Monday, 21 December 2015


Sunn O))) - Kannon & Ball

This project saw the hooded drone duo lighten their mood somewhat by hooking up with Lancashire comedy legend Bobby Ball. The results were every bit as epic as their 2014 collaboration with Scott Walker, if not quite as amusing. 

Sufjan Stevens - Carey Lowell

Who would’ve thought that Sufjan Stevens’ most contemplative and emotional record to date would be a concept album dedicated to the actress best known for playing Jamie Ross in the television drama Law & Order? Carey Lowell was also a Bond girl in the 1980s and was married to Richard Gere for a number of years, so there was plenty of material for Stevens to draw on, much of it unbearably sad.

Wu-Tang Clan -
Once Upon A Time In Shaolin

Most people haven’t heard this item because the Wu-Tang Clan only produced one copy which was auctioned to a 32-year-old millionaire dickhead and subsequently seized by the FBI. However, before the sale, Spinal Bap’s roving reporter broke into RZA’s recording studio in the dead of night, risking all personal safety, to give the double-album a quick spin. I nearly froze to death sneaking around that place in the dead of night but luckily I protected my neck with a woolly scarf. Tip-toeing below the killer bees nesting in the ceiling, I was confronted by a fierce-looking samurai warrior. Luckily, I realised it was just a life-size cardboard cut-out of Keanu Reeves from the film 47 Ronin. I rummaged through reel after reel of Ol’ Dirty Bastard outtakes before I found a mysterious safe marked ‘SECRET WU-TANG ALBUM WITHIN - DO NOT TOUCH - THAT MEANS YOU TOO, CAPPADONNA’. It took a while to hack the electronic lock but I eventually released the door with the password ‘Bobby Digital’. I listened on my headphones, scribbled down a few notes, and got out of there faster than you can say “Return To The 36 Chambers: Dirty Version (Deluxe Edition).”

I’m happy to report that this is easily the greatest Wu-Tang record since A Better Tomorrow. GZA spits rhymes about science, RZA raps about chess and a posthumous sample of ODB makes a throaty, coughing sound throughout. Inspectah Deck capitalizes on the success of his game-changing 8 Diagrams line “Wu-Tang keep it fresh like Tupperware” by recommending a host of further food-preservation products: “cling film, jam jar, foil, flask or biscuit tin / Hello Kitty lunch box, that’s what I keep my sandwich in ... And don’t forget fridges, bitches!” The album features guest-spots not only from Cher but also Chrissie Hynde and Neneh Cherry, reprising their 1995 charity single ‘Love Can Build A Bridge’, this time transformed into ‘Love Can Build An Affluent Street-Drugs Cartel’. And having lifted dialogue from every vintage kung fu movie ever made, RZA resorts to sampling Steven Seagal’s 2002 box-office flop Half Past Dead.

Sunn O))) - Gammon

A mouth-watering drone-metal tribute to cured pork-leg steak.

Sleater-Kinney - All Sleaters To Love

Some predicted that Carrie Brownstein would never return to music after the success of Portlandia, yet she and comedy partner Fred Armisen eventually realised that you can’t go on forever tediously mocking hipster culture, perpetuating right-wing stereotypes of feminist bookstore owners and pretending to be Japanese. You can go on forever playing in a band though, as The Rolling Stones continue to prove. Like your typical reformation album, All Sleaters To Love paled in comparison to past glories such as 2005’s The Woods but everybody loved it anyway because it’s Sleater-Kinney, it’s 2015, and who else is there to write about?

Courtney Love’s Barnet - Sometimes I Sit And Think, “Live Through This Was Good, Wasn’t It?”

While its owner was busy making cameos in TV dramas and starring in a critically-acclaimed experimental opera, Courtney Love’s hairdo grew tired of waiting for another Hole album and decided to take matters into its own follicles by recording a solo album. It was quite a lo-fi affair but then it is difficult to play your instrument or competently operate a mixing desk when you’re made out of hair and perpetually high off peroxide fumes. ‘Elevathair Operathair’ and ‘Nobody Really Hairs If You Don't Go To The Parting’ were just two of the project’s many highlights.

Sunn O))) - Mmm Danone

A triple-album ambient-noise reimagining of the celebrated yoghurt brand’s iconic jingle.

Mark Lamarr - To Pimp A Buzzcock

Many wondered what had become of ex-The Word presenter Mark Lamarr since he ceased presenting his Radio 2 programme five years ago. Turns out he was only making the greatest hip-hop opus all time. Every bit as powerful as Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Curtis Mayfield’s There’s No Place Like America Today and Des O’Connor’s Sing A Favourite Song, the album’s densely packed lyrics explored US race relations, white capitalism, slavery and the social perils faced by ‘50s throwback rockabilly quiff-wearers.

