How NOT to write about music – 80. Radiohead


Radiohead is shit.

Do not believe the hype. Never believe the hype. Just because the last 50 years in music journalism has been one long exercise in self-congratulatory self-important white boys writing about other self-congratulatory self-important white boys does not mean that it is a worthwhile, a noble, a salutatory craft. It is not. It is simply the sound of one long expulsion of air, flatulent and windy and peculiarly odorless, a miasma of meaningless pseudo-academic pontificating about nothingness and air, artifice, pomp and circumstantial crap, a dizzying diatribe of denial, an expedient expelling of extraneous emotion, valueless. Nothing.

My life over the last two decades has been swamped with people spouting crap like “I don’t want to say Radiohead is shit because you gotta applaud their effort and their imagination, their ability to find new directions and pathways and wasn’t it great when they put out that one album for as much as you wanted to pay”. No. It fucking wasn’t. They should have OFFERED me money to listen to that shit, and even then I wouldn’t cos… you know. Just say no, kids. Don’t be misled by all the serious boys and their serious beards playing their serious music under the serious moonlight. Just don’t. This is noodly whiny tuneless shit. All of it. Every last fuckin’ bit.

Fuck ’em. Flash, shallow and with no inner core. Fuck ’em. Radiohead is shit. All the dullest bits of all the dullest parts of histrionic rock vocalising, coupled with the dullest bits of Balearic – and man there have been plenty – coupled with the yawning chasms of imagination Supertramp have traded in since they dropped ‘songs’ from their repertoire, coupled with the dullest parts of the 1980s and the 1990s – and man there have been plenty – coupled with the dullest parts of life.

Grey, masquerading as grey.

I have nothing against pretentious and imagination, but Radiohead are like the pseudo-intellectual equivalent of the Rolling Stones: WILL NOT ONE PERSON STAND UP TO ATTACK THEM? And if you do? Cue the fucking crows. Cue the fucking weeping wailers. HOW DARE WE SLAG SOMETHING OFF OBVIOUSLY SO GENIUS? Says the fuck who. Shit you go to college to learn just so you can avoid listening to it ever again in your life. Some shit is so cancerous that not even the most benighted benevolent generous hapless hipster should be leaping to the fucktards’ defense.

Like being left alone in a world of fusion.

Do not believe the herd. Do not believe the herd. Never believe the herd. Unless the herd amuses you, or serves to provoke enemies, or divert attention away from yet another delayed train journey between Redhill and Dorking Deep fucking Dene.

Radiohead is shit. You don’t need to be beautiful to say this, you don’t need to be lonely. You don’t need to be popular, you don’t need to be a geek. Radiohead is shit.

Radiohead is shit. Do not fear the crowd. Has it not occurred to you that the crowd can be wrong sometimes? Radiohead is shit. Scream it from the rooftops and the balustrades. They have no grace, no style, no panache, no imagination. Nothing.

Ed Sheeran is shit. He makes James Blunt sound soulful. He makes Coldplay sound like coleslaw. He puts Morrissey into perspective. He is the grey. He is the grey. He is the grey in the middle of grey. His emotion is not. There is no anger, no joy, no passion. Neutral colour neutral carpet neutral wallpaper shit designed for the sole purpose of being neutral.

I’d eat at McDonald’s, if Haywards Heath fucking had one. I ‘d drink coffee at Starbucks. If Haywards Heath fucking had one. I’d buy my groceries at Asda. Yes, you got it.

Radiohead is shit. And that shit is everywhere.

How NOT to write about music – 33. Muse


God, I hate Muse.

Everything flash, shallow and opportune about music, overwrought and over-burdened with portentousness, rock music for boys who are no longer young but refuse to accept the fact performed by boys who are no longer young but still refuse to accept the fact and paraded as some form of “look how serious and earnest we are about music” when in reality Muse are flimsier, more crass and meaningless than an amalgam of shit identikit 2018 pop featuring Chainsmokers and Clean Bandit and that dick Calvin Harris. Schoolyard symbolism that wasn’t even big or clever when it was in the schoolyard. There’s no value, no frenzy, no meaning. Mock-anger paraded on the biggest stages of the land, like Green Day given a hefty dosage of prog theatrics and pop-up posturing, shit shit shit. God, I hate Muse. All the dullest bits of all the dullest parts of histrionic rock vocalising, coupled with all the dullest bits of prog and glam and cheeseboard guitar – and man there have been plenty – coupled with all the yawning chasms of imagination Pink Floyd have traded in ever since they dropped ‘songs’ from their repertoire, coupled with all the very dullest parts of retro 1980s electronica and retro 1980s rock posturing – and man there have been plenty – coupled with all the dullest parts of life. WHY IS IT THAT ALL THESE CUNTS INSIST ON SOUNDING EXACTLY LIKE EACH OTHER? The animals looked from pig to man, from man to pig, from Thom Yorke to Chris Martin to Matt Bellamy, and there is no way of telling them apart. God, I hate Muse. Where are you from ? Waitrose. Singing in a strained falsetto does not make you special or soulful it just means you sing in strained falsetto. The term space rock does not actually apply to their music: there is none of the mind-altering imaginings of Sun Ra or Alice Coltrane (who surely own the term), but a very earthbound reliance on tried tropes and even more tired production values. The Jonas Brothers of the rock world, Emerson Lake and Palmer without the musical flamboyance (and they didn’t even have any of that), an entire phalanx of shit for a generation bamboozled into thinking histrionic and flatulent means searching and imaginative instead of constipated and shit. God, I hate Muse. Dull as the bands that they so blatantly rip-off; in another age they’d have been called the Teignmouth Radiohead and reduced to a living eked out playing beered-up pubs full of lairy lads shouting “play fucking ‘Creep’ you wankers, not the pretentious shit”, indie buskers who unaccountably made it big. Musical theatre for people who have no idea how thrilling musical theatre can be. As people they seem remarkably inoffensive and well-meaning but that makes me hate them even more. As someone rightly once put it, “A band who if they weren’t famous would be assistant managers at branches of Subway in Rotherham, Wrexham and Dudley respectively”. Seven-minute guitar solos are not big. They’re not clever. They are seven-minute guitar solos. Like Dobby if he was given a rock band to play with. Bombastic, whiny, gross. God, I hate Muse. They were (sort of) OK when they were 16 because at least it was explainable then. They are not 16 now, not vaguely. They’re not Queen either. They’re not shit in the Smashing Pumpkins sense of the word but they sure as fuck ain’t Ariana. I feel so unclean.

Fun though – right? No.

This description is brilliant:

“Muse are for people whose political beliefs were formed by Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’. They’re for people who cite vaping as a sport. They’re for people who still fall out with their friends for not including them in their MySpace Top 8. They have ‘jet fuel can’t melt steel beams’ tattooed down their forearm. They wear black vests with tribal designs on them. If you were to ask Matt Bellamy who he hated most in this world it would either be George W. Bush or his Mum for grounding him after she caught him kissing a poster of Robocop.”