This weeks column is brought to you by Justin Bieber's long walk to freedom, big guns with tiny bullets, the colour purple and the number 4.


Elbow - New York Morning

There is no doubting Guy Garvey's ability to slow build euphoria inside the minds of morons. Exhibit A: I was completely sold. Until the bit where he sings 'Oh my giddy Aunt', then I snapped out of it and sat this one out.

I know everyone loves Elbow and they can do no wrong and blah and blah, but I will never feel at home in field full of arseholes singing 'one day like this will see me right', because fuck that sentiment. I know there is so much more to this band other than that one song, but it feels like they are trying to capture that iphone-in-the-air moment again, and just failing a little. Although they've made it their whole schtick to fall a bit short of ever taking off, so it's all they have to do isn't it? Just keep plodding along making songs that kind of promise something, but never really achieve it or do anything with it, aside from show that slight promise. It's what they do, subtle, slow building, quietly euphoric, blah and blah and blah. And one day like this a year will see me right, but fuck that, I want every, single, day, of this brief and ridiculous existence to be full of joy, filled with potential for more, more of everything. I want every day to be filled with full blown euphoria for being alive, because I am alive, and the possibilities are endless, they are only limited by myself and what I choose to make of them. I don't ever want to settle for anything. I want more from this pathetic life than just living. I aspire to more for myself. I want more from my bands. I want more, and I can get it, just not from Elbow.

Beck - Blue Moon

Everybody's favourite genre jumping scientologist returns to inexplicably dull form. After experimenting with some other people's sound, like buzzfeed in musician form, he's back with this wonderfully beige and bankable number. In my opinion this is so bland it wouldn't even be painted onto waiting room walls. Another big gun filled with tiny bullets. The fact that it is being purported as a return to his 'country' roots when it's just middle of the road crap, shows that Beck is one of those sacred cows that you are not allowed to criticise, even though they haven't done anything interesting for years. I know he released his songs as sheet music. Big fucking whoop. Just call it as you see it kids, don't let it slide because he has a legacy, it's that exact fucking reason that you should be demanding more.

Maximo Park - Leave This Island

Maximo Park were talked about as being one of the more intelligent acts to emerge in that glut of debut albums from average indie bands that happened a few years back. Remember? The media fell over itself to label it as the brightest generation of musicians to come from this island in ever. Which honestly doesn't make it that memorable now does it? They do it every couple of years, to prove they are still relevant, that you need them to inform you of what is hip and necessary. We all know this, yet we don't ever really get to call them out. I mean look at the last batch they championed.. Swim Deep? Peace? Give me a fucking break. Their near constant hyperbole is patronising enough, without them having to throw their spunk at soulless derivative bullshit like that. Anyway, this song kind of happens. It's different to what they got recognised for which is a good thing, it's more mature - isn't that what they say? He's probably taken off the stupid hat by now is what they mean. I'd take it over most of the radio playlisted pop music but I wouldn't go to it by choice. I don't see them growing into one of the really big guns from here, but I don't think this will do any harm to their existing fan base, as long as they still play the hits.

Dark Mean - Albatross

A few years ago Dark Mean released their debut album and hardly anyone noticed it at all. Yet amongst its songs were a couple of real gems. Happy Banjo and Music Box, for example, are songs that deserve to be played to the kind of crowds that the other big guns in this weeks column have the privilege of playing to. All I can really do about it, now that Dark Mean are back with new material, is point out how good this is. And it really is good. Listen to this song, hear what I'm talking about, tell your friends.


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Wil Cook is a fan of music. He is the Music Editor of The 405 and he cannot hide his severe dislike for writing in third person. Please keep your hate mail to 140 characters or less.