Godspeed You! Black Graperer - It’s Great When You’re Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress, Yeah!

2015 finally saw the release of the long-awaited collaboration between Canadian post-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Madchester legend Shaun Ryder’s second best band. Featuring tracks such as ‘The Helicopter’s Blades Preempt The Woeful Chalk Parable’, ‘#34-88-eta-FAQ’ and ‘Check Me Shakin’ Me Maracas, Luv’, the music swooped from thin drones to awe-inspiring cinematic crescendos, almost Wagnerian in their power and pomp, making Bez’s ability to dance to it all the more impressive.

Swans - A Very Swans Christmas

This December, Swans’ career reached new levels of success with the release of their first Christmas album. Alongside renditions of ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High’ and covers of Slade, Wham! and Mariah Carey were original yuletide compositions, such as the tree-themed ‘To Be Kindling’, a jolly sleigh-bell ballad called ‘You Fucking People Make Me Saint Nick’ and a two-chord industrial noise track on which Michael Gira screamed the words “MOTHER”, “CHRIST” and “LAMENTABLE SPROUTS” for 38 festive minutes. Still, this Xmas LP proved more listenable than that Bob Dylan one.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Last Christmas, my goth cousin who makes biannual trips to Dracula’s adoptive home of Whitby and has several Cradle of Filth tattoos bought me a Ouija board. Being more of a grunge kid, I never thought I’d have much use for it. Then I heard that Kurt Cobain was releasing a new solo album so I thought I’d try to get in touch. There were a few early hiccups when I released a couple of Cenobites into our dimension and opened a Hellmouth or two. Finally, I made contact:

Wow. Is this really Kurt D. Cobain?

Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Here we are now, etc.

So, are you in heaven or, erm, elsewhere?

I may be heavier than heaven but that’s where I am. It’s great here, actually. They’ve got all the warm milk and laxatives you could ever want. I much prefer it to earth. Apart from when two-thirds of the Bee Gees try to instigate an impromptu jam session. Then I say I’m suffering from terrible stomach pains and have to go and lie down.

Can you suffer stomach pains in heaven?

Of course not. The Brothers Gibb are a few discos shorts of a night fever, if you know what I mean. Mind you, I still have very bad posture.

What do you make of Dave Grohl’s post-Nirvana career?

Jeez, I just love the Foos. I know everyone thinks I’d hate ‘em but, truth is, if I was still alive I’d be right there at the side of the stage, doing air-guitar to ‘Learning To Fly’ or singing along to that tune about the best, the best, the best of you, the best, the best, the best of you. I think it was called ‘The One’.

What do you make of Krist Novoselic’s post-Nirvana career?


Your old bassist.

Only kidding! Krist is great. Did you ever hear his Eyes Adrift record? That’s the album Nirvana would’ve made after Unplugged. I’d have probably gone into politics too if I’d stuck around. Or at least done a charity 7-inch with Michael Stipe.

Have you ever listened to Bush?

Yeah, man, they’re great too. I’ve got nothing against them putting their refreshing limey spin on the whole grunge thang. Albini worked with them, you know. They’re cool. Just like everybody else, I can't wait for the 33 1/3 volume on Sixteen Stone written by David Fricke.

Tell us about your new album, Montage Of Heck.

Oh, it’s too embarrassing. It's just old home recordings, demos, covers, sonic experiments and comedy skits. It’s like everyone looking at your baby photos. The real solo album I was working on towards the end was going to be far more ambitious and communal. Stipey would’ve been on there, of course. Meat Puppets and Dylan Carlson were invited. Mark Lanegan would be duetting. Not that that’s anything special. That cat’s on everything these days. That gives me an idea for another hilarious comedy skit: “New Track Doesn’t Feature Mark Lanegan”.

What did you actually sing on ‘Tourette’s’?

If I remember correctly, the lyrics are as follows: “Meaty matinee / My dear / Cutting out all the carbs / My diet / Weirdo additives / Calorie-chart / We dont want Happy Meal / Clean heart.” I was on a health kick at the time.

Did your wife murder you?


Then how come you’re up there? Isn’t suicide a sin?

I didn’t say I wasn’t murdered but I don’t know why you’re all still pointing the finger at my poor wife, you bunch of woman-hating conspiracy nuts. Who’s done best out of my death? Is it genuinely my traumatised widow or is it...

Dave Grohl!

