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Outsideleft Week In Music: Ranking Roger Reanimates the Clash We're hearing from...Ranking Roger & The Clash, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Primus, Holy Fuck, Otoboke Beaver, Curlew, Orange Juice, Lykke Li, Caterina Barbieri, Pit Pony, The Waterboys, The Smile, Roger Eno, T. Rex, Sinead O'Brien, Rico Nasty, Momma, The Bye Bye Blackbirds, Joy on Fire and Editors

Outsideleft Week In Music: Ranking Roger Reanimates the Clash

We're hearing from...Ranking Roger & The Clash, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Primus, Holy Fuck, Otoboke Beaver, Curlew, Orange Juice, Lykke Li, Caterina Barbieri, Pit Pony, The Waterboys, The Smile, Roger Eno, T. Rex, Sinead O'Brien, Rico Nasty, Momma, The Bye Bye Blackbirds, Joy on Fire and Editors

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: April, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

...this came out a while ago. I don't know why we didn't get a review in, because basically everyone at OL loves this record.

I have my weekly heart attack on Thursday morning when I check to see how many reviews have been assembled... It's frequently unnerving. Then the OL writers come through with the goods. And how to assemble these jewels? We have a randomizer. What if it was a-z by artist or based on the number of our Love Hearts handed out? Big Names at the top? I kind of prefer random things - but welcome the thoughts of people who think about these things too.


THE CLASH - Rock The Casbah - featuring Ranking Roger (Sony Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

Alright, this came out a while ago. I don't know why we didn't get a review in, because basically everyone at OL loves this record. I've gotta say, I loved the Clash but I'd never cared much for the original Rock The Casbah Clash. But with Ranking Roger toasting all over the top here, maybe we're hearing their original intent for the song. The Clash always seemed to be at war with their record company. And maybe this version was veto'd or something back in the day. Great to hear it now. 


LYKKE LI - Highway To Your Heart (PIAS) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Actually there are two highways to your heart, the left main and the right coronary arteries. I suppose it’s unlikely that Lykke will be driving on the left so it will be the right artery on which she is travelling, warbling like a pensive Madonna. You better hope she knows the way out when she gets there as the last thing you need is a tiny Scandinavian singer embedded in your ticker.

HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF - Pierced Arrows (Acoustic) (Nonesuch) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Jay Lewis

Stripping back the musical layers of one of the finest songs on Hurray for the Riff Raff's 'Life on Earth' has shown, as if proof were needed, what an exceptional singer-songwriter Alynada Segarra is. The solo acoustic version of 'Pierced Arrows' draws you closer to the heartbreak of the song, exposing the trauma. The hurt and flashes of anger in Segarra's voice are more potent than ever before. A thing of damaged beauty.

PIT PONY - Supermarket (Clue) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Lee Paul

There's a lot to love about Pit Pony's single, Supermarket. This is a pretty great single and bodes well for the forthcoming LP due in July. I guess there a facet of hauntology about the entire affair. Nevertheless, that deeply effected bass and ethereal guitar soon give way to a very positive and relentlessly relentless intensity that somehow just keeps building and building all the way to the end. How did they do that? It's atomic. It could be the mnemonic soundtrack to that Alan Sillitoe short story... There's something enormously appealing in the non-american accent over a rock record isn't there? Singer, Jackie Purver says "The monotonous start and heavy repetition really leant itself to that kind of everyday kitchen sink narrative. It then slowly gets more frenetic over time and wild towards the end, like most tumultuous relationships do. In terms of influence I’d just read/watched Normal People by Sally Rooney and been listening to Taylor Swift’s Folklore album so take from that what you will." Supermarket is a provocative and evocative rock record. It's got that  swimming against the tide of music fashion Penetration thing, it's got that, from more than a few years ago. Good. 

JOY ON FIRE - Selfies (Unknown to Me) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

Pretty flawless all round. Even the press release was good. Joy on Fire take Selfies and offer up some pulverisation to the staves. Absolute mincemeat. Tendered as jazz but with all the nasty parts of rocknroll's horrible history here. Why search for more notes when you've found the right few to bludgeon an audience with. Selfies is Dan Gutenstein's symposium on the emptiness of social media narcissism, with saxophone art from Anna Meadors sprawling across the walls and dripping onto the floor all John Zorn porn-like. Love it so much I want to be them.

CATERINA BARBIERI - Broken Melody (Light Years) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Described as a ‘love song to the end of the world, a form of telepathy’ - not sure I’d like the end of the world in my mind, but, who knows, maybe it’s beautiful. What does the end of the world get in return for projecting a massive ball of flame turning into a big black hole into the most anxious part of Cat’s thoughts? It gets early 1980s progpostpunk. Described, also, as a gift.

HOLY FUCK - Ninety Five (Holy EF Music) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Katherine Pargeter

After the relative calmness of the mostly melodic 'Deleter' (2019) album, Holy Fuck take us back to the unsettling and pummeling drums, scratchy guitars, and intimidating fuzzy electronics that we last experienced on 'Congrats' (2015). Welcome back!

MOMMA - Speeding 72 (Lucky Number) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by LamontPaul

Speeding 72 is a guitar single from Momma's forthcoming Household Name LP. From a certain perspective everything is great about all that. Politely put dashes and splashes of everything you've heard before and nothing too unpleasant about how it is assembled. All the folks on the assembly line are credentialed too. Everything is in the right place. Take another view and everything is just as wrong too. I don't know whether I am hearing this band anymore? It's a musical product like a boke shaped object or a phone an infinity pool over the ocean. Someone's idea of desirable. We might've come a long way since Alice Cooper's School's Out, but I can't abide by kids breaking back into school, omg, I thought it was only at my daughters' school that they measure how cool you are by who has the heaviest book bag. Momma, you wouldn't want your daughter bringing them home because basically it's music for mom's, right?

