Friday, 22 June 2018

Popular Mechanics for Sleep.

“Sleep. (Noun) A condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours each night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.”

I’ve not been sleeping properly for months now. But the past few weeks have been absolute hell. The combination of the heat, an extreme tooth infection, plus my brain not allowing me to wind down have created a perfect storm of sleep deprivation which has left me in pieces.

My behaviour has changed, my moods are erratic, I get needy and clingy and temperamental. I hate it. This isn’t me. I medicate my nights with bud and sleeping pills and use energy drinks and loud music to get through the days. My body aches. My attention span can be measured in nano-seconds along with my temper. The routine of sleeping has gone, making way to late night tv and burning my retinas with an iPad screen in the dark. My angry birds skills have gone through the roof. Window closed, too hot, window open, too loud.

It’s got to the point where I think my routine is irreversible. My body aches down to the bones, the bags in my eyes are so big I have to charge fucking 5p for them now. My work performance has slid down to almost a standstill. My productivity is close to nil. I’ve stopped giving a fuck about my appearance and I’m short and curt in my interactions with people. My depression and anxiety have ramped up to crippling levels where I’m convinced that nobody actually wants to talk or spend time with me.

It’s been good getting this nailed down on the page but it’s not fixing anything. Something needs to give as at the moment I’m basically a corpse with a beard. I need something to get that routine back. If anyone has any ideas or tips please get into my inbox as this cannot continue. I’m a husk. Thx, Craig.




Green Circles

Every half an hour, every day, you’re online. Green circles next to a tiny picture of your pretty face.

And I wonder who you’re talking to, because it certainly isn’t me.

Last online 3m ago.

And my message is still unread. Like a piece of junk mail piled up behind a door in an empty house. A cheque left uncashed. Old clothes still with their tags.

And I tried. I HAVE TRIED to be chill. To let it all wash over me. But today I’m sick and all I want is to hear from you.

I tried.
I tried.
I tried
I cried.
I tried.
I tried.
I’m tired.

Tonight, I feel like I’m worth more.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Silver’s For Second Place.

Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Silver’s for second place. The place on the podium is lower. The glory just out of reach. I won’t be a fallback. A failsafe. Someone to talk to when everyone else is quiet. A guaranteed reply when the other guy is elsewhere. I’m not that guy, I won’t be, I’m sorry.

Don’t think I haven’t seen the tags, the comments, the cute little yellow smiley faces late at night. I’m no mug. I’ve shared a heart before and life is too busy to be the other guy. I’m not sharing anymore.

You see, I’ve always been attracted to the human condition. The people with problems, the ones I think I can save, the broken ones. As if I can press my hands against the wounds, talk you round, bring you back to me. But the truth is I can’t. As much as I try I just can’t.

But what I would do! I’d punch glass into paste,  pour oil into my eyes, offer myself to the vultures to pick my bones and return me to nature, the only thing I can truly rely on. I’d put my hands into the fire, crawl through the wire, smash my feet into a thousand pieces and drag myself to you. I’d bleed myself paper dry, and boil the blood into a perfect ruby to wear around your beautiful neck.

But through all this, he’s still there. He fills your nights with conversation while I collapse from exhaustion, sleeping fitfully in these boiling hot sheets. And he probably had your heart before I ever did, if I ever did.

If we dusted your heart for fingerprints we’d only find his.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Bodies In Flight - A Short.

The last sip tasted like shit, the empty bottle reflecting the screen of the old knackered TV set pumping 24 hour sales programmes into the room. It had been 14 hours since the crash, 12 hours since he learned the terrible truth of what had happened to her. Axis reached down next to his bed, a mass of pillows and blankets, with their linen half on half off, crumbs and tobacco and bottle caps were strewn across his mattress, the sheet hanging off the end of the bed, long overdue a wash, and grabbed another bottle. “Why the fuck not?”  he said to no-one. The crack of the seal on the new whiskey bottle made his spine shudder, and with a long deliberate sip he collapsed into the pile of pillows, and then the tears came again.