Right! Dave “nicest guy in rock” Grohl. You’ve “got another confession” have you? I wonder what that could be.


No. I’m kidding. Dave’s a great guy.

Are you really Kurt Cobain?


Thursday, 22 October 2015


Good news for fans of crying to love songs, Adele has revealed details of her new album. I AM 25 YEARS OF AGE will be released on 25/25/15 and its tracklist is as follows:

1) Hiya, Love

2) Send My Love To Your New Lover, My Love

3) I Miss You And All Of Your Love, Oh Loving Lover

4) When We Were Young And In Love And It Felt Just Like Love

5) Remedy For Love

6) Water Under The Bridge Over Troubled Water

7) River of Love

8) Love In The Dark (Dark In The Love)

9) What’s My Age Again? (Blink 182 cover)

10) I AM 25 YEARS OF AGE (title track)

11) Sweetest Love, Loveliest Sweet, Sweet Love, Love’s Sweet (Until It Sours) LOOOOOVE!!! xxx

Friday, 16 October 2015


Jamie XCX (7/4)

C Duncan Bannatyne (3/1)

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf Alice? (5/1)

Florence & Machina/The Machines of God by The Smashing Pumpkins (2/1)

Róisín Dropkick Murphys (aon déag/trí)

George Eskra (17/3)

If You’re Happy And You Ghostpoet (5/7.4254)

Tippex Din - (Foujrztwyyn/Avril 14)

The Ben Clementine’s Day Massacre (12/4)

Soak Graham Norton (8/900)

Paul Gascoigne Coombes (6.12/8)

Chas & Slaves (4/half a dozen jellied eels)

Friday, 9 October 2015


Reports are coming in that a band has neglected to feature Mark Lanegan on its latest track. The matter is still under serious investigation but it is believed that the group in question recently uploaded its new song to SoundCloud in promotion of a forthcoming album. However, when listeners played the composition, they could detect no trace of Mark Lanegan whatsoever. A spokesperson from the American Federation of Musicians described the situation as “profoundly disturbing”. Back in 1999, a law was introduced which decreed that every band was legally obliged to feature Mark Lanegan on all future material. ‘Lanegan’s Law’ was intended to aid the plight of the lowly singer after the dissolution of Screaming Trees threatened to end his career, although some campaigners believe the law has since become old fashioned and unnecessary, much like Lanegan's last solo LP.

The offending track has been removed from SoundCloud, although it has been suggested that the act was an honest mistake; it could have been an early instrumental demo from before Lanegan’s vocals were added, for example. Others who listened to the piece have become convinced that they did indeed hear Lanegan’s distinctive gravelly tones in the background, albeit very low in the mix. Mark Lanegan himself was unavailable for comment as he is in the studio laying down songs for everybody’s next record.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Either George Ezra has a fetish for cities beginning with ‘B’ or Joel Pott does (the bloke from Athlete who helps write Ezra’s songs). First came the monstrous success of ‘Budapest’, on which Ezra neglected to educate the British public by consistently eschewing the correct Hungarian pronunciation of the city (“Budapesht”), perhaps because he (co-)wrote the song having never actually visited the very place he was singing about. Then there’s his latest single, ‘Barcelona’, which is basically the same song with the location altered.

Now Ezra has revealed he is to record an entire album solely dedicated to cities that begin with the second letter of the alphabet. It’s an ambitious project to rival that of Sufjan Stevens’ plan to write an album for each American state. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the tracks that will appear on Ezra’s forthcoming LP, Cities In The Key Of B:

A popular tourist destination, Bruges boasts Medieval architecture, beautiful canals and crowds of film buffs pointing their fingers and going, “look, that’s where Colin Farrell was chased by a fat man.” A typical honeymoon destination, Bruges is the ideal location for this swoontastic romantic ballad about a girl who wears lots of rouge, enjoys drinking booze and is a fan of Tom Cruise.

In many ways, Bradford is an even more romantic city than Bruges. Here, Ezra croons about going on a date to the IMAX cinema at the National Media Museum before visiting one of the best curry houses in the country. Unfortunately, there’s not much to rhyme with ‘Bradford’.“Baby, we’ll eat in Bradford, where there’s no bad food,” he sings.

(rerecorded version of Ezra’s 2015 chart smash)

(cover version of Freddie Mercury’s 1987 chart smash)

Traditionally, only the city’s local artists have sung about Bristol, so it’s about time a nice Hertfordshire lad stepped up to break the trip-hop monopoly and bring a fresh, outsider’s eye to the subject. Instead of whispering over ambient beats about weed deals on council estates, Ezra’s acoustic ballad tackles the previously neglected topic of the quality of cake in the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery cafe: ‘The sponge is moist, the portions will fill ya, now let’s check out the stuffed gorilla...’ (He’s on the first floor with the dinosaurs and geology exhibits.)

