Monday Must Haves
Am actually on time. Can't believe it. Alarm went off at 5am mind you.
U.S Girls – In A Poem Unlimited
Don’t fret if you’re only just joining Meg Remy’s U.S Girls act now, this is after all her 6th LP. The same thing has happened to a LOT of people. Under the radar is perhaps a term created just for acts such as this. In A Poem Unlimited is a modern album of protest. Not by means of unfettered rage or armed with shouty, shouty soundbites.
At times ranging from ambient to disco, alt-pop to art-rock and trip-hop to jazz, Remy never sits still, it can be bewildering trying to keep up. Mad As Hell (MAH) drops ABBA-esque grooves alongside a vocal line Debbie Harry would be proud of. Velvet 4 Sale is as strident a wake-up call for women in 2018 as anything currently out there. This always inventive and forward-thinking musician has, however, ably established that she is here to stay. Perhaps with a fair few more in her audience.
For fans of: Grimes, Tune-Yards, St. Vincent
Turnstile – Time & Space
Not for fans of Turin Brakes or Vance Joy, this. Raucous and hard-hitting, this often brusque and pummelling slab of gargantuan noise is, though, a kinetic thrill from start to finish. Following a series of searing live performances, the Baltimore quintet found themselves at the front of a major label bidding war and opted to sign for Roadrunner Records (Slipknot, Trivium, Marmozets), and it’s not as odd a decision as you may expect. In yet another leftfield choice, the record is part produced by Diplo, perhaps better known for his work alongside Shakira and Bruno Mars but outside the ‘scene’ involvement pays off dividends. On the propulsive Can’t Get Away, Moon and Right To Be, Turnstile recall Killing Joke, Refused at their best and even a certain amount of a riff happy, protean punk, Dire Straits (yes, you've read that right). The hardcore delivery is shaped into something more, how should we say, streamlined, without coming off as screaming SELL OUT.
For fans of: Refused, RATM, Andrew W.K
This Box Office smash is not your average superhero fare. Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o, Ryan Coogler’s vibrant entry into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) picks things up after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Wakanda is a vastly technologically advanced African nation, T'Challa (Boseman), the King of the lands, returns home to rule, Erik Killmonger (Jordan), a vengeful outsider, however, has other plans.
Coogler is on a hot streak following the critically lauded Fruitvale Station and Creed, given this is only his third major feature, Marvel put a lot of faith in his hands and the young director has delivered in spades. Celebrated as much for it’s political statements (Black history, present and future are all covered here) as for pacing, story-telling and action, Black Panther, not unlike Thor: Ragnorok, shows why big studios should trust rising talent rather than playing safe.
Cinema times here.
It has taken an absolute savaging from the critics but there is something to admire and enjoy in Duncan Jones’ sci-fi noir. It’s Berlin 2052 and a mute man searches for a missing person in a gritty, grimy criminal underbelly. Starring Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood, Tarzan), Paul Rudd (Ant Man) and Justin Theroux (The Girl On The Train), Mute has shades of classic cyberpunk, steam punk and sci-fi so much the vogue right now, that perhaps undercuts what is an interesting whodunnit. Adapting a story he first formed over a decade ago, Jones is on something of a downturn at the moment, hits such as Moon and Source Code were followed by the iffy Warcraft and his stock has fallen considerably. It does seem a little unfair however that so much negativity has come over here, it seems that swathes of the poison pens are aimed more at Netflix’s genuine threat to the Hollywood order of things, than say, an original and intriguing voice deserves. Much like recent BIG pieces, Bright (Will Smith), War Machine (Brad Pitt), critics voices have not won out, with audiences being a tad more welcoming. Check it out on streaming platforms now.