon Iver's album was called. I've also now spotted a chameleon, a hammer and a knuckle duster. Score?
Rob: I almost certainly would, look at those girls, they can't be choosers!
Brad: 9/10.
Rob: 9/10 for me as well.


Bitch
Be My Slave

Rob: Be her slave?
Brad: HER? I'm less convinced of this thing's gender than I was with Lady Gaga.
Rob: Point.
Brad: This looks like the most poorly resarched S&M session in history.
"What does one do for this 'kinky sex' malarky?"
"I don't know...belts, I guess..."
Rob: "Whips?"
"Oh, probably."
Brad: "And plenty of backcombing."
See, much as I hated the Bon Iver thing - and I really did, you know - at least we had a good handle on what sort of music it was. With this I have literally no idea. Hair metal? Techno? Synth-pop? Eurotrance? Nothing seems quite right.
It's like trying to imagine what Chewbacca eats. Nothing that you can imagine him eating seems quite right.
Rob: I'll check. Wow, it's like Pat Benatar but amazingly angry. Going back through her discography is even more bizarre. It's like Pat Benatar toured with Rush, Slayer, Thin Lizzy...
Brad: So...her name is "Bitch"? And everytime she has sex she has to raid Claire's Accessories?
Rob: Presumably. Her real name is Betsy I think. Doesn't have the same ring, does it?
Brad: Betsy...Itch?
Rob: Could be...7/10.
Brad: 4/10.


Toxic Holocaust
Conjure and Command

Rob: You can always rely on a band named Toxic Holocaust.
Brad: ...to have artwork that looks like it was ripped from a Fighting Fantasy gambeook.
Rob: Yeah, I thought that looked familiar. House of Hell, right?
Brad: I think it's a fairly safe bet to say that they will one day realase an album called "Vampire Weasel". I think this is an illustration of how you make a Lady Gaga.
Rob: I make my lady gaga with cake. 5/10.
Brad: 4/10.

Words: Brad Harmer & Rob Wade

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