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


Hip-hop superstar Iggy Azalea’s career was thrown into its latest crisis yesterday when she and her various co-writers realised that they had completely exhausted all of the things that rhyme with the rapper’s first name.

Notable rhymes the team has previously exploited include “diggy”, “ciggy”, “biggie”, “jiggy” and “tiggy”, not to mention copious fraught half-rhymes such as “sticky”, “trippy”, “kitty”, “Whitney”, “Britney”, “tipsy”, “feel me” and even “ill-y”. In certain cases, the lack of another rhyming word has even forced Iggy to rhyme her name simply with a second “Iggy” within the very same verse.

An inside source has hinted that Iggy is considering changing her name to something more rhyme-friendly, such as “Pat” or “Di”, or simply moving into a less solipsistic genre of music.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


The Libertines have finally confirmed details of their forthcoming album, the architecture-based concept album Anthems For Domed Roof.

It is the band’s third studio album and the first since Pete Doherty overcame his previous dependence on various forms of class A drugs with a newfound addiction to old buildings and other physical structures. Anthems For Domed Roof will be released on 4 September and includes tracks such as Chandrashala Me Now, What Katie Zaha Hadid and Gunga Buildin’.

In a recent interview The Libertines confirmed they hope to begin work on their fourth album “as soon as possible”. This one is rumoured to be inspired by Carl Barat’s penchant for hors d'oeuvres, provisionally titled Anthems For Amuse-bouche.

Monday, 15 June 2015


Show me a musician, and I’ll show you a person who loves wrestling. The rapper Riff Raff is training for WWE. The Mountain Goats and Luke Haines have each penned concept albums about the sport. Insane Clown Posse, Snoop Dogg and The Misfits have all appeared in the ring. Billy Corgan founded Pro Resistance Wrestling and was recently appointed senior producer at TNA Wrestling. So it’s about time the compliment was reciprocated. Here are four music-inspired moves that Corgan and his wrestling boss peers ought to introduce post-haste:

The Mozza
First, lull your opponent into a sedated daze with a public reading of the needlessly repetitive royalties dispute section of your overlong autobiography. Then blind your opponent by thrusting a bouquet of gladioli into their face. Finally, release an agitated bull into the sports arena and laugh heartlessly as the magnificent beast gores everybody to death.

The Sick Beat
For this Taylor Swift-inspired move, fool your opponent into a false sense of security by allowing them to grapple you. Then shake it off. Position yourself over your competitor while turning your back on Nashville. Get them in a headlock and beat them around the ears while whispering popular phrases such as “whatever”, “like”, “oh my god” and “baby”. This will both intensify the suffering of your opponent and win over the crowd by making it look that you are just like them, like. Consider marketing this move as “The $ick Beet” in the hope the real Swift doesn’t sue.

The Sting in the Ring
This is a more elaborate move in which you hold your opponent in a painful arm-lock until they agree to invest in a Broadway musical about Tyneside shipbuilding that literally nobody wants to see. Fire your tag-team partner Jimmy Nail.

McCartney’s Thumbs
Pretend to compliment your opponent by putting both your thumbs up, wobbling your head and going “oooooh”. Move slowly towards them, distracting them with further “ooooh”s, a couple of “mama”s and a “nanana”. Jolt your thumbs into the nose or eyes of your opponent. The “peace sign” can be used if fingers are preferred.

Thursday, 23 April 2015


As anyone who visited an independent parchment store last Saturday can attest, Parchment Store Day 2015 was a resounding success. 1,500% more parchment was sold than on the previous Saturday and Parchment Store Day 2015 had a 24.3% increase in bound parchment sales and a 97.2% increase in single-sheet parchment sales from PSD 2014. And while some have accused the day of being a bad thing for parchment merchants, it definitely brought a lot of people to independent parchment stalls.

Parchment Store Day was founded several decades ago in resistance to the decline in independent parchment shops and the lamentable rise of WH Smith’s user-friendly A4 Plain Paper Refill Pad.

As is traditional, a number of parchments were created specifically for Parchment Store Day, including exclusive parchments from the likes of Foo Fighters, David Bowie and Ludolph of Saxony (c. 1295-1378).

Unfortunately, some of the rarer Parchment Store Day manuscripts have already appeared for re-sale down the marketplace.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015


April 18th is your chance to camp outside an independent record shop in the freezing cold only to find that all the best stuff was either sent to an entirely different outlet or the greedy bloke in front of you basically bought everything just so he could immediately sell it all on eBay.