Interstate 54 was a long stretch of road, the sort of nondescript asphalt snake that meanders through countryside with not much to look at, a trunk road that takes excitable holidaymakers to the coast and exhausted lorry drivers between major towns. Nothing to see, just mike after mile of dual lane boredom. The show that night was wild, a sell out crowd and the most insane after party where Axis and the rest of the band were treated like conquering heroes. There were girls and booze everywhere, but he had her with him, Flora, his first love, his everything. It had been hard maintaining their 8 year relationship since the band took off, and recently he’d begun to drive separately from the rest of the band in his own car, so he could take her with him. She’d work merch and playfully flirt with the bar staff to get herself free drinks. Spending more time together had strengthened them again, they were back on track.

Shuffling around in the glove box she found their CD, a long broken-up band that played catchy indie love songs, which she had gifted him on their third date. The songs told stories of happiness and new love and they used to sit and listen to it together on long nights of drinking and smoking, her head on his chest, wordless. He thought it was perfect. He took his eyes off the road for a brief moment to put the CD into the player.

All he remembers is the blood. So fucking much blood. Glass shards in his hair and beard. He looked over and she was gone. He knew she was gone. He grabbed her wrist and prayed for a pulse. Nothing. The car was up a bank in a hedge and he clambered out. Then the blue lights came. Far too late.

The whiskey haze numbed any physical pain but he couldn’t get rid of the sting. He cleared his throat and begun to sing their song, he opened the pot and fumbled clumsily with drunken hands, pouring the little white tablets into his hand. He looked to the sky and said “Don’t go without me, I’m right behind you”. And then, nothing. Bodies in Flight.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Album Review: Frank Turner - Be More Kind

Hi All, sorry for the brief hiatus in output, gave myself a week off to get absolutely wrecked after payday, and although I like a drink while I write the states I’ve been in this week I wouldn’t get any sort of quality content down. Anyway I’m going back in with a long form review of the brand new Frank Turner album, ‘Be More Kind’. Franks’s been generous enough to pre release most of the songs so I’ve had a chance to run up the play count on a good few of these, but some are brand new to my ears today. Either way I’ve done 5 full playthoughs today and I’ll be going through each song in turn giving my thoughts on each track. Hope you enjoy.

1. Don’t Worry
Frank has always loved an epic opening track for all of his records and this one is no different. A slow paced, positive song with an amazing clap backbeat that sets the pace for the whole song, a really uplifting middle part with a great piano tune turns into a singalong clapalong end section built for live shows. The message conveyed within speaks of dusting yourself off and being optimistic, that other people feel weird too and we’re all in it together. A statement of intent for the rest of the record indeed.

2. 1933
Never one to shy away from a political statement or acerbic social commentary, this tune is Frank at his most forthright and ummm... frank (sorry). A punky, spiky tune, with a great chugging bass part that reminds me of something off Green Day’s seminal Dookie album. Frank goes in hard on the current ignorant ‘them vs us’ mentality prevalent in the Country. Elements of brexit, left and right wing politics and “outside it’s 1933 so I’m hitting the bar” show a dissastisfaction for the horrible rivalry politics, division and selfishness of the current regime. Frank said he was going to inject more politics into this album, and he doesn’t pull any punches here. A fantastic tune with an important message.

3. Little Changes
A tune about collectively making small steps towards improvement of ourselves and our world, this could be turned into the fucking national anthem at the moment and the Country would benefit from it. A call to arms for everyone to just be a little bit better, together. Plus it’s got a ‘whoa-oh-oh-oh’ part which always sells me. So far so good for the whole record, the flow is good and the songs are catchy.

4. Be More Kind 
The album’s title track is a strong reminder of the compassion of humanity and remembering the three simple words (not four simple words that was a different Frank record). An uplifting track that offers a calming vibe, where everyone should just try to be kind and how much better that would make our lives. It’s something that I’ve tried to practice a lot more lately, focusing on the things I love rather than raging against the things you hate or can’t change. I swear to god, just try it.

5. Make America Great Again
Not going to dwell on this one for too long as I’ve already done a review of it on here. Americans are fantastic. The President is not. “Let’s Make America Great Again, by making racists ashamed again.” Fuckin’ A.

