So Beady Eye have split after failing to set the world on fire. If they had hoped to be Whitesnake to Oasis’ Deep Purple, they ended up being Paice, Ashton & Lord.
Was Michael Moorcock’s Law and Chaos based on any real-world religious or philosophical system, or did he create it from the whole cloth? It’s remarkable how manycultural conflicts that cut across traditional political and religious lines make more sense when framed as Law vs. Chaos, or between conflicting strains of Law.
Trojan Horse are one of those bands who defy easy categorisation. One week they’re playing progressive rock festivals sharing bills with the likes of Mostly Autumn and The Enid, the next week they’re supporting post-punk legends The Fall.
To quote their own bio, the Salford-based quartet aim to drag 70s progressive rock kicking and screaming through all the subsequent decades, and their second full-length album “World Turned Upside Down” sees them do precisely that.
Instrumental opener “Jurapsyche Park” jump-cuts between manic surf guitar and the intricacies of Discipline-era King Crimson to end in a frenetic climax of duelling Hammond organ and abrasive guitar that recalls the live jam at end of Deep Purple’s “Space Trucking”. It manages to pack an awful lot into just over four and a half minutes.
From then on the album explodes in all directions at once. “Sesame” comes over as a strange mash-up between Yes and The Talking Heads. There are brief numbers called “Interlude”, “Centrelude” and “Outerlude”. The equally short “See Me At The Crow Bridge” is one minute twelve seconds of delicate beauty.
The title track starts with a Peter Hammill-style vocal and ends with squalling violin. The largely instrumental Behemoth with it’s warm rippling guitars even recalls mid-70s Rush at one point. Towards the end of the album, the lengthy “Hypocrite’s Hymn” with an extended instrumental workout goes from prog-jazz to avant-noise, and the semi-acoustic folk-prog of “Death And The Mad Queen” would not have sounded out of place on a Decemberists record. The album ends with the hilarious punky “Fire! Fire!” complete with fire engine noises.
Trojan horse put prog-rock, post-punk and free jazz into a blender, and what comes out is as just as bonkers as their live performances. They can be as visceral and pummeling as their stage act when they want to, but on record there’s a lot of variety and musical sophistication too. Unlike lesser bands who attempt derivative pastiches of the sounds of 70s progressive rock or 80s post-punk, Trojan Horse capture the spirit of the things, which is what makes their music sound fresh and exciting.
Despite the increasingly heated rhetoric, the culture wars across gaming and SF&F can only end with some sort of truce. A world where one “side” gains total victory over the other and all the things and people they don’t like are disappeared will not result in a healthy creative environment for anyone.
The music world has long since split into multiple overlapping tribes that, however grudgingly, allow each other to exist and don’t intrude in each others’ spaces. 30 years on, the only people who still care about the Punk Wars resemble those Japanese soldiers in the 1970s emerging from the jungle not realising the war was over and the world had moved on. The worlds of games and science fiction media needs to do the same.
This isn’t to say the doxxing, death threats, sexist harassment or abusing stalking we’ve been seeing is in any way acceptable. That needs to be called out, regardless of who is doing or encouraging it.
This must be a familiar situation to any software developer. You come up with a clean, elegant design that meets the customer’s stated needs. Then at the last minute they come up with a new requirement.
So you end up with this. Someone I won’t name has described it as looking like “the world’s most disturbing sex toy”.
Coming up with an elegant way to add a corridor connection on the front of a train is a challenge that’s defeated generations of industrial designers. Even the better results have been functional rather than beautiful. But it does help if the door at the front had been a requirement from the start.
(Photos from Transport Briefing)
If Q Magazine can name Kasabian as the best band in the world and the best live act, we have reached Peak Q. Anyone who still takes that magazine seriously needs to get out more.
Unlike one nototious band forum I don’t delete comments unless they’re offensive, threatening or libellous. But do be aware that bands do sometimes read this blog.
Despite not having his collar felt by Operation Yewtree, 70s Radio One DJ Mike Read seems determined to make a criminal record. You can split hairs over whether or not his awful cod-Jamaican accent is racist (I think it is), but the record itself is unspeakably horrible. It carefully combines the worst lyrical aspects of Pendragon’s “Green and Pleasant Land” with the musical grace of Joe Dolce’s “Shaddup You Face”. Ugh.