The list of exclusive releases has just been announced, and here are some of the best:

Gay Dad - Transmission 
The groundbreaking rock group’s second album reissued with extensive liner notes including an in-depth account of that time they overran at Leeds Festival 2001 which meant that Carling Stage headliners Hefner were forced to cut their own set short so as not to breach curfew.

Patti Smith - Complete Album Boxset
...even though you’ll only ever bother listening to the first one and maybe ‘Because The Night’ at a push.

Some reprint of a shoddy punk 7-inch that’s of interest only to the frazzled old speed casualty who has too many patches sewn onto his leather jacket and hangs around the library an awful lot

A Hawkwind Record With A Spaceship On It

Scab-covered Rat Infestation - People Who Don’t Hold The Exact Same Beliefs As Me Are Inhuman Monsters Who Should Be Violently Assaulted 
Timely reissue of the grindcore classic, released on Fuck The Man Records Ltd.

Birdman Original Soundtrack 
Is your Facebook account failing to make you feel self-important enough? Why not spin this tense compilation of free-jazz drumbeats while you yell pompously at your friends, family and colleagues? 

Lou Barlow - The Basement Tapes
Wait, aren’t all Lou Barlow releases basement tapes?

Pink Floyd - The Soft Bulletin 
British prog legends have a right old giggle covering The Flaming Lips’ 1999 album in its entirety TO SEE HOW THEY BLOODY LIKE IT.

Foo Fighters - Here Comes Dave Grohl Thinking He’s Made A Garage Rock Record Again Even Though It Sounds Like An Inarticulate Steely Dan 

Ghostbusters Original Soundtrack
Only listen to this if you are a man. Only men are allowed to make, star in, watch, listen to or enjoy Ghostbusters. Men only, get it? MEN. It’s a bit like all music, in that respect.

Friday, 20 February 2015


Plans are underway for the music magazine NME to drop its cover price and instead be given away for free, wrapped around portions of fish and chips. The NME’s owners hope to increase the publication’s dwindling readership because fish and chips remain generally more popular than fold-out posters of Johnny Marr.

High in starch, greasy and often battered, Kasabian’s Tom Meighan appears regularly in the NME.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Must-See Rock Operas 2015

Courtney Love has just received her warmest reviews in about 15 years for her role in the experimental opera Kansas City Choir Boy. The New York Times praised Love’s “bewitching presence”, Rolling Stone deemed the opera “slyly punk rock” and Billboard Magazine called it “much better than you would expect”. As a consequence, every other washed-up pop-star of yesteryear is now jumping on the operatic bandwagon. Here are Spinal Bap’s pick of the many other operas currently in production: (they mainly involve prostitutes and death but that’s high-art for you)

Madama Butterflea
While on vacation from rap-funk group the Red Hot Chili Peppers, bassist Flea moves to Japan, finding temporary work as a male geisha. During this time, he falls madly in love with naval officer Lieutenant Pinkerton, played by Rivers Cuomo from Weezer. Pinkerton sets sail again, returning three years later with the demo tapes for the new Chilis album. They sound so bad that Flea pierces his own neck with the nearest drumstick, bleeding to death as the backing chorus sings a poignant rendition of Suck My Kiss.

Carmen Chameleon
Boy George plays a gypsy prostitute who enchants the local soldiers with his garish make-up and big hat. After a passionate affair with a Spanish military drummer named Don Moss, the Carmen Chameleon decides a career change is in order, becoming a DJ and then a bullfighter. “Do you really want to hurt me?” George sings to the furious, snorting bull. The bull does really want to hurt him after all. It charges, killing Boy George and sending his big hat tumbling to the ground. The bull is cheered by Morrissey.

La Travis-ata
Fran Healy falls in love with a Parisian prostitute. She ignores his warnings that it’s always raining on him, gets drenched when they embrace, contracts a severe case of the indie-sniffles and sadly dies. Unable to bear the pain, Healy beats himself to death with a soggy piece of drift wood.

Escaping the clutches of the evil Hawkwind, Lemmy attempts to begin a new life as a prostitute, finding little work on account of his body odour and facial warts. He is offered the chance to sell his own hair but as that would impede head-banging he instead forms Motorhead. During one European tour, Lemmy considers aiding a group of young, idealistic revolutionaries in overthrowing the French government, resolving that his time would be far better spent drinking, snorting, gambling, fornicating and amassing a dubiously large collection of Nazi memorabilia. No tragic ending this time as Lemmy is indestructible.