Monday, May 11, 2009

Album of the week 11th May


My Computer are a band from Manchester, England. Formed by Andrew Chester and David Luke, their music has been described as "a bold, fearless approach to pop music", "bleak at times" and "a perfect snapshot of modern British life"

UNCUT said..
The most original debut by a Manchester band since Squirrel & G-Man Twenty Four Hour Paty People..., maybe even Unknown Pleasures. [Sep 2002, p.116]

New Musical Express said..
It is one thing to make a clever record, it is quite another to make a clever record that could pass for a pop album, and which oozes humanity while simultaneously delivering a perfect snapshot of modern British life.

Q Magazine said...
There's something truly peculiar going on here, and worth pursuing. [Sep 2002, p.110]

I SAY...
My Computer probably sounded like a good idea for the name of the band at the time, but you should try to search for it.
How many people will accidentally find out about you?
Have you had random people going oh My Computer, it just popped up, so I gave you a listen?
No you haven't because a trillion gazillion other things will come up first.
I think they are/where an interesting band... but in this day and age I think they shot themselves in the foot by tagging themselves 'My Computer'
it's in dropbox - album of the week may 11th - give them a listen:


snadfrod said...

SHANE!! God bless you for doing that.

A great album by a great band. No More Dealing, More to Life, that beat on Rope. It is brilliantly uncategorisable and fabulously bold considering it is a hermit and a midget doing dance music over falsetto-based songs originally wriiten for acoustic guitar.

I know the follow up, 'No CV', was a BIT patchy, but anyone loving this should seek out The Boy I Used To Be for fandango japes.

I may just have to dig that one out and give it a go.


P.S. I never comiserated with you about Norwich but, speaking as someone who did the season going round the grounds in the third tier, all I can say is that you might as well enjoy it and (provided you come straight back up...) think of where it might take you in the long run. Like Leicester, for instance.

P.P.S. I'll post about it soon but, holy cack, how close have you got in the fantasy football all of a sudden?...

tincanman said...

Have only had time to listen to the first half of this so far, and 'defies categorization' does hit the nail on the head.

I think I sorta get what they are trying to do here, but half a listen while doing something else isn't fair. It is very engaging though, and I'll be back to it later in the week.

btw, the perhaps original and surely really bizarre thought came to mind (where else would it come, Tin; your spleen?) that I hear an operatic episode of NYPD Blue playing out, building on the its brilliant raw and violent Mike Post theme because of the way the music echoes street sounds.

Or perhaps I am trying to hard and all you serious and actually knowledgeable music critics are now shaking your heads while muttering amongst yourselves ''if only we didn't have to keep him around for the dropbox''

Thanks for choosing something so unique and challenging Shane.

I'll get me mukluks

tincanman said...

oh yeah, meant to say I so agree about the name. It reminds me when the internet first came out lol and everything started getting called esomething or getting an @ in its name.

snadfrod said...

*shakes head*

if only we didn't have to keep him around for the dropbox...

(Sorry tin. Too easy.)

As for google-proof bands, I reckon The Music are pretty high up there, too. Hopeless.

DarceysDad said...

Re Vulnerabilia: I've copied this over and will listen when I get a chance, but first of all I'm going to blow the dust off my rarely played CD of No CV!!

Re UnGoogleable bands: I had a lot of trouble finding The National until I was told to google americanmary. It worked! Go figure, as they say. But how about The The. I win, methinks.

tincanman said...

ah, but at least I'm willing to have a go (which is what you always say to incompetent people)

Oh and I have a good personality too

treefrogdemon said...

No, I win, DsD, with The Band. Because 'the' and 'the' don't occur together in English so all you have to do is google in inverted commas.

Shoegazer said...

Well, thanks for this - had heard some pits & bieces but not the whole thing, as it was never released in the US as far as I can tell.

Well what do I think? Overall, very good debut album, some strong songs and another worthy album of the week. I do have some niggles, of coarse:

1. Finest Manchester album since 24 hour party people (although the Monday's only great album was pills n' thrills in my opinion). Ermm, Oasis, Elbow, Doves & that's without looking too hard. More of a quibble with Uncut than My Computer & another reason for me to continue ignoring the mainstream music press

2. Bit of a heavy hand on the old drum machine & some of the tracks could use some editing.

3. (& this is the big one) Vocoders Suck! Leave the vocoder alone unless you are Kraftwerk, Brian Eno or a full on disco tune. Also has the affect of dating what would otherwise be an album with a long shelf life.

Disagree with Mr. Frod that the follow-up album was patchy - for me the songs are even stronger & they sorted all my quibbles with this one. Perhaps it's because I'm more familiar with the second album and/or they got better at using the tech and/or they found a great producer.

The latest album "No Computer", where the guy with the tech toys is left behind, while the other one sods off & does a Bon Iver with his acoustic, is a bit of a one-dimensional two steps back. Hope the band reunite for a proper follow-up soon.

Great pick, Shane, cheers.

saneshane said...

John Leckie (stone Roses #1 and radioheads the bends to name but two) produced the follow up 'No Cv' if you are interested.. I've nomed 'the boy I used to be' a fair few times on RR.

back with more comments when I've done some work - or got bored of it.
1 second,

okay - bored of work

Vocodas - first thing I thought when re-listening.. pants huh!

Japanther said...

Thanks for this Shane. I vaguely knew the name but hadn't heard it before.

A nice mix of a lot of different things that retains it's own identity. It reminded me of Radiohead in places and I loved it when it went techno-mental (don't know the track name- i was on my bike - yes, I know it's dangerous to cycle and listen to subversive electro-tinged pop, especially on the crowded streets of Tokyo).

I will definitely give it a second (and third and fourth) listen.

Nice one!

snadfrod said...

@shoey - I am actually going to backtrack on the patchy comment. I went away this afternoon and gave it another listen. Not patchy at all, I think just everything else had fallen behind Boy I Used To Be in my memory. Consider me chastened.

nilpferd said...

This is one where the sound and production really put me off. I think it is the slightly metallic sound of the electronics and the instruments combined with the warm fuzzy vocals which really get on my nerves sonically- and besides Herbie Hancock's Rockit I'm pretty much a vocoderphobe too. Other than that, I don't mind the tracks musically, there's a nice way with rhythm, whether it's a bossa style shuffle or a more dance oriented beat. Probably the nicest part for me is the combination of electronics, orchestral synth arrangement, drum machine and acoustic guitar, which I think is very well done, the harmonies on the title track are exquisite.
I detected a certain Mozzerness to the lyrics, especially on Vulnerabilia- all my enemies surround me, all my inhibitions hound me, etc. Parts of the synth backing remind me of Electronic's Raise the pressure.

tincanman said...

Because I am nice, this is the NYPD Blue opening titles sequence I was referring to. I think the way the visuals and the street sounds and the music jell is collasally great. Its what came to mind listening to My Computer, probably cause I'm a dork, because I saw myself on a sidewalk cafe listening to the album mixed with the street sounds - at times soothing, sometimes jarring.

saneshane said...

who sampled what..
have a listen to the Equalizer:

tincanman said...


tincanman said...

and you just happened to have that floating around your brain?

saneshane said...

oh yes... its a weird place.

also because if you only use the vowels in Edward Woodwood you get the sound of an audience at a fire work display..

"e a oo oo"

night all..