Three Men in a Podcast

All the genres, all the ridiculous, all the time...

Tag: review

#33: Dirty Knees

Episode 33 of Three Men in a Podcast  features another trip to the Brizzler, a live jam based on our version of Back to the Future 4 and a double bill from The Devin Townsend Project! The Three Men play and discuss:

The Fall – Hit The North

Fu Manchu – I’ve Been Hexed

The Devin Townsend Project – Willy Wanka

Tommy Emmanuel – Classical Gas

Streets of Rage 3 – Fuze

Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers – Jumpin’ Jive

The Little Willies – Lou Reed

PEOPLE’S CHOICE! – The Devin Townsend Project – Deadhead

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 3rd of March 2018! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 32

Episode 32 of Three Men in a Podcast  features Disco Biscuits, an original comedy song from the Three Men, therapeutic anti-anxiety music that could change your life and mind-blowing contemporary jazz! The Three Men play and discuss:

Mungo’s Hi-Fi ft Kenny Knots – Don’t Let Them Break Your Heart

Marconi Union – Weightless

Knifeworld –I Must Set Fire to Your Portrait

Kamasi Washington – Truth

The Slickers – Johnny Too Bad

Cypress Hill – Cock The Hammer

PEOPLE’S CHOICE! – Eluveitie– Call of the Mountains

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 11th of February 2018! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 31

Episode 31 of Three Men in a Podcast  features epic space rock, cutting edge hip-hop and the first appearance of the nefarious Pencilcase Trousermess! The Three Men play and discuss:

Cinematic Orchestra ft Roots Manuva – All Things To All Men

Cold Man Beats – Brooklyn

Open Mike Eagle –Brick Body Complex

Mr Scruff – Spandex Man

Stoned Jesus – I’m The Mountain

King Krule – Dum Surfer

PEOPLE’S CHOICE! – Overcoats – Leave The Light On

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 21st of January 2018! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 30

Episode 30 of Three Men in a Podcast  features a bumper selection of songs, truckloads of spaff and perhaps our most varied picks ever. The Three Men play and discuss:

Long Beach Dub Allstars – Trailer Ras

Novelists – Under Different Welkins

The Scaramanga Six – I Can See A Murder

Tankus the Henge – You Can Do Anything

Stick Figure – Above the Storm

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers – So Familiar

The Beta Band – It’s Not Too Beautiful

The Beach Boys – Sloop John B

Cardiacs – Buds and Spawn

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Extra special thanks to George and the guys at Podnose; if you’re looking for another podcast to listen to just visit www.podnose.com. Also, make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 31st of December 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 29

Episode 29 of Three Men in a Podcast  features music from 1950 to 2017, tales of Halloween gremlins and an original song about Hollywood perversion! The Three Men play and discuss:

Mystic State ft Gardna – Berlin

Bad Religion – Do What You Want

Mad Dog McRea – Am I Drinking Enough?

Louis Armstrong – La Vie En Rose

Sam Cooke – Wonderful World

Ries Bros – Echoing Dream

Aim – Fall Break

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Rammstein – Sonne

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Extra special thanks to George and the guys at Podnose; if you’re looking for another podcast to listen to just visit www.podnose.com. Also, make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 3rd of December 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 28

Episode 28 of Three Men in a Podcast  features a really lovely horse, a veritable smorgasbord of musical genres and talk of a human threementipede. The Three Men play and discuss:

Father Ted – My Lovely Horse

Blur – Charmless Man

The Qemists – Run You (Bass Music Awards Performance)

Dananananaykroyd – Watch This!