RICO NASTY - Vaderz feat. Bktherula (Atlantic Records) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Just once I’d like one of these beats to swap the snare for the kick drum and vice versa, just to see what happens. Meanwhile… the video shows the cultural phenomenon of the ever pervasive ‘Halloween is for any time of the year’: two Black girls zombied up, something that might have freaked out the Goths of Watford town centre in 1984 but looks remarkably everyday now, in the future where we are, hoverboards n everything. No, I don’t know what they were rapping about. No, I won’t listen again. No, I don’t know what the point is.

OTOBOKE BEAVER ???????? - YAKITORI (Damnably Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Tim London

You can sing ‘Hey Mickey’ over this and it might be quite fun, apart from the very fast bit at the end. The nonsense Japanenglish lyrics are, apparently a response to critics accusing the band of flirting with foreigners. Perhaps if they formed serious relationships then it would be more acceptable and they wouldn’t have to throw chicken into postboxes (check the lyrics). Or maybe racist people should just let a jolly little punk rock band do what the fuck they want to with foreigners.

SINEAD O'BRIEN - There Are Good Times Coming (Chess Club Records) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Tidy post-punk - tidy not as in ‘tidy motor, mate’ but more like as in wild but over-washed. I bet she never loses socks. Think the chorus might be a bit manifesting-y. You know, say it out loud, disturb the air with your wish vibrations. That kind of thing.

EDITORS - Heart Attack (PIAS) ZERO favorite_borders
by Tim London

See, this is what happens once you let Lykke Li into your veins. Or Simple Minds into your brain. The lyrics ask ‘who listens to us anyway’ and the answer is, of course, hopefully not me. And for the sake of your bodily functions, not you either.

THE SMILE - Free In The Knowledge (XL Recordings) favoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Wet buskers with an orchestra.


PRIMUS - Conspiranoid (ATO Records) ZERO favorite_borders
by Spanish Pantalones

Mastubatory, psychedelic, prog rock for males who get hard for meandering bass guitar solos that go nowhere. Avoid at all costs. 


T. REX - 1972 (Demon Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Spanish Pantalones

Although 1971 was an important period for Marc Bolan (considering the previous year’s Electric Warrior was still ringing brightly in everyone’s ears), 1972 was equally as vital. In ‘72, "Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru" were released in front of The Slider (both hitting number one on the singles charts), his band headlined Wembley’s Empire Pool after two massive US tours (they were only the second group to play Wembley, the first having been Led Zeppelin several months earlier), and he starred in a feature film, Born To Boogie. These are highlights that are cataloged in detail in this box set. While there’s technically nothing new here, this collection includes some fantastic obscurities including US radio sessions, a rare version of “Telegram Sam” from the Christmas Top Of The Pops, the fan club ‘72 Christmas flexi disc, and Tony Visconti’s liner notes. Priced for obsessives, but there’s a base model for moderates on a budget.

THE WATERBOYS - All Souls Hill (Cooking Vinyl) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Spanish Pantalones

What a wonderful surprise All Souls Hill is. I wasn’t expecting such fresh, vibrant sounds coming from The Waterboys who are from the same class of early ‘80s bands that have either broken up decades ago, or now find themselves on “flashback” festival bills singing the same half dozen songs ad nauseam. There’s life in All Souls Hill – the band’s fifteenth – and the proof is in Mike Scott’s lyrics, vocals, and arrangements – all which are firing on every cylinder in the LP’s third single, “Here We Go Again.” This album is potentially one of the cultural moments of the year, if not the week.

THE BYE BYE BLACKBIRDS - August Lightning Complex (Self Released) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by John Robinson

It hardly seems two years since the last BBB album Boxer at Rest, but that's old age for you. Singer Bradley Skaught's classic rock band is influenced by the British Invasion and West Coast power pop and Skaught cites Game Theory's Scott Miller as a mentor: Miller's bandmate Jozef Becker is also a member. August Lightning Complex combines spiky guitar licks with honeyed harmonies from Kelly Atkins and stargazing, introspective lyrics. This album has themes of anxiety and displacement, feeling like the song titles Something from the Old World and We Got Lost suggest. Striking though the faster paced songs Mechanics, Don't Wait and Want Show as Young are, the highlight is Marching, a lengthy, organically building slow burn featuring effective trumpet work from Bill Swan.

ROGER ENO - The Turning Year (Deutsche Grammophon) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Spanish Pantalones

Brian has nothing to worry about, still.

CURLEW - CBGBs, NYC, 1987 (Cuneiform Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Lee Paul

Cuneiform release great new records and unearth monumental older moments. One of those monumental older recordings is surely this live set by Curlew, recorded as the title suggests at CBGBs in New York in 1987. Curlew were founded by saxophonist, George Cartwright in 1979 and members have included cellist Tom Cora, drummer Pippin Barnett, guitarists Davey Williams and Fred Frith, and bassist Bill Laswell. Ray, the track attached here was a long time set opener and is a totally controlled gonzo moment from beginning to end. It is a blessed relief to hear.

Other Materials

ORANGE JUICE - You Can't Hide Your Love Forever (Polydor) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Jay Lewis

Jay Lewis listens to You Can't Hide YOur Love Forever, forty years old this year... Read Jay's take here

Essential Info
Main Image: Ranking Roger from the cover

Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV

about LamontPaul »»



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