6. Going Nowhere.
A jangly Americana riff accompanied by a staggered drumbeat start a plodding song, purposely downbeat to not overpower Frank’s vocal about having someone sticking together with a friend/partner through thick and thin and not going anywhere. There’s one of those ‘you tried to do this but then you got the opposite thing’ verse similar to that of ‘Ironic’ by Alanis Morrissette, but there’s no soaring chorus just another solemn promise to be there “I’m going nowhere”.

7. Brave Face
Frank starts with a spitting punk solo vocal, bringing in the rest of the Sleeping Souls gradually into a full band rocky chorus with yet more positivity and uplifting messages. Frank has really decided to go positive over the past few albums since ‘Tape Deck Heart’, having read his book a few times I am pleased he’s managed to try and pull away from the darkness. This song is about Frank helping someone through a dark time, and with inspirational tunes like this he could probably help a good few more.

8. There She Is
Frank’s first overt ‘Love’ song on the record. Taking in themes of romance, forgiveness and luck, it discusses really pertinent subjects to me at the moment. The only song I’ve not listened to on every playthough as I’m not about that at the moment and it’s far too close to home. Nonetheless a great song and I’m sure I’l come back to it one day.

9. 21st Century Survival Blues
Another surging social commentary about the state of the world and getting away from it all, believing in people and not taking anything for granted. Frank talks about stripping away the things on the news and the internet and focusing on the things you really need, in the case of this song it’s ‘you’, which would assume to be partner (or potential one). By no means the high water mark of the album, but still a solid tune.

10. Blackout
A song about a power cut that goes metaphorically deep and talks about two people who are afraid of the ‘darkness’ assumed to be both literal and metaphorical. A weaving high tone lead guitar line gets the whole band involved in the first single from the album. I’d say it’s the most radio friendly track on the record designed to get ears onto the record. Not the most lyrically deep but some great comparisons about being afraid of the lights going out and also the actual ‘darkness’ of depression and mental health.

11. Common Ground
On first listen the only thing I could do was imagine this as a Get Cape song. The snappy dancy backbeat reminds me of Sam Get Cape’s first record. The song tackles subjects of forgiveness and understanding. Frank’s really pushing the positivity on this album and it’s really refreshing. Give this one a listen on a sunny day, it’s incredibly uplifting.

12. The Lifeboat
Ah, just when I started talking about it being a positive album, we get a trademark downbeat reflective Frank track. The first half of the song talks of loss and disappointment, before building into a song about getting through it. Rising above it, soaring violins accompany the last verse and chorus building into a positive ending, ah Frank you nearly had me there! Thinking you were going to do a sad song!

13. Get It Right
Just one man and his guitar, the way he started his career, our favourite Winchester son at his very rawest, at his very best. Frank does the singalong song so fucking well, reminiscent of some of his early songs, with great potential for screaming back at the stage with all your friends. “Badadada-da-da let’s try to get it right” gang vocal complements the last chorus and is a really incredibly good ending to the record.

Overall I’d say that some of the tracks on this record are going straight into my top 10 Frank songs. I’d say Make America Great Again and  Don’t Worry are the two that would make it in. But the whole album is fantastic, a great standard throughout, with various styles and influences from Frank’s 6 previous albums and thousands of shows all present and honed to perfection. Frank’s come a long way since he put his foot through the ceiling of Flicks while crowdsurfing with Million Dead. He deserves everything he’s getting at the moment and the hardest working man in rock seems to be much happier these days and I’m glad he’s using his platform for positive purposes. I’m giving the album an 8.5 but I’ll probably up it once I’ve listened to it a couple more times. Hope you’ve enjoyed the read. Thx, Craig.



Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Lyrical Analysis - Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

Gonna try something a little bit new, I’ve got a great appreciation for poetry and prose and I suppose song lyrics are an extension of this. For every ‘Gucci Gang’ there is a ‘Hallelujah’ and some lyrics are pure beauty. I’m going to go through some of my favourite songs and break down my interpretation of what they mean, I’ll also add some insight from the artists from previous interviews etc where applicable. I’m going to start with my favourite Indie/Electro song of all time, the absolute mammoth that is Sleepyhead by Passion Pit.