Slipknot – Get This

St. Paul and the Broken Bones – NPR Tiny Desk Concert Extract

Cameo – Candy

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Charlie Parr – 1922 Blues

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Extra special thanks to George and the guys at Podnose; if you’re looking for another podcast to listen to just visit www.podnose.com. Also, make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 22nd of October 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 27

Episode 27 of Three Men in a Podcast  features a tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth, tons of 90s nostalgia and a super sweet live song on ageless celebrities. The Three Men play and discuss:

Carpenters – Close to You

Tokyo Taboo – Papercut

RX Bandits – Mastering the List

Placebo – Nancy Boy

Binkbeats ft Niels Broos – Little Nerves

Wu-Tang Clan – Protect Ya Neck

Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Calvin Harris ft Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – Feels

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Extra special thanks to George and the guys at Podnose; if you’re looking for another podcast to listen to just visit www.podnose.com. Also, make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Thursday the 28th of September 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 26

Episode 26 of Three Men in a Podcast  features full orchestral majesty, a funk-tastic People’s Choice and a live keyboard weather rap jam session. The Three Men play and discuss:

Linkin Park – One Step Closer

Prokofiev – Peter and the Wolf (Peter’s Theme)

P.O.S – Drumroll (We’re All Thirsty)

Mike Love – Permanent Holiday

Piero Umiliani – Risaie

Talking Heads – (Nothing But) Flowers

Bon Jovi – Love For Sale

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Xavier – Work That Sucker To Death

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Extra special thanks to George and the guys at Podnose; if you’re looking for another podcast to listen to just visit www.podnose.com. Also, make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Thursday the 31st of August 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 25 – Three Men’s Guide to… Punk!

Episode 25 of Three Men in a Podcast is our Three Men’s Guide to… Punk! special.

Our second Guide to… extra long show features our individual Top 7 songs (punk tunes are short) from the genre and a wide spectrum of all things punk! If you want to find your new favourite band or are new to the genre, we’ve got you covered. Never mind the bollocks, here’s the special podcast!

The Three Men play and discuss:

The Bouncing Souls – Sing Along Forever

Dead Kennedys – Police Truck

Alkaline Trio – Armageddon

Rise Against – Dead Ringer

Black Flag – Rise Above

Choking Victim – 500 Channels

Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop

NOFX – Don’t Call Me White

The Clash – Safe European Home

A Wilhelm Scream – God Loves A Liar

The Stranglers – Duchess

Descendents – Rotting Out

Green Day – Welcome To Paradise

The Offspring – Smash

Rash Decision – Kobayashi Maru

Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love

The Damned – New Rose

Teenage Bottlerocket – Skate or Die

Belvedere – Two Minutes For Looking So Good

Circle Jerks – Live Fast Die Young

Millencolin – Stop To Think

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Extra special thanks to George and the guys at Podnose; if you’re looking for another podcast to listen to just visit www.podnose.com. Also, make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 13th of August 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 24

Episode 24 of Three Men in a Podcast  features exclusive LIVE Show Boy, a track from Sonic Generations picked by redhotsonic and brand new Queens of the Stone Age. The Three Men play and discuss:

Queens of the Stone Age – The Way You Used To Do

Atom and His Package – I’m Downright Amazed At What I Can Destroy With Just A Hammer

Necrosis – Catatonic Psychosis

Mr Bungle – Squeeze Me Macaroni

10 Ft Ganja Plant – Blood Money

Anderson .Paak and The Free Radicals – NPR Tiny Desk Concert

Okilly Dokilly – White Wine Spritzer

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Sonic Generations OST – Vs. Perfect Chaos (Open Your Heart)

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Extra special thanks to George and the guys at Podnose; if you’re looking for another podcast to listen to just visit www.podnose.com. Also, make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 30th of July 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 23

Episode 23 of Three Men in a Podcast  features our debut on the awesome Podnose podcast network, the potent perfumed potential of Sheer Exuberance and a Scatman invasion! The Three Men play and discuss:

Scatman John – Scatman (ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop)

Mission of Burma – That’s When I Reach For My Revolver

Karl Phillips and the Rejects – Plastic Gangsta

The Vandals – Soccer Mom

Polaris – Hey Sandy

Tarantism – Gotta Get This Tent Up

65daysofstatic – The Major Cities of the World Are Being Destroyed One by One by the Monsters

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Foo Fighters – Run

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Extra special thanks to George and the guys at Podnose; if you’re looking for another podcast to listen to just visit www.podnose.com. Also, make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on Podnose, iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 16th of July 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 22

Episode 22 of Three Men in a Podcast  features furious heat, a case of Marley confusion and a seemingly never-ending list poem that is not based on a Jack Nicholson movie. The Three Men play and discuss:

The Slackers – Spin I’m In (Acoustic)

Thundercat – Captain Stupido

Motorhead – Ace of Spades (Slow Acoustic)

Hundred Reasons – I’ll Find You

Kano – This Is England

Gentleman & Ky-Mani Marley – Uprising

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Royal Blood – Lights Out

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 2nd of July 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 21

Episode 21 of Three Men in a Podcast  features some worry about imminent general erections, two of Bristol’s finest and Yeovil’s premier death metallers.  The Three Men play and discuss:

Chris Cornell – You Know My Name

Cara Means Friend – We Are Lions

Gardna x Kreed ft Inja, Eva Lazarus, J Man and Parly B – My Show

Perdisian – Army of the Dead

The Allergies – God Walked Down

Weezer – Feels Like Summer

Lagwagon – May 16

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – The Dreadnoughts – Poutine

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 18th of June 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 20 – Three Men’s Guide to… Rock!

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Episode 20 of Three Men in a Podcast is our Three Men’s Guide to… Rock! special.

Our first ever Guide to… extra long show features our individual Top 5 songs from the genre and a wide spectrum of all things rock! If you want to find your new favourite band or are new to the genre, we’ve got you covered. For those about to rock, we’ll support you!

The Three Men play and discuss:

Thin Lizzy  – Emerald

Iron Maiden – Aces High

Cream – Badge

At the Drive-in – One Armed Scissor

AC/DC – If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)

Queens of the Stone Age – Monsters in the Parasol

Black Sabbath – Supernaught

Kyuss – Gardenia

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Mr. Banker

Queen – Liar

Melvins – Honey Bucket

Brant Bjork & The Bros – Freaks of Nature

Rush – Spirit of Radio

Boris – Korosu

Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsies – Who Knows (live)

Clutch – Subtle Hustle

Whitesnake – Here I Go Again

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 4th of June 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 19

Episode 19 of Three Men in a Podcast  features a song from and an interview  with L.A’s finest 60 East, talk of cock gourding and shared memories of cemetery urination in the name of GG Allin.  The Three Men play and discuss:

SPECIAL GUEST! – 60 East ft Blu – The Origin

Marcus Gad – Life is Precious

CKY – 96 Quite Bitter Beings

JME – Game

The Hedgerow Crawlers – Tomorrow Revelations Start

Immortal Technique – Harlem Streets

David Bowie – Blackstar

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast, our first Guide To special, the Three Men in a Podcast Guide to Rock will go live on Sunday the 14th of May 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 18

Episode 18 of Three Men in a Podcast  features an update on The Marginal’s live shows, a tale of carrier bags and loss and much frivolity.  The Three Men play and discuss:

Barrington Levy – Murderer

Battles ft Gary Numan – My Machines

Jack Broadbent – Back on the Road Again (Amsterdam Busk)

Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place – Oh, the Sadmakers

J. Cole – G.O.M.D

Blues Busters – Soon You’ll Be Gone

PEOPLE’S CHOICE! – The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on iTunes, ACast and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast will go live on Sunday the 23rd of April 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Instagram and Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 13

Episode 13 of Three Men in a Podcast  features original poetry in an alphabet stylee and beautiful live performances but also, fittingly for podcast number 13 it also unfortunately features a wee gremlin in the sound quality for which we apologise profusely. However, Rob has worked his magic (well played sir!) and if you turn it up a little more than usual you should still get that same patented Three Men (TM) experience.  The Three Men play and discuss:

Run The Jewels – 2100 (ft BOOTS)

Jah9 – Jungle (Jussbuss Acoustic)

Minus The Bear – I’m Totally Not Down With Rob’s Alien

The Four Owls – Not Like Before

Andy McKee and Don Ross – Ebon Coast

William D Drake – Me Fish Bring

PEOPLE’S CHOICE! – Open Strum – Smile

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on iTunes and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast (Episode 14, Part 3 of our Yeovil Special!) will go live on Sunday the 22nd of January 2017! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Three Men in a Podcast – Episode 9

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Episode 9 of Three Men in a Podcast  features big cheese, new arrivals and plenty of electoral orangeface. The Three Men play and discuss:

The Beta Band – Dog’s Got a Bone

Mariachi El Bronx – Cell Mates

Dub FX – So Are You

Mastodon – Deathbound

Method Man – Bulletproof Love

Tribal Seeds – Beautiful Mysterious

PEOPLE’S CHOICE! – Fleetwood Mac – Big Love

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by; we love you all! Make sure to check out our brand new music magazine On Music between episodes; we’ll be uploading reviews, mini podcasts and more!