“And you said, it was like fire around the brim,
Burning solid, burning thin, the burning rim”

Michael wrote the song about a relationship that was on its last legs, this is undisputed as he has spoken about it before. This part of the song seems like he’s playing on the ‘burning love’ metaphors but talking specifically about around the edges. It’s almost as if he knows it’s passionate on the surface but not all the way to the centre. A superficial love. Michael has also said the fire is meant to be a metaphorical representation of being in hell.

“Like stars burning holes right through the dark,
Flicking fire like saltwater into my eyes.”

Another metaphorical verse, most people consider stars to be beautiful, but in this case the ‘burning holes right through the dark’ is meant in a violent way, which you can tell by the next line about the uncomfortable sensation of saltwater in the eyes. The love has literally burnt up into pain.

You were one inch from the edge of this bed,
I dragged you back, a sleepyhead, sleepyhead”

Michael has said that the ‘sleepyhead’ in this song is his former partner who grew tired of him and their relationship. The reference is obvious here, she was about to walk out through apathy and he begged her back, yet the problems are not fixed. A really powerful metaphor about something really familiar to most people.

“They couldn’t think of something to say the day you burst,
With all their lions and all their might and all their thirst”

A powerful line about outside influences on a relationship. Insincere friends who had jockeyed her to get out of it yet had no advice for her once she was out. Men who were there for her when she was in a relationship show how one-dimensional they are once she is available.

“They crowd your bedroom like some thoughts wearing skin,
Against the walls, against your rules, against your skin”

The guys mentioned in the verse before are now swarming all over her, lusting and taking advantage. The “against your rules” line is the heartbreaker here as it’s obvious that Michael knows that what she is doing is not a reflection of who she really is.

“My beard grew down to the floor and out through the doors,
Of your eyes, begonia skies, like a sleepyhead, sleepyhead”.

This is the letting go part. The beard growing represents the passage of time, he had to move on and away from her. The begonia skies metaphor is sad as it shows he still has feelings for her but he knows she is tired of him.

“Go Ahead”

This screeched part at the end is hard to make out but it is there, and it makes a difference to the tone of the song. In the end he is resigned to just having to let go, and this shows acceptance, despite still loving her he knows what he has to do. Just a beautiful ending to a truly phenomenal song.


I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of this absolute banger, would be interested in some suggestions of songs you’d like to see broken down and run through my brain filter. Thx, Craig.

Monday, 23 April 2018

New Music Monday - Brian Fallon - Silence

Well, this was a surprise! A completely unannounced new song from Brian Fallon, not included on his recent album, this one was written during his recent tour and is Brian’s reaction to all the negativity and violence in the world today. I’ve been spinning it all weekend and I’m ready to talk a bit about it. I’m obsessed with all of Brian’s output so I’ve been looking forward to writing about this. Hope you enjoy.

The song is a low-key melancholy composition with Brian’s bluesy raspy voice lamenting his past mistakes and shortcomings. The lyrics tell stories of a man who has fought so long he just wants to stop, but his inner voice is telling him to carry on. The song starts very moody and builds into a more catchy singalong affair towards the end, the drum line carrying a meandering Americana guitar riff and a repetitive chorus which is infectious “I found peace in your violence, can’t show me theres no point in trying, I’m now one, and I’ve been quiet for so long.”

When held up against Brian’s considerable body of work (Gaslight, Horrible Crowes, Molly and the Zombies, amongst others) the song doesn’t carry the same power as some of his bigger hits. It’s a great song but if this year’s ‘Sleepwalkers’ album was released now I don’t think Silence would make the final cut of the record. It was a nice surprise to have the song drop, and more music by Brian is never a bad thing but I much prefer his faster and more upbeat songs, for example ‘My Name Is The Night’ from the newest record and ‘Smoke’ from his 2016 debut solo album. Overall not an awful song, but by no means the pinnacle of Fallon’s career. 6.5/10

Popular Mechanics for Sleep.

“Sleep. (Noun) A condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours each night, in which the nervous system is inactive, th...