For more Three Men then please hit Subscribe and Rate the episode (on iTunes and Stitcher) to get brand new Three Men in a Podcast episodes direct.

The next episode of Three Men in a Podcast (Episode 10, our Yeovil special!) will go live on Sunday the 20th of November 2016! Follow us on Twitter @3meninapodcast, on Facebook and hit us with your People’s Choice picks! See you again soon 🙂

Refused – Freedom

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Refused – Freedom

By David R J Sealey

 

17 years is a long time in the music industry. We’ve been through the girl/boy band era and third-wave ska, through the techno-filth of nu-metal, journeyed through garage and R & B and indie and a whole lot more between 1998 and 2015. But here we are, a little way into the 21st century, spoilt for choice and surrounded by tiny screens and, against all odds, Refused are back from the fucking dead.

The cult figures, the untouchables, the punk rock doyen that took two records to warm up for their seminal, bombastic masterpiece “The Shape of Punk to Come” and then split, declaring they had nothing left to give have decided, after all, that they have something left in the tank. And Freedom is its name.

2012 saw the band reunite for a tour to great critical acclaim, but to some disdain from the more hardcore amongst their following that had deified their absence as the true embodiment of the spirit of punk rock. Some worried that their heroes had sold out for a quick buck or two, trailing their greatest hits around the nostalgia circuit like Chas and Dave or Billy Idol. But after a two year hiatus, Refused have returned with ten new tracks issued by Epitaph Records that will challenge even their most devoted fans, burying that ghastly notion beneath six feet of solid rock.

Album opener Elektra opens with a buzz-saw riff that evokes the spirit of The Shape of Punk to Come before a muted verse from Denis Lyxzen erupts into a heavier chorus that asserts “nothing has changed, the time has come, there’s no escape”, perhaps echoing the bands feelings about the inevitability of the new record. Refused have always leant lyrically towards socio-political commentary and their frustration at the perceived lack of global progress has added fuel to the fire in their bellies. Or perhaps they are just saying what they are expected to say.

Old Friends/New War is where things really start to get weird. It judders along, at times sounding like a forgotten 1980s radio-friendly pop track with some heavier elements. It is, honestly, pretty forgettable. Dawkin’s Christ makes things interesting again, melding the classic Refused sound with riffs and an aesthetic that somehow evokes Black Flag jamming with Isis.

Francafrique is the point where the record becomes genuinely interesting. A swaggering, upbeat lead guitar riff from Kristofer Steen that wouldn’t sound that out of place in an Arctic Monkeys tune duels Lyxzen’s vocals for superiority, backed by classic rock-style percussion and (seriously) a children’s choir. The chorus seems initially rather weak, but as the song evolves it becomes clear that the mid-paced gang vocals are designed to add dynamism to the latter half of the track, layering textures of swelling horns and buzzing guitars to build to quite the crescendo.

Thought is Blood plods through the first minute or two, a bit of a comedown after the progressive bombast of Francafrique, before the track bares its teeth and tears itself apart mid-way through, fusing improbable elements of doom, The Smiths and visceral hardcore to completely erase the so-so intro. Then the horns re-emerge for War on the Palaces which somehow merges punk rock with The Cure before Destroy the Man takes rather childish lyrics and a classic Refused delivery and combines it with odd, pop-influenced “ooh ooh” backing vocals.

Uber-producer Shellback handles production duties on two tracks here but they don’t really stand out from the crowd. The second of these, 366, could have appeared on any Refused album to date and plays things pretty straight, sounding fresher because of its relative simplicity. This is followed by Servants of Death, a mid-paced melodic number that is a little jarring but plenty groovy if unremarkable, sounding a little like a Red Hot Chili Peppers remix. Album closer Useless Europeans starts off like a Bonobo track with Lyxzen singing/droning over the production in the vein of Morrisey and meanders pointlessly for around six and a half minutes and is about as good as that sounds written down…

With The Shape of Punk to Come, Refused mashed together disparate influences to create a cohesive whole and Freedom is a natural continuation, taking the last 17 years of popular music and condensing it, satirising it and at the same time revelling in it. At times it is borderline genius, but those peaks do not come often enough and the album peters out with a whimper. That being said, their previous Ornette Coleman-channelling magnum opus took a little while to really make an impact and Freedom may well turn out to be the same. Have Refused given us another glimpse of the future or are they struggling to recapture past glories? Only time will tell.

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

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Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly – ALBUM REVIEW

By David R J Sealey

Sometimes art can be so dense that when you first encounter it, it causes you to recoil in horror and question just what exactly the fuck it was that you just experienced. What the hell just happened? What, exactly, does it want?

With To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar sets his goals right out on front street, just next to that run-down bar with the furniture from the Thirties. He wants nothing short of a jazz revolution; an uprising of wild rhythms, primal funk and lyrical fury. He seethes and rages, scorns and scats, rallying the masses with tales of repression and anti-police rhetoric that feel exceptionally relevant.

On this, his third full record, Lamar lives life in the moment, drawing influences from all corners of hip hop’s history. In turns, he evokes the spectral jazz melodies of Duke Ellington, the big Compton beats of  Dr. Dre, the revivalist R&B of the omnipresent Pharrell Williams, and the crisp modern production of luminaries such as Flying Lotus. To Pimp A Butterfly is a heady cocktail of the old and new; a classic Martini on the rocks, a shot of Hennessy and a lungful of pure funk

First track Wesley’s Theory tells the modern moral tale of Wesley Snipes’ downfall at the hands of the taxman. The mutating, funky production opens the door to the jazz club whilst doffing its cap to Lamar’s previous record good kid, m.A.Ad city before the man himself bursts onto the stage with the incredible For Free? – Interlude. The track sees the rapper duelling a drumkit with incredibly complex lyrical dexterity and a ‘this dick ain’t free’ refrain that shows he still has that wry sense of humour.

Big single King Kunta ebbs and flows with an intentional tribal groove as it effortlessly oozes Michael Jackson parodies, references to the seminal Roots, and subtle lead guitar buried deep in the mix. Institutionalized features Bilal, Anna Wise and Snoop Dogg meandering over a sensational funk-fuelled dreamscape created by producer Rahki. And ‘shit dont change until you get up and wash your ass’, apparently written by Lamar’s grandmother, might just be one of the best choruses of all time. It also might not.

It’s not all plain sailing through the velvet night, however. The problem with travelling blind is that you sometimes get lost and, to be honest, some songs lost me. At 16 tracks, one of which is 12 minutes long, the record is a little flabby. Tracks like These Walls and You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said) are pure blubber. Others, like Complexion (A Zulu Love), are perilously close to retreading familiar lyrical ground, and bring nothing new to the party.

That being said, the album does its level best not to outstay its welcome. As it creeps over the halfway mark, tracks begin to alternate in quality, dashing and raising your hopes again and again; it is end to end. How Much A Dollar Cost is a scathing critique of poverty dressed up in narrative finery, and singles The Blacker the Berry and i are alternately furiously funny and joyously uplifting. The evolving spoken-word pieces woven in between songs add to the sense of an overarching sense of personality, of Kendrick Lamar himself – each song a little piece of his soul.

And not just his soul, but the souls of the many incredibly talented and varied artists that made this record a reality. To Pimp a Butterfly is a modern-day masterpiece; a Bayeaux tapestry of jazz and rap, and the array of names that litter the album credits (Rapsody, the Isley brothers and Pete Rock included) all deserve a big piece of the praise.

To find the future of hip-hop, Kendrick Lamar has travelled deep into the past – the Marty McFly of hip-hop, with Flying Lotus as his Doc Brown.